Differences between clinical (cT) and pathological tumor (pT) stage occur often after radical cystectomy (RC) for muscle-invasive bladder cancer. In order to evaluate the impact of downstaging on recurrence and survival, we selected patients from a large, contemporary, population-based series of 1,409 patients with MIBC. We included all patients who underwent RC (N=643) and excluded patients who received (neo)adjuvant therapy, those with known metastasis at time of diagnosis, and those with nonurothelial cell tumors. Disease outcomes were defined as recurrence-free survival (RFS) and relative survival (RS), as a good approximation of bladder cancer-specific survival. After applying the exclusion criteria, 375 patients were eligible for analysis. Tumor downstaging was found to be common after RC; in 99 patients (26.4%), tumor downstaging to non-muscle-invasive stages at RC occurred. Hydronephrosis at baseline and positive lymph nodes at RC occurred significantly less often in these patients. In 62 patients, no tumor was left in the cystectomy specimen. pT stage was pT1 in 20 patients and pTis in 17 patients. Patients with tumor downstaging have about a 30% higher RFS and RS compared to those without. Consequently, tumor downstaging is a favorable marker for prognosis after RC.