We followed a population-based cohort of 5696 women, 32–38 years of age, by registry linkage with cytology and pathology registries during a mean follow-up time of 4.1 years to assess the importance for CIN2+ development of type-specific HPV DNA positivity at baseline. HPV 16, 31 and 33 conveyed the highest risks and were responsible for 33.1, 18.3 and 7.7% of CIN2+ cases, respectively. Women infected with HPV 18, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59 and 66 had significantly lower risks of CIN2+ than women infected with HPV 16. After adjustment for infection with other HPV types, HPV types 35, 45, 59 and 66 had no detectable association with CIN2+. In summary, the different HPV types found in cervical cancer show distinctly different CIN2+ risks, with high risks being restricted to HPV 16 and its close relatives HPV 31 and HPV 33.