Introduction The aim of this study was to establish the incidence rates of congenital syphilis in the South Region of Brazil from 2001 to 2009. Methods Temporal ecological and descriptive study based on the cases recorded by the System of Information of Notifiable Diseases. Results The incidence of congenital syphilis has been increasing in the South Region of Brazil since 2004; the highest incidence rates were in women who received prenatal care (113.5 new cases per 100,000 births, p<0.001), who were diagnosed with syphilis at pregnancy (69.8 new cases per 100,000 births, p=0.001), and whose partner did not undergo treatment for syphilis (53.1 new cases per 100,000 births, p=0.001). Conclusions The population of the present study mostly consisted of adult black women with low educational levels who attended prenatal care, who were diagnosed with syphilis during pregnancy, and whose partners were not treated for syphilis. Based on these results, actions are recommended to reduce the incidence of this disease, which is preventable by early diagnosis and appropriate treatment. The present was merely an ecological study; therefore, further investigations are necessary to elucidate the causes of these findings.