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Population Definition and Quiz

It's infeasible or expensive to fully understand the population, so we sample.
  1. Define - Define the term Population for Finance.
  2. Context - Use Population in a sentence.
  3. Quiz - Test yourself.
face pic by Paul Alan Davis, CFA
Updated: February 18, 2021
Spreadsheets offer statistical calculations for samples and populations, learn when to each them below.

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Understanding Populations in Financial Studies


Population is a statistical term referring to the whole set of data to be studied. In Finance, the population is rarely known so sampling techniques are used to make a best guess about a population.

Synonym: universe

For context, and as an example, Excel's standard deviation function is one in which sample and population calculations differ. The function =STDEV.S() is for samples and =STDEV.P() is for populations.

The general rule for when to select samples or populations is whether you can measure all values. A census is an example of a survey that attempts to collect all items in a population.

In a Sentence

Eve:  The distribution of P/E ratios for this population is skewed, thanks to Amazon's lack of earnings.
Pam:  Yeah, everything is a value at Amazon, except its stock.


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A sample is to a population as a class is to a school. | True or False?


When the sample size is large, the difference between a sample and a population is larger. | True or False?

False. Dividing by n - 1 has less impact when n is large.

Learn More About The Glossary

Still unclear on the term Population for investments. Check out the Quant 101 Series of free financial modeling tutorials.

Related Terms

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/ factorpad.com / fin / glossary / population.html

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