The area of statistics that focuses on taking information from samples of a population, in order to derive information on the entire population.

Statistical inference makes propositions about a population using data sampled from the population. To test a hypothesis about a population, a typical workflow is to select a statistical model of the process that generates the data and then deduce propositions from the model.

Statistical propositions include—

  • a point estimate, which is a particular value that best approximates some parameter of interest,

  • an interval estimate, for example, a confidence interval (or set estimate), which is an interval constructed using a data set drawn from a population so that, under repeated sampling of such data sets, such intervals would contain the true parameter value with the probability at the stated confidence level,

  • a credible interval, which is a set of values containing, for example, 95% of posterior belief,

  • rejection of a hypothesis, or

  • clustering or classification of data points into groups.