Non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL) are among the few neoplasms whose incidence and mortality have been rising in Europe and North America over the last few decades. To update trends from NHL, we considered mortality data up to 2004 in several European countries, and for comparative purpose in the USA and Japan. We also analyzed patterns in incidence for selected European countries providing national data. In most European countries, NHL mortality rose up to the mid 1990s, and started to level off or decline in the following decade. The rates were, however, still increasing in eastern Europe. Overall, in the European Union, mortality from NHL declined from 4.3/100,000 to 4.1 in men and from 2.7 to 2.5 in women between the late 1990s and the early 2000s. Similarly, NHL mortality rates declined from 6.5/100,000 to 5.5 in US men and from 4.2 to 3.5 in US women. In most countries considered, NHL incidence rates rose up to 1995–99, while they tended to level off or decline thereafter, with particular favorable patterns in countries from northern Europe. Thus, the epidemic of NHL observed during the second half of the 20th century has now started to level off in Europe as in other developed areas of the world. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.