Studies investigating racial differences in the prevalence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) have generally been conducted on a limited scale. This analysis measured VTE prevalence across racial groups in a population of US Medicaid enrollees from 2002 to 2005. Records for patients aged ≥ 18 years with VTE between January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2005 were retrieved from the MarketScan® Multi-State Medicaid Database from Thomson Reuters. Patients were classified as having VTE in each calendar year by the presence of a VTE diagnosis on an inpatient claim or ≥ 1 outpatient claim with VTE diagnosis plus evidence of anticoagulant use. Patients dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare were excluded. Logistic regression was used to calculate the odds of VTE. An average of 4.5 million Medicaid enrollees were study eligible in each calendar year, 72.2% of which had deep-vein thrombosis, 22.5% pulmonary embolism, and 5.3% had both. Patients were mainly Caucasian (46.8%), African-American (26.0%), and Hispanic (14.1%). VTE prevalence per 100,000 enrollees was highest in African-American males (584 in 2002-784 in 2005), followed by Caucasian males (457-643), Caucasian females (335-446), and African-American females (348-444). Hispanic males (94-149) and females (93-154) had lower prevalence of VTE. African-Americans had a significantly higher probability of having a VTE event than Caucasians (adjusted odds ratio 1.04, 95% confidence interval 1.00-1.07, P = 0.036). VTE prevalence increased over the study period and was highest in African-American males. More coordinated efforts are required to improve VTE awareness and prevention across all racial and ethnic groups.