This study provides up-to-date and detailed cancer survival estimates of German patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL, International Statistical Classification of Diseases 10th Revision [ICD-10] codes C82-C85) based on data from 11 cancer registries. Period analysis was used to calculate 5-year relative survival in 2002-2006, overall and by gender, age and histology. Comparison was made with patients with NHL in the United States (US) Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results database in the same time period. Overall 5-year relative survival for patients with NHL in Germany in 2002-2006 was 62.8% and in the US was 65.1%. Survival decreased with age from 81.7% at age 15-49 to 46.5% at age 75+. Survival in the US was 75.3% at age 15-49 and 52% at age 75+. Survival was higher for women than for men, at 65.2% for women and 60.7% for men. Survivals for diffuse B-cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma, the two most common subtypes of NHL, were 57.3% and 77.5%, respectively. Between 2002 and 2006, overall 5-year relative survival increased by 5.3 percentage points. We conclude that survival for NHL is increasing in Germany in recent years. Survival was higher in Germany than in the US for patients aged 15-49 but lower for older patients.