A nomad (Greek: νομάδες, nomádes, "those who let pasture herds"), commonly known as an itinerant in modern-day contexts, is a member of a community of people who move from one place to another, rather than settling permanently in one location. There are an estimated 30-40 million nomads in the world.
Many cultures have traditionally been nomadic, but traditional nomadic behavior is increasingly rare in industrialized countries. Nomadic cultures are discussed in three categories according to economic specialization:hunter-gatherers, pastoral nomads, and "peripatetic nomads".
Nomadic hunting and gathering, following seasonally available wild plants and game, is by far the oldest human subsistence method. Pastoralists raise herds, driving them or moving with them, in patterns that normally avoid depleting pastures beyond their ability to recover. Peripatetic nomads, who offer the skills of a craft or trade to those with whom they travel, are most common in industrialized nations.
Many groups of 'nomadic' hunter-gatherers (also known as foragers) moved from campsite to campsite, following game and wild fruits and vegetables. Hunting and gathering was the ancestral subsistence mode of Homo, and all modern humans were hunter-gatherers until around 10,000 years ago.
Following the development of agriculture, hunter-gatherers were displaced by farming or pastoralist groups in most parts of the world. Only a few contemporary societies are classified as hunter-gatherers, and many supplement, sometimes extensively, their foraging activity with farming and/or keeping animals.