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A parameter is a numerical quantity or attribute of a population that is estimated using data collected from the population. Parameters are to populations as statistics are to samples. For example, in survey research, the true proportion of voters who vote for a presidential candidate in the next national election may be of interest. Such a parameter may be estimated using a sample proportion computed from data gathered via a probability sample of registered voters. Or, the actual annual average household “out-of-pocket” medical expenses for a given year (parameter) could be estimated from data provided by the Medical Expenditures Survey. Or, the modal race of students within a particular school is an example of an attribute parameter that could be estimated using data acquired via ...

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