Background/aims: The use of intravitreal vascular endothelial growth factor antibodies for exudative age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has stressed ophthalmology services and drug budgets throughout the world. The authors study the population-based incidence of exudative AMD in Iceland and the use of intravitreal ranibizumab in a defined population. Methods: This is a prospective study of 439 consecutive patients aged 60 years and older with exudative AMD starting intravitreal ranibizumab for exudative AMD in Iceland from March 2007 to December 2009. All patients initially received three consecutive ranibizumab injections, with regular follow-up visits and re-treatment as needed. Results: In total, 517 eyes from 439 patients received treatment for exudative AMD (mean age 79 years). The annual incidence of exudative AMD in the population 60 years and older is 0.29%. The incidence increased with advancing age, double for patients 85 years and older compared with those 75-79 years. Approximately 2400 ranibizumab injections per 100 000 persons aged 60 years and older were given each year for exudative AMD. Conclusions: These data allow an estimation of the incidence of exudative AMD in a Caucasian population and the treatment load with ranibizumab, which may help plan anti-vascular endothelial growth factor treatment programmes and estimate costs.