Multiple myeloma is a chronic, incurable but highly treatable neoplasm. Recent population-based studies have shown improvements in survival for patients diagnosed in the early 21st century. Here, we examine trends in survival for patients diagnosed with multiple myeloma in Germany and the United States (US) between 2002 and 2010. Data were extracted from 11 population-based cancer registries in Germany and from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results database in the US. Myeloma patients aged 15-74 years with diagnosis and follow-up between 1997 and 2010 from Germany and the US were included. Period analysis was employed to assess trends in 5-year relative survival in Germany and the US between 2002-04 and 2008-10. Age-adjusted 5-year relative survival increased from 47·3% to 53·8% in Germany and from 39·8% to 53·2% in the US between 2002-04 and 2008-10. There was a strong age gradient with lower survival among older patients, which persisted over time and was more pronounced in Germany than the US. Five-year relative survival estimates for patients diagnosed with multiple myeloma below 75 years of age steadily increased throughout the first decade of the 21st century and reached levels above 50% in both Germany and the US, probably reflecting the increased use of newer agents in myeloma treatment.