The HIV-1 reservoir is the major hurdle to a cure. We here evaluate viral and host characteristics associated with reservoir size and long-term dynamics in 1,057 individuals on suppressive antiretroviral therapy for a median of 5.4 years. At the population level, the reservoir decreases with diminishing differences over time, but increases in 26.6% of individuals. Viral blips and low-level viremia are significantly associated with slower reservoir decay. Initiation of ART within the first year of infection, pretreatment viral load, and ethnicity affect reservoir size, but less so long-term dynamics. Viral blips and low-level viremia are thus relevant for reservoir and cure studies.