I have a list of numbers in Python, like this:

```
x = [12, 34, 29, 38, 34, 51, 29, 34, 47, 34, 55, 94, 68, 81]
```

What's the best way to find the trend in these numbers? I'm not interested in predicting what the next number will be, I just want to output the trend for many sets of numbers so that I can compare the trends.

**Edit:** By trend, I mean that I'd like a numerical representation of whether the numbers are increasing or decreasing and at what rate. I'm not massively mathematical, so there's probably a proper name for this!

**Edit 2:** It looks like what I really want is the co-efficient of the linear best fit. What's the best way to get this in Python?

## Best Solution

Possibly you mean you want to plot these numbers on a graph and find a straight line through them where the overall distance between the line and the numbers is minimized? This is called a linear regression

The trend line is unlikely to pass through your original points, but it will be as close as possible to the original points that a straight line can get. Using the gradient and intercept values of this trend line (a,b) you will be able to extrapolate the line past the end of the array: