Use .corr to get the correlation between two columns

I have the following pandas dataframe Top15: enter image description here

I create a column that estimates the number of citable documents per person:

    Top15['PopEst'] = Top15['Energy Supply'] / Top15['Energy Supply per Capita']
    Top15['Citable docs per Capita'] = Top15['Citable documents'] / Top15['PopEst']

I want to know the correlation between the number of citable documents per capita and the energy supply per capita. So I use the .corr() method (Pearson's correlation):

    data = Top15[['Citable docs per Capita','Energy Supply per Capita']]
    correlation = data.corr(method='pearson')

I want to return a single number, but the result is: enter image description here

Without actual data it is hard to answer the question but I guess you are looking for something like this:

    Top15['Citable docs per Capita'].corr(Top15['Energy Supply per Capita'])

That calculates the correlation between your two columns 'Citable docs per Capita' and 'Energy Supply per Capita'.

To give an example:

    import pandas as pd

    df = pd.DataFrame({'A': range(4), 'B': [2*i for i in range(4)]})

       A  B
    0  0  0
    1  1  2
    2  2  4
    3  3  6



gives 1 as expected.

Now, if you change a value, e.g.

    df.loc[2, 'B'] = 4.5

       A    B
    0  0  0.0
    1  1  2.0
    2  2  4.5
    3  3  6.0

the command




which is still close to 1, as expected.

If you apply .corr directly to your dataframe, it will return all pairwise correlations between your columns; that's why you then observe 1s at the diagonal of your matrix (each column is perfectly correlated with itself).


will therefore return

              A         B
    A  1.000000  0.995862
    B  0.995862  1.000000

In the graphic you show, only the upper left corner of the correlation matrix is represented (I assume).

There can be cases, where you get NaNs in your solution - check this post for an example.

If you want to filter entries above/below a certain threshold, you can check this question. If you want to plot a heatmap of the correlation coefficients, you can check this answer and if you then run into the issue with overlapping axis-labels check the following post.


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