What is the difference between the sample mean and the population mean?

1 Answer
Jun 17, 2015

Also, population means are parameters while sample means are statistics.


Parameters are fixed, but usually unknown, numbers that describe a population.

In an abstract sense, statistics are really (random) variables. Their values vary as different random samples are taken. Once we take a random sample and compute a statistic, we say that we have "observed a value" of the statistic.

Statistics have sampling distributions which describe, in a probabilistic way, how their observed values vary over many many random samples of the same size from the same population.