Sampling error

The error caused because data are collected from part of a population rather than the whole population.

An estimate of a population parameter, such as a sample mean or sample proportion, is different for different samples (of the same size) taken from the population. Sampling error is one of two reasons for the difference between an estimate and the true, but unknown, value of the population parameter. The other reason is non-sampling error.

The error for a given sample is unknown but when sampling is random, the size of the sampling error can be estimated by calculating the margin of error.

See: margin of error, non-sampling error

Curriculum achievement objectives references
Statistical investigation: Levels (5), (6), (7), (8)
Statistical literacy: Levels 7, (8)