Statistical Word of the Week

May 21, 2013

Week #21 - Consistent Estimator

An estimator is a measure or metric intended to be calculated from a sample drawn from a larger population...

A consistent estimator is an estimator with the property that the probability of the estimated value and the true value of the population parameter not lying within c units (c is any arbitrary positive constant) of each other approaches zero as the sample size tends to infinity.  For example, consider a population mean of 10 and an interval of 1 unit either side -- the interval from 9 to 11.  As samples get larger, the probability that the sample mean will fall outside that interval diminishes, and approaches zero when the sample gets large enough.  For a smaller interval, it takes longer for the probability to approach zero.

Promoting better understanding of statistics throughout the world.

The Institute for Statistics Education offers an extensive glossary of statistical terms, available to all for reference and research. We will provide a statistical term every week, delivered directly to your inbox. To improve your own statistical knowledge, sign up here.

Rather not have more email?  Bookmark our "Stats Word of the Week" page.

Want to be notified of future courses?

Student comments