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Homogeneous  (HOMOGENEOUS)

The relative frequency (133-5) of an event is often regarded as the probability1 of occurrence of that event. If this is done, all the individuals who appear in the denominator must have been exposed to risk3 in some way, i. e., there must have been a chance2 or risk2 that the event in question could happen to them. The use of the term "risk" or "chance" does not imply that the event in question is in any way unwanted — thus the term "risk of marriage" is used. The population is often divided into different sub-groups, in which the risk of the event in question is less variable between individuals than in the population as a whole; the subgroup is more homogeneous4 with respect to the risk than the relatively heterogeneous5 whole population. Rates calculated for such sub-groups are called specific rates6, as opposed to general rates7 or crude rates (135-8) which apply to the population as a whole.

  • 1. probability n. — probable adj.
  • 4. homogeneous adj. — homogeneity n.
  • 5. heterogeneous adj. — heterogeneity n.