We reviewed the epidemiology, clinical characteristics, disease severity, and economic burden of influenza B as reported in the peer-reviewed published literature. We used MEDLINE to perform a systematic literature review of peer-reviewed, English-language literature published between 1995 and 2010. Widely variable frequency data were reported. Clinical presentation of influenza B was similar to that of influenza A, although we observed conflicting reports. Influenza B-specific data on hospitalization rates, length of stay, and economic outcomes were limited but demonstrated that the burden of influenza B can be significant. The medical literature demonstrates that influenza B can pose a significant burden to the global population. The comprehensiveness and quality of reporting on influenza B, however, could be substantially improved. Few articles described complications. Additional data regarding the incidence, clinical burden, and economic impact of influenza B would augment our understanding of the disease and assist in vaccine development.