A record of the geomagnetic field on the ground sometimes shows smooth daily variations on the order of a few tens of nano teslas. These daily variations, commonly known as Sq, are caused by electric currents of several μA/m^2 flowing on the sunlit side of the E-region ionosphere at about 90–150 km heights. We review advances in our understanding of the geomagnetic daily variation and its source ionospheric currents during the past 75 years. Observations and existing theories are first outlined as background knowledge for the non-specialist. Data analysis methods, such as spherical harmonic analysis, are then described in detail. Various aspects of the geomagnetic daily variation are discussed and interpreted using these results. Finally, remaining issues are highlighted to provide possible directions for future work.