Objective To determine the contemporary survival outcomes from a whole population and identify significant predictors of survival, as contemporary population-based survival outcomes after radical cystectomy (RC) for the treatment of bladder cancer (BC) are sparse. Reports suggest a large disparity between population outcomes and those of centres of excellence. Patients and Methods All invasive BC cases diagnosed between 2001 and 2007 in New South Wales, Australia, were identified from the Central Cancer Registry. Records of treatment and death were electronically linked. All patients who underwent RC between 2001 and 2009 were selected for this study (804 patients). Follow-up was to the end of 2009. Outcomes assessed were disease-specific survival (DSS) and overall survival (OS). Multivariable Cox regression and log-rank analysis were used to model and compare survival within groups. Results Of 804 patients diagnosed during the study period 420 (52.2%) died during follow-up. The 5-year DSS and OS for all patients was 59.6% and 53.2%, respectively. The 5-year DSS for patients with localised, regional and distant disease, undergoing RC was 72%, 51% and 10%, respectively. Age (P < 0.001) and stage (P < 0.001) were associated with 5-year DSS and OS after adjusting for all other variables. High-volume centres had significantly better 5-year DSS compared with low-volume centres (P < 0.05). The 30-day mortality for high- vs low-volume centres was 1.8% and 3.6%, respectively. Perioperative mortality improved over time for high- and moderate-volume centres but not for low-volume centres. Conclusion Contemporary survival outcomes after RC are much improved compared with older studies and appear close to results from academic centres of excellence. High-volume centres report better 5-year DSS outcomes than lower volume centres.