## The Method of Free Hand Curve

The secular trend is measured by the method of the free-hand curve in the following steps:

• Take the time periods along $x$-axis by taking appropriate scaling
• Plot the points for observed values of the $Y$ variable as the dependent variable against the given time periods
• Join these plotted points by line segments to get a historigram
• Draw a free hand smooth curve (or a straight line) through the histogram

In this method we draw the given times series data on graph paper, then we draw a free hand trend line through the plotted graph according to the trend of the graph. Then we read trend values from this free-hand trend line.

It is generally preferred to use a curve instead of a straight line to show the secular trend.

Merits:

• The free-hand curve method is a simple, easy, and quick method for measuring secular trends.
• A well-fitted trend line (or curve) gives a close approximation to the trend based on a mathematical model.

Demerits:

• It is a rough and crude method.
• It is greatly affected by personal bias as different persons may fit different trends to the same data.
The estimates are not reliable due to personal bias.

Question: The following time series shows the number of road accidents in Punjab for the year 1972 to 1978.

• Obtain the historigram showing the number of road accidents and a free hand trend line by drawing a straight line
• Find the trend values for this time series

Solution: