Background. Optimal treatment practices and factors associated with in-hospital mortality in spontaneous pneumothorax (SP) are not fully understood. We evaluated prevalence, clinical characteristics, and in-hospital mortality among Japanese patients with primary or secondary SP (PSP/SSP). Methods. We retrospectively reviewed and stratified 938 instances of pneumothorax in 751 consecutive patients diagnosed with SP into the PSP and SSP groups. Factors associated with in-hospital mortality in SSP were identified by multiple logistic regression analysis. Results. In the SSP group (n = 327; 34.9%), patient age, requirement for emergency transport, and length of stay were greater (all, p < 0.001), while the prevalence of smoking (p = 0.023) and number of surgical interventions (p < 0.001) were lower compared to those in the PSP group (n = 611; 65.1%). Among the 16 in-hospital deceased patients, 12 (75.0%) received emergency transportation and 10 (62.5%) exhibited performance status (PS) of 3-4. In the SSP group, emergency transportation was an independent factor for in-hospital mortality (odds ratio 16.37; 95% confidence interval, 4.85-55.20; p < 0.001). Conclusions. The prevalence and clinical characteristics of PSP and SSP differ considerably. Patients with SSP receiving emergency transportation should receive careful attention.