Psittacosis is a zoonotic infectious disease caused by the transmission of the bacterium Chlamydia psittaci from birds to humans. Infections in humans mainly present as community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). However, most cases of CAP are treated without diagnostic testing, and the importance of C. psittaci infection as a cause of CAP is therefore unclear. In this meta-analysis of published CAP-aetiological studies, we estimate the proportion of CAP caused by C. psittaci infection. The databases MEDLINE and Embase were systematically searched for relevant studies published from 1986 onwards. Only studies that consisted of 100 patients or more were included. In total, 57 studies were selected for the meta-analysis. C. psittaci was the causative pathogen in 1·03% (95% CI 0·79–1·30) of all CAP cases from the included studies combined, with a range between studies from 0 to 6·7%. For burden of disease estimates, it is a reasonable assumption that 1% of incident cases of CAP are caused by psittacosis.