Neovascularization occurs in many eye diseases, and its epidemiologic impact is significant. However, data on the prevalence and incidence of ocular neovascularization have never been compiled to demonstrate its pervasiveness. This overview of ocular angiogenesis provides a review of the epidemiologic literature for neovascularization in various parts of the eye, including the cornea, iris, retina, and choroid. Relevant disease states are reviewed, as are their risk factors, so that their pathogenesis can be better understood. Data on the prevalence and incidence of the major diseases involving angiogenesis are synthesized to provide statistical evidence of the span and magnitude of ocular neovascularization. These prevalence and incidence data on ocular neovascularization are extrapolated to USA population data where possible, and "worst-case" estimates are calculated as well. Information was gathered with a search of the MEDLINE database, published monographs and volumes, and consultation with a number of primary authors. This study attempts to unify much of past and present epidemiologic research, and the information is presented in sections divided according to the anatomy of the eye.