Video: Collecting Data from a Sample vs. a Whole Population

A study claims that 96% of people aged 16 to 24 in a certain country own a smart phone. Is this a sample statistic or a population characteristic?

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Video Transcript

A study claims that 96 percent of people aged 16 to 24 in a certain country own a smart phone. Is this a sample statistic or a population characteristic?

We recall that a population includes all the elements from a data set. In this question, this would be all the people aged 16 to 24 in a country. A sample, on the other hand, consists of one or more observations drawn from the population. Due to the constraints of time and money, it would be very difficult to ask every 16- to 24-year-old in a country. Typically, this would only happen when conducting a census. This means that the 96 percent that the study claims must be based on a sample of the population. The correct answer is therefore a sample statistic.

Any study of this type will not be able to ask the entire population but instead will focus on a sample. This sample could have been obtained using a variety of methods. Random sampling, systematic sampling, or stratified sampling are examples of this.

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