“I would like to take this opportunity to formally announce my retirement from playing rugby,” the 34-year-old said in a statement released by his club, French side Toulon.
“It goes without saying that I have an enormous number of people to thank for their support from all around the world but especially here in France and in England.”
Wilkinson has enjoyed a glittering career that included 91 caps for his country between 1998 and 2011. In 2003 he scored the winning drop goal as England defeated Australia in the World Cup Final.
He joined Toulon in 2009 after 12 years with English Premiership side Newcastle Falcons.
Wilkinson said that his aim now is to “focus all my attention and energy” on Toulon’s final two games of the season – a Heineken Cup final against Saracens in Cardiff on Saturday and the Top 14 final against Castres the following week.
“I sincerely thank you all for everything you have given me and for making these last seventeen years something I will never forget,” he said.