Probability and Statistics

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This article/section deals with mathematical concepts appropriate for a student in late high school or early university.

Variance is a measure in statistics of the dispersion of a set of values (represented as ). It is defined as

where the expected value of X is E(X).


The formula for variance must not be confused with the formula

which is the formula for a point estimate of the true variance from a sample of size n. As such this estimator itself has a variance which, as the formula indicates, decreases as the sample size increases.