There is a wide variation of incidence of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) throughout the world.

The highest incidence is in South China and a large part of SouthEast Asia (Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, and North Thailand) with an average incidence of 20-30/100 000 per year. The incidence amongst males aged 45-55 in South China is 120/100 000. There is an intermediate incidence amongst Maghrebian Arabs (from Ageria, Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, and Sudan) of 1.5-9/100 000 per annum. The only group in North America or Europe with a high incidence of NPC are Eskimos, with a prevalence similar to that of the Cantonese. Otherwise, this is a rare cancer with a typical incidence of 0.2-0.5/100 000 (West Midlands of England).

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