Systematic Sampling

Loading the player...

What is 'Systematic Sampling'

Systematic sampling is a type of probability sampling method in which sample members from a larger population are selected according to a random starting point and a fixed, periodic interval. This interval, called the sampling interval, is calculated by dividing the population size by the desired sample size. Despite the sample population being selected in advance, systematic sampling is still thought of as being random, provided the periodic interval is determined beforehand and the starting point is random.

BREAKING DOWN 'Systematic Sampling'

Because simply random sampling can be inefficient and time-consuming, statisticians turn to other methods, such as systematic sampling. Choosing a sample size through a systematic approach can be done quickly. For example, if you wanted to select a random group of 1,000 people from a population of 50,000 using systematic sampling, you would simply select every 50th person, since 50,000/1,000 = 50.

One risk that statisticians must take into account when conducting systematic sampling involves how the list used with the sampling interval is organized. If the population placed on the list is organized in a cyclical pattern that matches the sampling interval, the selected sample may be biased. For example, a company’s human resources department wants to pick a sample of employees and ask how they feel about company policies. Employees are grouped in teams of 20, with each team headed by a manager. If the list used to pick the sample size is organized with teams clustered together, the statistician risks picking only managers (or no managers at all) depending on the sampling interval.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Sampling

    A process used in statistical analysis in which a predetermined ...
  2. Representative Sample

    A subset of a statistical population that accurately reflects ...
  3. Simple Random Sample

    A subset of a statistical population in which each member of ...
  4. Sample

    A subset containing the characteristics of a larger population. ...
  5. Sampling Distribution

    A probability distribution of a statistic obtained through a ...
  6. Sample Size Neglect

    Sample size neglect occurs when an individual infers too much ...
Related Articles
  1. Markets

    What is Systematic Sampling?

    Systematic sampling is similar to random sampling, but it uses a pattern for the selection of the sample.
  2. Markets

    How Does Sampling Work?

    Sampling is a term used in statistics that describes methods of selecting a pre-defined representative number of data from a larger data population.
  3. Markets

    What is a Representative Sample?

    In statistics, a representative sample accurately represents the make-up of various subgroups in an entire data pool.
  4. Markets

    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.
  5. Investing

    Explaining Standard Error

    Standard error is a statistical term that measures the accuracy with which a sample represents a population.
  6. Markets

    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 subgroup’s ...
  7. Markets

    Explaining the Central Limit Theorem

    Central limit theorem is a fundamental concept in probability theory.
  8. Retirement

    Birch Box Review: Is It Worth It?

    Learn more about the convenience of the subscription beauty box industry, and discover why the Birchbox company in particular has become so popular.
  9. Trading

    Hypothesis Testing in Finance: Concept & Examples

    When you're indecisive about an investment, the best way to keep a cool head might be test various hypotheses using the most relevant statistics.
  10. Investing

    Using Historical Volatility To Gauge Future Risk

    Use these calculations to uncover the risk involved in your investments.
RELATED FAQS
  1. 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 >>
  2. When is it better to use systematic over simple random sampling?

    Learn when systematic sampling is better than simple random sampling, such as in the absence of data patterns and when there ... Read Answer >>
  3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using systematic sampling?

    Learn about the primary advantages and disadvantages of using a systematic sampling method when conducting research of a ... Read Answer >>
  4. 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 >>
  5. What's the difference between a representative sample and a random sample?

    Explore the differences between representative samples and random samples, and discover how they are often used in tandem ... Read Answer >>
  6. What are the best selection methods for creating a simple random sample?

    Discover some of the methods that researchers and pollsters utilize to select a simple random sample from a population group ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Duration

    A measure of the sensitivity of the price (the value of principal) of a fixed-income investment to a change in interest rates. ...
  2. Dove

    An economic policy advisor who promotes monetary policies that involve the maintenance of low interest rates, believing that ...
  3. Cyclical Stock

    An equity security whose price is affected by ups and downs in the overall economy. Cyclical stocks typically relate to companies ...
  4. Front Running

    The unethical practice of a broker trading an equity based on information from the analyst department before his or her clients ...
  5. After-Hours Trading - AHT

    Trading after regular trading hours on the major exchanges. The increasing popularity of electronic communication networks ...
  6. Omnibus Account

    An account between two futures merchants (brokers). It involves the transaction of individual accounts which are combined ...
Trading Center