DEFINITION of 'Population'

The entire pool from which a statistical sample is drawn. The information obtained from the sample allows statisticians to develop hypotheses about the larger population. Researchers gather information from a sample because of the difficulty of studying the entire population. In statistical equations, population is usually denoted with a capital 'N', while the sample is usually denoted with a lowercase 'n'.

BREAKING DOWN 'Population'

For example, let's say a denim apparel manufacturer wants to check the quality of the stitching on its blue jeans before shipping them off to retail stores. It is not cost effective to examine every single pair of blue jeans the manufacturer produces (the population). Instead, the manufacturer looks at just 50 pairs (a sample) to draw a conclusion about whether all 500 pairs of jeans produced (the population) are likely to have been stitched correctly.

  1. Uniform Distribution

    In statistics, a type of probability distribution in which all ...
  2. Symmetrical Distribution

    A situation in which the values of variables occur at regular ...
  3. Negative Correlation

    A relationship between two variables in which one variable increases ...
  4. Positive Correlation

    A relationship between two variables in which both variables ...
  5. Simple Random Sample

    A subset of a statistical population in which each member of ...
  6. Probability Distribution

    A statistical function that describes all the possible values ...
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  1. What assumptions are made when conducting a t-test?

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  2. How might a company use demographics to assess the size of a potential market?

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  3. What can demographics tell us about present and future consumption trends and economic ...

    Demographics gives insight into future population growth, which can reveal present and future consumption trends and economic ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How does stratified random sampling influence government policy decisions?

    Governments use various analytical techniques to examine the potential costs and benefits of policy options. One of those ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What are some of the uses of the coefficient of variation (COV)?

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  6. What is the difference between systematic sampling and cluster sampling?

    Systematic sampling and cluster sampling differ in how they pull sample points from the population included in the sample. ... Read Full Answer >>
  7. How can I use systematic sampling in finance?

    Systematic sampling is useful in finance for situations where it is impractical to review the entire population for certain ... Read Full Answer >>
  8. What are the best selection methods for creating a simple random sample?

    The best selection methods for selecting a simple random sample are the lottery method, using a random number table or having ... Read Full Answer >>
  9. What are the disadvantages of using a simple random sample to approximate a larger ...

    Simple random sampling statistically measures a subset of individuals selected from a larger group or population to approximate ... Read Full Answer >>
  10. What is the difference between a simple random sample and a stratified random sample?

    Simple random samples and stratified random samples differ in how the sample is drawn from the overall population of data. ... Read Full Answer >>
  11. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using systematic sampling?

    As a statistical sampling method, systematic sampling is simpler and more straightforward than random sampling. It can also ... Read Full Answer >>
  12. What are the advantages and disadvantages of stratified random sampling?

    Researchers use stratified random sampling to obtain a sample population that best represents the entire population being ... Read Full Answer >>
  13. What are some examples of stratified random sampling?

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