This study based on nationwide comprehensive health registers analysed trends in characteristics of statin users in the whole community-dwelling population of Finland between 1999 and 2008. The annual number of incident users (defined as those purchasing statins for the first time ever) increased 1.6-fold from 50,125 to 78,058 and that of ongoing users (including continuous users and re-initiators) increased 4.6-fold from 114,091 to 521,211. The proportion of incident users without cardiovascular disease (CVD) or diabetes increased from 23.6% to 27.8%, while the proportion of those with diabetes increased from 15.7% to 19.5%. An increasing proportion of ongoing users had diabetes (from 13.8% to 22.8%). The proportion of ongoing users without CVD or diabetes remained below one-fifth; however, their number increased five-fold. Over the study period, there was an obvious shift towards prescribing of higher statin doses both among incident and ongoing users. In conclusion, statin use is expanding to individuals with low cardiovascular risk despite the fact that clinical guidelines emphasize interventions other than pharmacotherapy for this population. At the same time, statin use is increasingly targeted to patients with diabetes, a high-risk group that is likely to benefit from it.