Definition of Population:

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Population can be defined as a complete set of elements that share a common characteristic that is defined by the sampling criteria that is determined by a researcher.

Overview: What is a population?

Population can be defined as a complete set of elements that share a common characteristic that is defined by the sampling criteria that is determined by a researcher.

3 drawbacks of populations

There are some significant drawbacks when working with populations:

1. Data gathering

Sometimes, gathering data on an entire population is impossible, too costly, or impractical.

2. Sampling issues

When sampling a population, there is significant room for error.

3. Variance

There can potentially be too much variance in a population to pull relevant data from.

Why are populations important to understand?

For the following reasons, you should understand how populations work:

1. Sustainability

It is important to understand populations, as it is impossible to sustain business without a stable population.

2. Production and distribution

Population has a massive effect on the means of production and distribution and is therefore worth having a working understanding of.

3. Sampling

Having a knowledge of populations and how they work is important if you hope to take statistically powerful samples.

An industry example of a population

A company is considering the launch of a new product. Researchers decide to conduct a sample survey of the entire population of their customer base in order to gauge consumer interest.

3 best practices when thinking about populations

Here are some practices to consider when thinking about populations:

1. Recognize the differences between populations and samples


  • Collection of all units that contain common characteristics
  • Includes each element of a group
  • Contains parameter as a characteristic
  • Data is collected by complete enumeration
  • Focus is on identification of the characteristics


  • It is a subgroup of the population
  • Only includes a handful of the whole population
  • Contains statistics as a characteristic
  • Data is collected on it by a sample survey
  • Focus is on making inferences about the population

2. Avoid allocating resources toward monitoring an entire population

Unless it is absolutely necessary, focus on sampling as opposed to an entire population.

3. Engage in routine population analysis

Engaging in routine population analysis helps you spot the need for improvement and can aid in the forecasting of trends.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about population

1. What are the two groups in a population?

The two groups in a population are the target population and the accessible population.

2. What is population sampling?

It is a sampling technique that involves examining an entire or subset of a population that has a certain set of characteristics.

3. What is the mean population?

It is the average of a group characteristic.

4. What are the types of populations in economics?

There are four kinds of populations in economics:

  • Finite population
  • Infinite population
  • Existent population
  • Hypothetical population

Populations and sampling

A sampling of a population can be a powerful way to decide on the direction of your company in order to best serve your customers.

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