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chi square (Χ

A widely-used non-parametric statistic for the analysis of nominal data (see measurement). significance tests employing chi square are of two main types:

(1) Comparisons of two empirical frequency distributions, such as the number of people in each of five separate ethnic categories in two city districts, to see if they are probably drawn from (i.e. are representative of) the same population. A significant difference between the two would imply that they are unlikely to be separate random samples from the same population, stimulating the conclusion that the two districts almost certainly have populations with different ethnic profiles.(2) An empirical frequency distribution is compared with another (which may be either theoretically- or empirically-derived) to identify the probability of the former being a random sample of the latter, as with the comparison of the age structure of one town in Wales to that of the total Welsh population. A significant difference between the two would indicate that the town\'s age structure is not the same as that of the entire country — i.e. the town is not a random sample of the country\'s population on that characteristic. (RJJ)Suggested Reading O\'Brien, L. 1992: Introducing quantitative geography: measurement, methods and generalised linear models. London and New York: Routledge. Walford, N. 1995: Geographical data analysis. Chichester and New York: John Wiley.



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