Glossary of Statistical Terms: Definition Empirical probability

The empirical probability or relative frequency indicates the percentage of statistical units in a sample, who have indicated 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 had stated their affiliation as Republican, the relative frequency of that variable ('Republican') would be 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.

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