© 2016 Elsevier Ltd Background Insufficient epidemiological data are available on bronchiectasis in southern European populations. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and incidence of bronchiectasis in Catalonia, Spain and describe the characteristics of patients with an active diagnosis of bronchiectasis in 2012. Methods This study used data from a population database containing information from 5.8 million people (80% of the population of Catalonia). Patients with bronchiectasis were identified using International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th revision (ICD-10) codes, and information on clinical characteristics and treatment was extracted. Results A total of 20895 patients with bronchiectasis were identified in 2012. The prevalence of bronchiectasis was 36.2 cases per 10 000 inhabitants, with an incidence of 4.81 cases per 10 000 inhabitants. Prevalence and incidence increased with age and were highest in men over 65 years of age. Among the whole bronchiectasis population in Primary Care, 48.6% of patients had had blood tests, 11.2% had undergone spirometry, only 2.1% had a chest X-ray, and 0.9% had undergone high-resolution computed tomography or sputum culture. 56% had at least one exacerbation and 12.5% had been admitted to hospital during the year of the study. The drugs most frequently used were inhaled corticosteroids (in 37.4% of patients) and long-acting β2agonists (in 36%); half of the patients received no treatment (51.8%). Conclusions The prevalence and incidence of bronchiectasis increases with age. The management of bronchiectasis in primary care was not optimal, and the disease continues to represent an important clinical burden.