The need for accurate information in order to make informed decisions has been emphasized throughout this online publication (refer to the sections on Data, information and statistics). Statistics are an important type of information and statistical agencies play an important part in the production of such information. In order to do this, the agencies rely on censuses, sample surveys and the use of administration records. These three sources, along with their advantages and disadvantages, have been explained in detail in the Data collection chapter. The following sections focus on sampling and will also cover the process used to take information gathered from a sample and extend it to the whole population. This process is called estimation.
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