Exceedingly thin on the ground, this mutation, like most others, formed in Central Africa (where its incidence is still 5%) but went extinct in most populations, surviving in only 21 scattered populations around the world. The reasons are not known. It has been detected in Iranian, Arab, French, Italian, British and Austrian populations. Its highest occurrence is 3% in Italy, according to the European database ENFSI. It has not been observed in Australoid, Austronesian or Southeast Asian samples.
The Empire Gene is the rarest of all. Why it appears in the handful of populations where it does is not known.