Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections (SABSI) are associated with a high burden of morbidity and mortality. The impact of specific S. aureus genotypes on outcome is unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate the epidemiology and outcome of SABSI, with a special emphasis on the impact of bacterial clonal lineage on mortality. We conducted a 3-year population-based prospective study between 2011 and 2014, including 303 consecutive adult patients. Clinical data were obtained from interviews and medical records. S. aureus isolates were genotyped using DNA microarrays. The incidence rate of SABSI was 27.6 per 100,000 inhabitants [95 % confidence interval (CI) 24.6-31.0]. The median age of the patients was 71 years (interquartile range 56-81 years) and 61.4 % were male. Most SABSI (70.6 %) occurred in hospitals or associated to healthcare, and 34.1 % of these were associated with intravascular catheters. Only five (1.6 %) SABSI were caused by methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). The 30-day case fatality rate was 20.8 % (95 % CI 16.6-25.7). S. aureus clonal complex 30 [hazard ratio (HR) 3.9; 95 % CI 1.8-8.5, p?=?0.001], unknown focus of infection (HR 4.5; 95 % CI 1.9-10.8, p?=?0.001) and respiratory tract infection (HR 12.7; 95 % CI 4.6-34.6, p?