In a nationwide population-based study of women born between 1950 and 1976, 75 patients with XX gonadal dysgenesis (XXGD) were identified in Finland. Patients were ascertained through hospital records and the registers of chromosome laboratories. In one family 4 daughters were affected; in six families 2 daughters were affected; and 57 cases were isolated. In one additional family the two affected females were in successive generations. Population records were utilized to trace ancestors of patients back to the beginning of the 19th century, in most cases. Consanguinity was detected in 8 (12%) of 66 families. When females only are considered, the segregation analyses yield a proportion of .23 affected. The relatively large number of affected individuals identified (incidence 1 in 8,300 live-born girls) implies a high gene frequency in the Finnish population. The geographic distribution was highly uneven, with most families originating in the sparsely populated north-central part of Finland. These findings support the existence of an autosomal recessive XXGD gene (locus designation "ODG1") that is highly enriched in Finland. The multiplex families already identified will make it possible to map the ODG1 gene by a random search for linkage by using polymorphic markers. Linkage-disequilibrium analysis in the sporadic patients will then be used to test for genetic homogeneity versus heterogeneity.