The goal of this study was to collect and analyse information on the prevalence of childhood migraine and disability due to migraine in primary school children of 4th to 8th grades (ages ranging from 9 to 17 years) in the Aydin urban area. A cross-sectional school-based study was conducted between March and June 2004. There were 76 333 children of 4th to 8th grades in primary schools in Aydin. Nearly 10% of this population (7721 out of 76 333) was evaluated by a multistage clustered sampling procedure. Four questionnaire forms were applied to each child by a study neurologist during class time. Questionnaire A consisted of a single question, 'Have you ever had a headache?'. To those who responded 'yes', questionnaire B was applied as a second step, which consisted of eight questions. Diagnosis of migraine headache was made according to International Classification of Headache Disorders 2004. Migraine disability was measured with questionnaire C, which was originally the Pediatric Migraine Disability Assessment (PedMIDAS). Migraine history, previous migraine diagnosis and pain intensity were measured with questionnaire D. According to questionnaire A, 79.6% of boys and 87.1% of girls suffered from headaches. The prevalence of migraine was 9.7% (7.8% in boys, 11.7% in girls) according to questionnaire B. The male:female ratio was 1:1.5. Total PedMIDAS score was 9.94 +/- 8.41 days in boys and 11.50 +/- 12.28 days in girls. Only 1.9% of the children had previously been diagnosed with migraine. The average migraine headache history was 2.48 +/- 1.18 years in girls and 2.57 +/- 1.18 years in boys. Although migraine is a common health problem among school children in Aydin, it is mostly still under-recognized.