Population-based data on the incidence, aetiology, and mortality associated with status epilepticus (SE) are required to develop preventative strategies for SE. Through a systematic review, we aimed to assess the methodological quality as well as similarities, and differences between available population based studies in order to arrive at conclusions on the epidemiology of SE. All population-based studies where primary outcome was incidence, aetiology or mortality of SE were identified through a systematic search and synthesized. Methodological quality of studies were independently rated by two examiners using a unique scoring system. Seven population-based projects on SE yielding nine published reports and five abstracts were reviewed. Quality scores were in the range of 19–34 with a possible maximum of 40 (kappa scores 0.67–1.0). The incidence of SE has a bimodal distribution with peaks in children aged less than a year and the elderly. Most SE were acute symptomatic. Short-term mortality was 7.6–22% and long-term mortality was 43%. Age and aetiology were the major determinants of mortality. There are few population-based studies on SE but most are of good quality. Most studies are primarily or exclusively based on adult populations. There is limited information on the association of ethnicity and socio-economic status and SE.