Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Population Standard Deviation
Name: Babu
Status: other
Age: 20s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2000-2001


What do you mean by Population Standard Deviation?

I believe you are referring to the above address?

Let me refer to the explaining given at this address.


Population standard deviation, in a statistical sense, deals with the amount of variation one would expect to see in a population, for some given attribute. To determine the actual standard deviation for a population, you would have to sample each individual member of a population for the specific trait you are investigating. Naturally, this would be a timely and expensive process. Instead, we make approximations of a population's standard deviation by sampling that population and then making predictions about the population , based upon the sample, but recognizing there is some amount of inherent error in our prediction. We can reduce the inherent error by increasing the sample size, but we never really can arrive at the actual population standard deviation without sampling the entire population. For normal circumstances, our approximation of the population standard deviation serves our purposes.

Thanks for using NEWTON!

Ric Rupnik

Click here to return to the Zoology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory