Objective: To determine survival rates of patients with lymphoma in South Australia. Design and setting: De-identified data from the SA Cancer Registry on all patients with lymphoma were analysed, as well as the subgroup treated at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH). For non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), we used the International Working Formulation (IWF) grading. SA and RAH data on survival rates were compared with those for the whole of Australia and the United States. Patients: All patients diagnosed with lymphoma and treated in SA in 1977-2007. Outcome measures: 5-year survival rates for patients with lymphoma, by type of lymphoma and age. Results: Of the total of 8651 patients with lymphoma, 939 were classified as having Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) and 7712 as having NHL. Of those with NHL, 1805 had low-grade, 3576 intermediate-grade, and 510 high-grade NHL. In another 1821 patients, the data were insufficient to make an IWF grading. There was a substantial increase in 5-year survival rates for patients with lymphoma between 1977 and 2007 in SA. While the increase in 5-year survival rates for HL was 7.6 percentage points, survival rates peaked at 88%. For NHL, there was an 18.7 percentage points increase in 5-year survival rates. The first significant increase of 7 percentage points was associated with the introduction of bone marrow transplantation; this was maintained with the increase in 5-year survival rates reaching 14 percentage points by 1995-1999. Since 1999, there has been a further increase of 5 percentage points in 5-year survival rates with the introduction of rituximab. Conclusion: Outcomes in patients with NHL have improved significantly, most likely because of the use of bone marrow transplantation and rituximab. Hospital- and state-based cancer registry data reflect the reality of population outcomes and the impact of new technologies.