Background: Colorectal cancer is the most common cancer in Germany and the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths in both men and women. The aim of this study is to provide detailed analysis of recent developments in survival of colorectal cancer patients using newly available data on a national basis. Methods: We included data from 11 German cancer registries covering a population of 33 million inhabitants. Period analysis and modelled period analysis were used to provide most up-to-date estimates of 5-year relative survival in 2002-2006. Results: The analysis was based on records of 164 996 colorectal cancer patients. Five-year relative survival was 63.0% overall, decreased with age and was significantly higher among women than among men in patients under 75 years. Overall age-adjusted 5-year relative survival increased from 60.6 to 65.0% over the period 2002-2006. Significant increase in survival was only observed in patients with localised or regional disease. Highest subsite-specific survival was observed in patients with cancer in descending (67.7%) and ascending (66.5%) colon. Conclusion: Survival of patients with colorectal cancer continued to increase in the early 21st century in Germany, with 5-year relative survival reaching 65% in 2006. However, lack of progress still persisted in patients with advanced disease.