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What is a stat?

Updated: 12/21/2022
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11y ago

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A stat or statistic is any mathematical function of measurements of some feature of a sample.

A sample is a selection of individuals that seem to represent the whole population from which the selection was taken. For example, if I have a list of all of the people living in Mumbai, India at this point in time I could select every 1000th name and that would form a sample of the people in that city. Now I could measure the weight in kilograms of each person in the sample.

There are many statistics I could calculate for this sample. Here are just a few:

1. I could find the smallest and largest. Each of these would be a statistic.

2. I could take the difference between the largest and the smallest. This would be a statistic.

3. I could calculate the average of the weights. This would be a statistic.

4. I could look for the commonest (most frequently observed) weight, known as the mode. This would be a statistic.

"Stat" is also a term used colloquially to men "immediately."

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