The behaviors of complex biological systems are often dictated by the properties of their heterogeneous and sometimes rare cellular constituents. Correspondingly, the analysis of individual cells from a heterogeneous population can reveal information not obtainable by ensemble measurements. Reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is a widely used method that enables transcriptional profiling and sequencing analysis on bulk populations of cells. Major barriers to successfully implementing this technique for mammalian single-cell studies are the labor, cost, and low-throughput associated with current approaches. In this report, we describe a novel droplet-based microfluidic system for performing ~50000 single-cell RT-PCR reactions in a single experiment while consuming a minimal amount of reagent. Using cell type-specific staining and TaqMan RT-PCR probes, we demonstrate the identification of specific cells from a mixed human cell population. The throughput, robust detection rate and specificity of this method makes it well-suited for characterizing large, heterogeneous populations of cells at the transcriptional level.