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Difficulties of identifying and counting nomads

Data on nomad populations is seldom collected. But what does the term nomad actually mean? Defining it is a complex matter. Does it refer to the number of moves a population makes? Are nomadic populations to be identified in terms of a particular housing type (mobile) or lifestyle? The meaning of the word varies depending on the national statistics office using it. And though censuses include nomads, they do not necessarily inform us on changes in their number over time. It is also difficult to count all nomads. Are their numbers therefore underestimated? Moreover, nomads are seldom asked to participate in surveys.

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