19  Population Distributions

In statistics, we use the phrase population to refer to the group of folks/organizations/countries we are interested in studying. The population does not necessarily imply that we are talking about all of the countries in the world or all of the citizens in a given jurisdiction. It really is just the group of interest.

For example, say that I am interested in studying Black Americans’ political attitudes on federal taxes. My population of interest would not include non-Black Americans. Another example would be that if I wanted to understand the voting intentions for American voters, my population does not include every American as there are a number of disenfranchised populations that are not allowed to vote. If I want to examine whether the EU decreased interstate conflict between those countries, I would not include countries outside of the EU in my analysis.

19.1 Population distribution