© 2016 Context Although vital for decision-making about management, the natural history of nocturia remains uncertain. A systematic review would clarify the issue, but because natural history reviews are uncommon it would require methodological innovations. Objective To estimate the incidence and remission of nocturia, and refine methods for meta-analyses assessing natural history. Evidence acquisition We conducted a comprehensive search of PubMed, Scopus, and Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature databases and abstracts of major urologic meetings as far as August 31, 2015. Random effects meta-analyses addressed incidence/remission rates of nocturia; meta-regression explored potential determinants of heterogeneity. Studies were categorized as either low or high risk of bias using a novel instrument specifically designed for longitudinal symptom studies aimed at the general population. Evidence synthesis Of 4165 potentially relevant reports, 16 proved eligible. Pooled estimates from 13 studies (114 964 person-years of follow-up) demonstrated that annual incidence was strongly associated with age: 0.4% (0–0.8%) for adults aged < 40 yr; 2.8% (1.9–3.7%) for adults aged 40–59 yr; and 11.5% (9.1–14.0%) for adults aged ≥ 60 yr. Of those with nocturia, each year 12.1% (9.5–14.7%) experienced remission. Conclusions The available evidence suggests that nocturia onset is strongly associated with age, with much higher rates in those over 60 yr; remission occurs in approximately 12% each year. These estimates can aid with management decisions and counseling related to nocturia. Patient summary We reviewed all previous studies of progression of night-time urination (nocturia). We found that in any given year 0.4% of adults aged < 40 yr, 3% of adults aged 40–59 yr, and 12% of adults aged ≥ 60 yr will develop nocturia, while overall 12% of those with nocturia will improve. These findings may be helpful in making decisions about coping with or treating nocturia.