The number of patients initiating treatment for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) has increased dramatically in Canada and other countries. To assist healthcare planners, the prevalence of ESRD in Canada has been projected to the year 2000 using a Markov modelling technique. Significant increases in ESRD are expected in Canada during the next decade, particularly among the elderly and diabetic populations: estimated increases in prevalence rates of ESRD between 1992 and the year 2000 were 78% and 154% for non diabetic and diabetic populations respectively. These expected increases did not differ significantly between the treatment groups, except among patients with diabetes, in whom projected increases in the prevalence of functioning transplant was smaller than for hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis. Because the current Canadian prevalence rates are lower than those of some other countries, such as the United States and Japan, these expected trends in prevalence appear reasonable, and illustrate the growing healthcare needs of the ESRD population in Canada during the next decade.