What is statistics

Definition of Statistics for Beginners - Basics of Statistics

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  • Statistics for Beginners - Basics of Statistics

In the best case scenario, statistics should reveal and explain phenomena. In order to better understand statistics themselves, it takes a handful of relevant terms to become familiar with. We will now introduce you to the most important definitions, explained using catchy examples. Rest assured: you don't have to study statistics to understand the explanations. Everything is kept in the simple environment of the four basic arithmetic operations. Of course, this introduction contains simplifications and leaves things aside that are interesting for the specialist, but not relevant for the interested new statistician. If you want to find out more details, you can find more detailed information in our statistics lexicon.


The population represents the amount of people (or objects) you want to find out about. At first glance, that sounds easier than it is. For example, when it says “all Germans”, it doesn't usually mean “all Germans”. Because that would be, in the broadest sense, all German citizens. Regardless of age (including babies) and regardless of place of residence (including an emigrant in the Australian bush with a German passport). Strictly speaking, property, place and time should actually be described if you want to specify a population - because nationalities can also change. So something like this: "All persons older than 18 years who had a German passport in January 2008 and were registered with their main residence in Germany". However, very few have an interest in being that precise - in simplified terms, it usually means “Germans, from 18 years of age”. In many cases, this also includes the residents of the region mentioned who have another citizenship.

Continue with "Definition of the sample".

Please note that the individual definitions in our statistics lexicon are simplified explanations. The aim here is to bring the individual terms closer to the broadest possible user group. In this respect, it is possible that individual definitions do not fully correspond to scientific standards.