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SAMPLING ERROR

Statistics Directorate    
French Equivalent: Erreur de sondage

Definition:
That part of the difference between a population value and an estimate thereof, derived from a random sample, which is due to the fact that only a sample of values is observed; as distinct from errors due to imperfect selection, bias in response or estimation, errors of observation and recording, etc.

The totality of sampling errors in all possible samples of the same size generates the sampling distribution of the statistic which is being used to estimate the parent value.

Context:
Sampling errors arise from the fact that not all units of the targeted population are enumerated, but only a sample of them. Therefore, the information collected on the units in the sample may not perfectly reflect the information which could have been collected on the whole population. The difference is the sampling error (Eurostat, Quality Glossary).

Source Publication:
The International Statistical Institute, “The Oxford Dictionary of Statistical Terms”, edited by Yadolah Dodge, Oxford University Press, 2003.

Cross References:
Non-sampling error

Statistical Theme: Methodological information (metadata)

Glossary Output Segments:
SDMX

Created on Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Last updated on Thursday, August 11, 2005