Prediction of lymph node metastasis in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is very important to have prognostic significance. The objective of this study which involved a relatively large number of ESCC patients was to investigate the correlated factors for lymph node metastasis and prognosis in ESCC. We analyzed a retrospective review of 446 patients with ESCC treated by esophagectomy between January 2010 and July 2016. The relationship between lymph node metastasis and clinicopathological parameters were analyzed. The association between overall survival and clinicopathological factors were evaluated using univariate and multivariable Cox regression models. In the present study, 36.8% esophageal squamous cell carcinoma patients were histologically shown to have lymph node metastasis. Lymph node metastasis was closely correlated with tumor differentiation (p=0.016), perineural invasion (p=0.022), advanced stage tumor (p<0.001) and venous invasion (p<0.001). Kaplan-Meier survival analysis revealed that patients with tumor size, higher T stage, perineuronal invasion, lymph node metastasis, N stage and LNR higher than 0.2 had unfavorable prognosis (p<0.05). The univariate analysis revealed for overall survival that tumor size, pathological stage, perineuronal invasion, lymph metastasis, N stage, involved LNR were relevant prognostic indicators. Furthermore, tumor size, lymph metastasis, N stage and LNR could as independent prognostic factors.