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Two Y-chromosome DNA polymorphisms, the DYS19 microsatellite and the YAP (at locus DYS287), were tested in males from two autochthonous Basque populations from France and northern Navarre (Spain). The results are compared to those obtained for the same genetic markers in 32 populations from Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia. The high predominance of the DYS19*11 (190-base-pair) allele in Basques indicates that their genetic diversity for microsatellite DYS19 is around half that observed in Europeans, North Africans, and western Asians. The Y-Alu insertion (YAP+) was not detected in the Basque samples. This study attempts to throw some light on the importance of historically recent migratory movements, the main corridors of gene flow, and demographic sizes and their variations in shaping gene frequency patterns in contemporary human populations, particularly in the Mediterranean region. Historical processes may have had more significant effects on the genetic make-up of current human populations than those of prehistoric times.