An assembly line is a flow-oriented production system in which the productive units performing the operations, referred to as stations, are aligned in a serial manner. Design of efficient assembly lines has considerable importance for the production of high-quantity standardized products. In this paper, a differential evolution algorithm is proposed to solve simple straight and U-type assembly line balancing problems. As a population-based evolutionary algorithm, differential evolution algorithm is seen as an effective method to solve optimization problems in recent years. A computational study is conducted by solving a large number of benchmark problems available in the literature to compare the performance of the proposed approach. The results show that the proposed approach performs quite effectively.