This review presents a summary of what is known about genetic factors possibly involved in iodine deficiency disorders. After an overview on thyroid iodine metabolism and the role of environmental factors in endemic goitre, we analyse genetic studies on endemic goitre reported in the literature. We hypothesize that endemic goitre is a multifactorial disease in which the major factor would be of environmental nature (iodine deficiency) with a lesser role for genetic factors. Mutations, in a heterozygote state, of one of the genes involved in tiered hormonogenesis could lead to a less effective metabolic pathway in the iodine transport or hormonogenesis. We also briefly review various hereditary disorders which may be involved in endemic goitre. Then, we postulate that the presence of some genetic variants in the population or the heterozygote status of individuals for thyroid hereditary disorders may influence the degree of the thyroid enlargement and/or hypothyroidism.