Sampling Error

In statistics, sampling error is incurred when the statistical characteristics of a population are estimated from a subset, or sample, of that population. Since the sample does not include all members of the population, statistics on the sample, such as means and quantiles, generally differ from parameters on the entire population. For example, if one measures the height of a thousand individuals from a country of one million, the average height of the thousand is typically not the same as the average height of all one million people in the country. Since sampling is typically done to determine the characteristics of a whole population, the difference between the sample and population values is considered a sampling error Exact measurement of sampling error is generally not feasible since the true population values are unknown; however, sampling error can often be estimated by probabilistic modeling of the sample.

Famous quotes containing the word error:

    It is the very error of the moon,
    She comes more near the earth than she was wont,
    And makes men mad.
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)