Social Studies 201

September 10, 2003


A. Examples of Sampling Error

1.  Probability statement from the polling agency Ipsos-Reid web site:


According to a new study conducted by Ipsos-Reid on behalf of the Scotiabank, Canadians with children 18 years of age and younger appear to be concerned about the costs that will face their children regarding post-secondary education.

In fact, more than eight in ten (85%) agree that “increases in tuition and lodging expenses for post-secondary education are a concern,” with 61% who strongly agree with this statement. As well, two-thirds (65% - 41% strongly agree) think that “the cost of a college or university education is putting it out of reach for my children.” Another six in ten (61% - 37% strongly agree) parents agree with the statement, “I don’t know how my children will be able to pay off their post-secondary education debt.”


These are the findings of an Ipsos-Reid poll conducted on behalf of Scotiabank between August 12th and August 21st, 2003. The poll is based on a randomly selected sample of 658 Canadians with children under the age of 18. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ± 3.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were statistically weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the 2001 Census data.


2. The following table gives the sampling error for the variable sex in the Survey of Student Attitudes and Experiences, Fall 1998.  The sample size was n = 712. 



Sex of Respondent

Percentage in Sample

Percentage in Population

Sampling Error




-2.4% points




2.4% points


B. Labour Force Survey, August 2003.  Saskatchewan and Canada.


                                                    Number of People in Thousands

                                                  SASKATCHEWAN           CANADA


Population aged 15 or over             755.8                          25,285.8        


Labour Force                                     531.8                          17,486.0


Employed                                           499.3                          16,048.7


            Full-time                                 413.3                          13,443.8

            Part-time                                  86.1                            2,604.9


Unemployed                                       32.5                            1,437.3


Not in Labour Force                          224.0                            7,799.8



Unemployment Rate (%)                      6.1                                    8.2


Participation Rate (%)                       70.4                                   69.1


Employment Rate (%)                        66.1                                  63.5



Calculation of rates for Saskatchewan:







Sources:  Government of Saskatchewan, Bureau of Statistics, Labour Force Statistics, September 8, 2003, from web site: 

and from Statistics Canada web site:  September 8, 2003.



Last edited September 12, 2003