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Proportion

  • In: Encyclopedia of Epidemiology
  • Edited by: Sarah Boslaugh
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Health Research Methods , Epidemiology & Biostatistics

The proportion is a statistic that is used to describe how much of a population has a particular characteristic or attribute and is usually expressed as a fraction or decimal. The defining characteristic of the proportion, as distinct from the ratio, is that every individual in the numerator of a proportion is also included in the denominator. Consider a population in which each member either has or does not have a specified attribute. The population proportion is the percentage (or rate) of the entire population that has the specified attribute. For examples, we might be interested in the proportion of U.S. adults who have health insurance or in comparing the proportions of prevalence of CF antibody to Para influenza I virus among boys and girls ...

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