The authors investigated the association between socioeconomic position and stage of breast cancer at the time of diagnosis in a nationwide Danish study. All 28 765 women with a primary invasive breast cancer diagnosed between 1983 and 1999 were identified in a nationwide clinical database and information on socioeconomic variables was obtained from Statistics Denmark. The risk of being diagnosed with a high-risk breast cancer, that is size >20 mm, lymph-node positive, ductal histology/high histologic grade and hormone receptor negative, was analysed by multivariate logistic regression. The adjusted odds ratio (OR) for high-risk breast cancer was reduced with longer education with a 12% reduced risk (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.80,0.96) in women with higher education and increased with reduced disposable income (low income group: OR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.10,1.34). There was an urban-rural gradient, with higher risk among rural women (OR 1.10; 95 % CI, 1.02, 1.18) and lower risk among women in the capital suburbs (OR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.78, 0.93) and capital area (OR, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.84-1.02). These factors were significant only for postmenopausal women, although similar patterns were observed among the premenopausal women, suggesting a subgroup of aggressive premenopausal breast cancers less influenced by socioeconomic factors.