In a large population-based study in Northern Ireland during the period 1974-1979, the rate of anencephalus in twins (9.1/10,000) was found to be less than that in singletons (24.3/10,000). This finding is in contrast with most other studies and the possibility of underascertainment of twin cases is considered, but it is concluded that chance is the likeliest explanation. The rate of spina bifida in twins (36.4/10,000) was similar to that in singletons (31.9/10,000). All of the twins with anencephalus were female and from pairs of like sex. Rates of spina bifida in twins from pairs of the two sex types were similar but, unusually, there was a male preponderance. As in previous studies, the great majority of twins with NTDs had unaffected cotwins.