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Lets make my scenario not generic just so that i could use particular terms

Say i have a graph of population per year of someplace over some decades

Lets say the graph is like this

  • How can i calculate expected\estimated population next year and son on and so forth
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Do you mean like doing a linear regression of the data points to determine a slope covering all the data points or something else? Could you quantify how you'd measure "speed of growth of the graph as a whole"? – JB King Mar 18 '13 at 18:11

The link doesn't work for me, but your first stop should be linear regression. If you take the logarithm of the population you will be looking for an exponential increase-a fixed percentage change per year instead of a fixed number change per year. This is probably a better fit. Any numerical analysis text will have a chapter on this, or you can get Excel to do it. Graph the data as a scatter plot, right click on the graph, choose Add Trendline, and pick the kind of trendline you want.

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