Staphylococcus aureus is a medically important pathogen that is often acquired from hospital settings (nosocomial) as well as from the community (community acquired). Bacteria that reside in anterior nares of hosts serve as reservoirs for both the spread of the pathogen and predispose the host to subsequent infections. Here, we will review the extent and variability of nasal carriage, and the possible causative factors--both from the host and the bacterium. We also discuss the existing molecular typing techniques used for studying variations among strains of S. aureus. Finally, we discuss the possible areas of studies that are open in this field. Given the pathogen's importance in healthcare setting, such areas of study vary vastly, from fundamental research to applied medical care and use of alternative medical regimes for control of S. aureus nasal carriage. Unsurprisingly, our conclusions also underscore the importance of making policy decisions based on local ethnic and socioeconomic population structure.