© 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. The WHO recently proposed an updated nomenclature for mumps virus (MuV). WHO currently recognizes 12 genotypes of MuV, assigned letters from A to N (excluding E and M), which are based on the nucleotide sequences of small hydrophobic (SH) and haemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) genes. A total of 66 MuV genomes are available in GenBank, representing eight of the 12 genotypes. To complete this dataset, whole genomes of seven isolates representing six genotypes (D, H, I, J, K and L) and one unclassified strain were sequenced. SH and HN genes of other representative strains were also sequenced. The degree of genetic divergence, predicted amino acid substitutions in the HN and fusion (F) proteins and geographic distributions of MuV strains were analysed based on the updated dataset. Nucleotide heterogeneity between genotypes reached 20% within the SH gene, with a maximum of 9% within the HN gene. The geographic and chronologic distributions of the 12 genotypes were summarised. This review contributes to our understanding of strain diversity for wild type MuV, and the results support the current WHO nomenclature.