BACKGROUND: Numerous studies have shown that the incidence rate of bacteremia has been increasing over time. However, few studies have distinguished between community-acquired, healthcare-associated and nosocomial bacteremia. METHODS: We conducted a population-based study among adults with first-time bacteremia in Funen County, Denmark, during 2000-2008 (N = 7786). We reported mean and annual incidence rates (per 100,000 person-years), overall and by place of acquisition. Trends were estimated using a Poisson regression model. RESULTS: The overall incidence rate was 215.7, including 99.0 for community-acquired, 50.0 for healthcare-associated and 66.7 for nosocomial bacteremia. During 2000-2008, the overall incidence rate decreased by 23.3% from 254.1 to 198.8 (3.3% annually, p < .001), the incidence rate of community-acquired bacteremia decreased by 25.6% from 119.0 to 93.8 (3.7% annually, p < .001) and the incidence rate of nosocomial bacteremia decreased by 28.9% from 82.2 to 56.0 (4.2% annually, p < .001). The incidence rate of healthcare-associated bacteremia remained stable. The most common microorganisms were Escherichia coli (28.3%), Staphylococcus aureus (12.3%), coagulase-negative staphylococci (10.0%) and Streptococcus pneumoniae (9.1%). Regardless of place of acquisition, the proportion of bacteremias caused by enterococci increased (p < .05) and the proportion caused by coagulase-negative staphylococci decreased (p < .05). CONCLUSIONS: The incidence rates of community-acquired and nosocomial bacteremia decreased substantially over time.