The molecular epidemiology of factor IX germline mutations in patients with hemophilia B has been studied in detail because it is an advantageous model for analyzing recent germline mutations in humans. It is estimated that mutations have been defined in the majority of nucleotides that are the target for mutation. The likelihood that a factor IX missense mutation will cause disease correlates with the degree of evolutionary conservation of the amino acid. Mutation rates per base-pair have been estimated after careful consideration and correction for biases, predicting about 76 de novo mutations per generation per individual resulting in 0.3 deleterious changes. The male-to-female sex ratio of mutation varies with the type of mutation. There is evidence for a maternal age effect and an excess of non-CpG G:C to A:T transitions. The factor IX mutation pattern is similar among geographically, racially and ethnically diverse human populations. The data support primarily endogenous mechanisms of germline mutation in the factor IX gene. Mutations at splice junctions are compatible with simple rules for predicting disease causing mutations.