Objective: This study seeks to examine the incidence of social phobia in the general population and to establish a number of risk indicators. Method: Data were derived from the Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study (NEMESIS) which is a population based prospective study (n = 7076). A sample of adults aged 18-64 years (n = 5618) were re-interviewed 1 year later using Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). Results: The 12-month incidence of DSM-III-R social phobia was 1.0%. Low education, low mastery, low self-esteem, emotional neglect in childhood and ongoing difficulties were found to be risk indicators. After including other mental disorders as risk indicators in the model, the incidence was found to be more common among those with low mastery, major depression, subthreshold social phobia, emotional neglect, negative life events, and low education. Conclusion: The incidence of social phobia can be predicted relatively well with psychosocial variables and comorbidity. Copyright © 2008 The Authors.