Definition Empirical probability

The empirical probability (or relative frequency) is defined as the percentage of statistical units in a sample indicating a specific characteristic value or variable. Relative frequency is therefore expressed in percent.

If, in a survey about political affiliation, 50 out of 1,000 respondents state their affiliation as Republican, the relative frequency of that variable ("Republican") is 5% (= 50 divided by 1,000). 

Please note that the definitions in our statistics encyclopedia are simplified explanations of terms. Our goal is to make the definitions accessible for a broad audience; thus it is possible that some definitions do not adhere entirely to scientific standards.