The effect of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) on the risk for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) has not been confirmed. The present population-based study used the claims data from the Taiwan National Health Institutes from 1998 to 2010 to compare the risk for ESRD in patients with and without RCC. The study cohort consisted of 2940 patients who had newly diagnosed with RCC but no history of ESRD; the control cohort consisted of 23,520 matched patients without RCC. Cox proportional hazard regressions were performed to compute ESRD risk after adjusting for possible confounding factors. Kaplan-Meier analysis and the log-rank test were also used to compare patients and controls. A total of 119 patients in the RCC group (incidence rate: 119/2940; 4.05%) and 160 patients in the control group (incidence rate: 160/23,520; 0.68%) were diagnosed with ESRD during the follow-up period. After adjusting for potential confounders, the RCC group had an ESRD hazard ratio (HR) of 5.63 [95% confidence interval (CI): 4.37-7.24] relative to the control group. In addition, among patients with RCC, females (adjusted HR: 6.95, 95% CI: 4.82-10.1) had a higher risk for ESRD than males (adjusted HR: 4.79, 95% CI: 3.376.82). Finally, there were significant joint effects of chronic kidney disease and diabetes on increasing the risk of ESRD in patients with and without RCC (P<0.01). The limitations of this study include the retrospective design and the inability to assess methods of treatment and measure the aggressiveness of RCC. Our data indicates that RCC is an independent risk factor for ESRD, especially in females.