What’s the difference between a point estimate and an interval estimate?

Using descriptive and inferential statistics, you can make two types of estimates about the population: point estimates and interval estimates.

  • A point estimate is a single value estimate of a parameter. For instance, a sample mean is a point estimate of a population mean.
  • An interval estimate gives you a range of values where the parameter is expected to lie. A confidence interval is the most common type of interval estimate.

Both types of estimates are important for gathering a clear idea of where a parameter is likely to lie.