The aim was to describe nutritional status and socio-demographic and medical data in people who were newly admitted to community residential homes (cohort 2), and to compare the results with a previous study performed in the same municipality four years earlier (cohort 1). One hundred and twenty-seven people, 65 years of age, or older, newly admitted to residential homes in a municipality in the southern part of Sweden, were consecutively included. Nutritional status was assessed, using a combination of anthropometry and serum protein measurements and by Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA). The results showed that 32% of the residents in cohort 2 were assessed as protein-energy malnourished (PEM), compared with 38% in cohort 1. Body mass index, psychological stress or acute disease, and reduced fluid intake were items in MNA which had power to predict PEM. Residents in cohort 2, diagnosed as having severe medical diseases, increased as well as residents with neuropsychological problems. Simultaneously, the number living in residential homes decreased, as compared to cohort 1. These differences indicate that the admission criteria have changed between cohorts 1 and 2.