Invasive candidiasis is a condition of major medical importance. Its incidence has increased dramatically over the last 50 years, reflecting increasingly interventional standards of medical care. Candida spp. are regularly reported to be the fourth commonest cause of bloodstream infection, and it is perceived that the incidence of invasive Candida spp. infections continues to increase. The global disease burden of invasive Candida spp. infections is difficult to quantify because of wide geographic variation. Data originating from the United States indicate that mortality from candidiasis has been falling since 1989. Data from several locations have shown that the dramatic increases in Candida spp. bloodstream infections seen during the 1980s were not sustained through the 1990s. Some authors have reported a decreasing incidence. The contribution of non-albicans Candida spp. to invasive infection is rising. Invasive infections with Candida spp. continue to represent a major economic burden, increasing both mortality and morbidity in an already expensive group of hospital patients. There remains much scope for ongoing and future research into the epidemiology and basic disease processes underlying these infections.