representative sample
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Representative Sample: What is it? How to find it?

When performing market research, it is neither practical nor realistic to interview or survey every person in your target audience. Nevertheless, you still require survey data that precisely depicts the opinions, convictions, or behavior of that larger group. So what can you do?

Here, the concept of a representative sample is applied. Let us take a look at representative sample definition and how it can be used.

What Is A Representative Sample?

One method for gathering information and observations on a targeted population group is to employ a representative sample.

A representative sample is a small subgroup of people that aims to fairly reflect certain traits that are typical of the target population.

Although representative samples can be the most challenging to gather, they frequently produce the finest findings.

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Representative Sample Examples

Let us now understand representative samples in a better way by looking into an example.

A subset of a population that aims to correctly reflect the traits of the larger group is called a representative sample. A representative sample of 8 students— 4 males and 4 females—might be drawn from a class of 40 pupils, 20 of whom are male and 20 female.

Hence, the sample of 8 students including 4 males and 4 females is the representative sample of the entire class of 40 students.

How Do You Take A Representative Sample?

The sampling technique employed might depend on a number of factors. The ideal option for sampling analysis is often to use representative samples, as it is expected that they will yield results and observations that closely mirror the population as a whole.

If a sample is not representative, it may be referred to as a random sample. Even though random sampling is a simpler sample method, it has a larger likelihood of sampling error, which could lead to unreliable results or expensive strategies.

A random sample’s components may be chosen totally at random, such as by selecting names at random from a list. To use the classroom as an example once more, a random sample might have six male students.Another sampling technique that aims to systematize its components is systematic sampling. This kind of sampling can entail selecting each person on a population list at random once every fifth person.

Despite the systematic approach taken by this procedure, a random sample is still likely to be obtained.

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What Are The Two Types Of Representative Samples?

The process of creating a representative sample is fairly simple, but there are a few factors to take into account. One of these is the size of the population or groups you want to study and how this will affect how big the sample group needs to be in order to accurately reflect the opinions of the larger group.

However, there are other factors to take into account when creating a representative sample in addition to the group’s size.

For instance, you could wish to find out the socioeconomic status of your sample if you were conducting research on how the global financial crisis affected middle-class and low-income households. By excluding the highest earners (or high-income families) from your survey, you can guarantee that the sample you receive is accurate and reflective of your target market.

It’s crucial that the characteristics of your sample match those of the entire population.

Now, you can use one of two sampling techniques to create a representative sample.

Probability Sampling

Probability sampling is the process of selecting a sample from a population when the selection is based on the randomization principle, often known as chance or random selection.

In general, probability sampling is more difficult, time-consuming, and expensive than non-probability sampling.

Non- Probability Sampling

A subjective (i.e., non-random) way of selecting units from a population is known as non-probability sampling.

Non-probability sampling is a quick, simple, and affordable method of collecting data because it doesn’t call for a whole survey frame.

Why Is Representative Sample Important?

For market research, it’s crucial to create a representative sample in order to ensure that you collect reliable data and audience insights that can help you make better decisions or streamline procedures.

You cannot be certain that your study data will accurately reflect the opinions or actions of the people you are trying to better understand without using a representative sample.

A representative sample will guarantee you achieve high levels of accuracy and prevent sampling errors. The most accurate data will always come from your target audience.

Here are some key reasons why it is important:

It's useful and effective

It is the use of a smaller group of individuals to comprehend a much bigger population and obtain precise insights without incurring the expenditures and administration of surveying the full population.

It produces a good return on investment

Getting the viewpoint of the audience who will be impacted by your company’s decisions is the only way to ensure that they will result in improvements.

You may target the proper audience and gain insights that will help you improve your products, services, and business procedures by using representative sampling.

It aids in making sensible choices

You can’t be certain that the selections you’re making are advantageous to your organization unless you have a sample that is representative of your target audience.

Samples must be carefully chosen to ensure that they will appeal to your larger audience.

It aids in preventing sampling error

As we’ve already discussed, you can’t be certain that the data you’re gathering is reliable or pertinent to what you’re trying to learn unless you make sure your sample is representative.

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What Is a Non-Representative Sample?

A sample might be referred to as a random sample if it is not representative.

Even though random sampling is a more straightforward sample technique, it carries a higher chance of sampling error, which could result in inaccurate findings or expensive tactics.

Difference Between Representative And Non-Representative Sample

Each important population subgroup is represented by an equal number of selections in a representative sample. The sample’s group sizes are distributed in a manner similar to those of the overall population.

Usually, a random or pseudo-random number generator is used to generate the selections for a random sample, but other traditional randomization methods like a coin flip, dice rolls, drawing from a deck of shuffled cards, or picking numbered balls or paper slips out of a well-mixed container would also be acceptable.

The two kinds of sampling are not exclusive of one another; therefore, a population sample can be both representative and random.

Wrapping Up

n order to get the most out of surveys and support your goals for market research, customer experience, and other business objectives, representative sampling can be a crucial component.

Your research studies will become more effective and useful while still providing insightful information that significantly improves company decisions by utilizing representative sample approaches.

You can improve the reliability of your findings, the validity of your research (making you gradually the go-to source for practical insights), and the usability of the insights you obtain through representative sampling.

You can then make strong foundations for the plans or projects you want to implement in the future using all the information you gather.


What is the best representative sample?

Simple random sampling is the best option if probability sampling will be used to generate a representative sample.

Since the sample is chosen at random, every member of the population will have an equal chance of being chosen and included in the sample group.

What are the two ways to create a representative sample?

Researchers can construct representative samples using one of two current methods. Both types of sampling are based on probability.

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