What is 'Population'
Population is 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.

Sampling
A process used in statistical analysis in which a predetermined ... 
Sampling Error
A statistical error to which an analyst exposes a model simply ... 
Sampling Distribution
A probability distribution of a statistic obtained through a ... 
Sample
A subset containing the characteristics of a larger population. ... 
Systematic Sampling
A type of probability sampling method in which sample members ... 
Central Limit Theorem  CLT
A statistical theory that states that given a sufficiently large ...

Fundamental Analysis
How Does Sampling Work?
Sampling is a term used in statistics that describes methods of selecting a predefined representative number of data from a larger data population. 
Professionals
Sampling and Estimation
CFA Level 1  Sampling and Estimation sampling error, in depth information on confidence intervals and tdistributions 
Fundamental Analysis
Explaining Standard Error
Standard error is a statistical term that measures the accuracy with which a sample represents a population. 
Economics
What is Systematic Sampling?
Systematic sampling is similar to random sampling, but it uses a pattern for the selection of the sample. 
Fundamental Analysis
Understanding the Simple Random Sample
A simple random sample is a subset of a statistical population in which each member of the subset has an equal probability of being chosen. 
Fundamental Analysis
What is a Representative Sample?
In statistics, a representative sample accurately represents the makeup of various subgroups in an entire data pool. 
Fundamental Analysis
Explaining the Central Limit Theorem
Central limit theorem is a fundamental concept in probability theory. 
Investing
How to Use Stratified Random Sampling
Stratified random sampling is a technique best used with a sample population easily broken into distinct subgroups. Samples are then taken from each subgroup based on the ratio of the subgroupâ€™s ... 
Professionals
Interpreting Statistical Results
CFA Level 1  Test Statistics and Interpreting Results 
Professionals
Statistical Concepts And Market Returns
CFA Level 1  Statistical Concepts And Market Returns  Basics

How can a representative sample lead to sampling bias?
Learn how using representative samples alone is not enough to make sampling bias negligible and why elements such as randomization ... Read Answer >> 
What's the difference between a representative sample and a convenience sample?
Learn the difference between convenience sampling and representative sampling and the advantages and disadvantages of each ... Read Answer >> 
What is the difference between systematic sampling and cluster sampling?
Learn about the differences between systematic sampling and cluster sampling, including how the samples are created for each ... Read Answer >> 
What percentage of the population do you need in a representative sample?
Learn about representative samples and how they are used in conjunction with other strategies to create useful data with ... Read Answer >> 
What are the advantages of using a simple random sample to study a larger population?
Learn how simple random sampling works and what advantages it offers over other sampling methods when selecting a research ... Read Answer >> 
How do researchers ensure that a simple random sample is an accurate representation ...
Learn which methods researchers employ to ensure that a simple random sample best approximates the larger population being ... Read Answer >>