Image: Bar graph
Image: Bar graph

Bar graphs are the pictorial representation of data (generally grouped), in the form of vertical or horizontal rectangular bars, where the length of bars is proportional to the measure of data. They are also known as bar charts. Bar graphs are one of the means of data handling in statistics. Edureify has all the important information about the bar graph covered in detail.


The collection, presentation, analysis, organization, and interpretation of observations of data are known as statistics. The statistical data can be represented by various methods such as tables, bar graphs, pie charts, histograms, frequency polygons, etc. In this article, let us discuss what is a bar chart, different types of bar graphs, uses, and solved examples.


Types of Bar Graphs

The bar graphs can be vertical or horizontal. The primary feature of any bar graph is its length or height. If the length of the bar graph is more, then the values are greater than any given data.


Bar graphs normally show categorical and numeric variables arranged in class intervals. They consist of an axis and a series of labeled horizontal or vertical bars. The bars represent frequencies of distinctive values of a variable or commonly the distinct values themselves. The number of values on the x-axis of a bar graph or the y-axis of a column graph is called the scale.


The types of bar charts are as follows:

  • Vertical bar chart
  • Horizontal bar chart


Even though the graph can be plotted using horizontally or vertically, the most usual type of bar graph used is the vertical bar graph. The orientation of the x-axis and y-axis are changed depending on the type of vertical and horizontal bar chart. Apart from the vertical and horizontal bar graphs, the two different types of bar charts are:


  • Grouped Bar Graph
  • Stacked Bar Graph


Vertical Bar Graphs

When the grouped data are represented vertically in a graph or chart with the help of bars, where the bars denote the measure of data, such graphs are called vertical bar graphs. The data is represented along the y-axis of the graph, and the height of the bars shows the values.


Horizontal Bar Graphs

When the grouped data are represented horizontally in a chart with the help of bars, then such graphs are called horizontal bar graphs, where the bars show the measure of data. The data is depicted here along the x-axis of the graph, and the length of the bars denotes the values.


Grouped Bar Graphs

The grouped bar graph is also called the clustered bar graph, which is used to represent the discrete value for more than one object that shares the same category. In this type of bar chart, the total number of instances is combined into a single bar. In other words, a grouped bar graph is a type of bar graph in which different sets of data items are compared. Here, a single color is used to represent the specific series across the set. The grouped bar graph can be represented using both vertical and horizontal bar charts.


Stacked Bar Graph

The stacked bar graph is also called the composite bar chart, which divides the aggregate into different parts. In this type of bar graph, each part can be represented using different colors, which helps to easily identify the different categories. The stacked bar chart requires specific labeling to show the different parts of the bar. In a stacked bar graph, each bar represents the whole and each segment represents the different parts of the whole.

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Properties of Bar Graph

Some of the important properties of a bar graph are as follows:


  • All the bars should have a common base.
  • Each column in the bar graph should have equal width.
  • The height of the bar should correspond to the data value.
  • The distance between each bar should be the same.


Applications of Bar Graphs

Bar graphs are used to match things between different groups or to trace changes over time. Yet, when trying to estimate change over time, bar graphs are most suitable when the changes are bigger.


Bar charts possess a discrete domain of divisions and are normally scaled so that all the data can fit on the graph. When there is no regular order of the divisions being matched, bars on the chart may be organized in any order. Bar charts organized from the highest to the lowest number are called Pareto charts


How to Draw a Bar Graph?


Let us consider an example, we have four different types of pets, such as cat, dog, rabbit, and hamster and the corresponding numbers are 22, 39, 5, and 9 respectively.


To visually represent the data using the bar graph, we need to follow the steps given below.


  • Step 1: First, decide the title of the bar graph.
  • Step 2: Draw the horizontal axis and vertical axis. (For example, Types of Pets)
  • Step 3: Now, label the horizontal axis.
  • Step 4: Write the names on the horizontal axis.
  • Step 5: Now, label the vertical axis. (For example, Number of Pets)
  • Step 6: Finalise the scale range for the given data.
  • Step 7: Finally, draw the bar graph that should represent each category of the pet with their respective numbers.


Frequently Asked Questions on Bar Graph


Question No 1:- What is meant by a bar graph?

Answer:- Bar graph (bar chart) is a graph that represents the categorical data using rectangular bars. The bar graph shows the comparison between discrete categories.


Question No 2:- What are the different types of bar graphs?

Ans:- The different types of bar graphs are:

  • Vertical bar graph
  • Horizontal bar graph
  • Grouped bar graph
  • Stacked bar graph


Question No 3:- When is a bar graph used?

Answer:-The bar graph is used to compare the items between different groups over time. Bar graphs are used to measure the changes over some time. When the changes are larger, a bar graph is the best option to represent the data.


Question No 4:- When to use a horizontal bar chart?

Ans:- The horizontal bar graph is the best choice while graphing the nominal variables.

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