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Histograms VS. Bar Charts

> Chart Knowledge > Histograms VS. Bar Charts
Posted by James Freeman | 09/29/2020
Learn the differences between histograms and bar charts. Make histograms and bar charts easily, quickly, and flexibly.

Definitions of Histogram and Bar Chart

Bar charts and histograms can both be used to compare the sizes of different groups. A bar chart is made up of bars plotted on a graph.

The histogram is a chart representing a frequency distribution; heights of the bars represent observed frequencies. In other words, a histogram is a graphical display of data using bars of different heights. Usually, there is no space between adjacent bars.

We can see their common points from the definitions: The height of the column indicates the size of the group defined by the column label.

Difference between Histograms and Bar Charts

Comparison between Bar Chart and Histogram

Bar Chart

  1. The columns are positioned over a label that represents a categorical variable.
  2. The height of the column indicates the size of the group defined by the categories.


  1. The columns are positioned over a label that represents a quantitative variable.
  2. The column label can be a single value or a range of values.

Here is the main difference between them: with bar charts, each column represents a group defined by a categorical variable; and with histograms, each column represents a group defined by a quantitative variable.

One indication of this distinction: it is always appropriate to talk about the skewness of a histogram; that is, the tendency of the observations to fall more on the low end or the high end of the X-axis.

Differently, bar charts' X-axis does not have a low end or a high end; because the labels on the X-axis are categorical - not quantitative. Therefore, it is less appropriate to comment on the skewness of a bar chart.

Why Use Histograms and Bar Charts

Like many other visuals, histograms and bar charts are gaining increasing popularity for the following benefits.

  1. Ease of data analysis.
  2. Simplify complicated statistics and ideas.
  3. Add interest and fun to presentation (reports, essays, and so on).
  4. Make presentations more compelling and comprehensible.
  5. Enhance effective information communication.

Histogram and Bar Chart Maker

Bar Chart Software

Ever think about making a sleek-looking chart or graph in less than 5 minutes? You can realize it right now with EdrawMax - an advanced automatic diagram maker, which can generate many kinds of diagrams, including histograms and bar charts. The learning curve could be flat, leaving only simple steps for users to do. You can now try it for free.

EdrawMax can greatly increase and improve the process of making charts and graphs. With abundant shapes and examples, even novice users can easily handle it because it requires no drawing skills and experience. Most importantly, it saves time, effort, and money for users by automating many drawing operations.

EdrawMax: a swiss knife for all your diagramming need

  • Effortlessly create over 280 types of diagrams.
  • Provide various templates & symbols to match your needs.
  • Drag and drop interface and easy to use.
  • Customize every detail by using smart and dynamic toolkits.
  • Compatible with a variety of file formats, such as MS Office, Visio, PDF, etc.
  • Feel free to export, print, and share your diagrams.

Histogram and Bar Chart Examples

Candy Assumption Histogram

Consumption Histogram

This histogram is about candy assumption. You can edit it easily by using the floating action button and simply changing the data value.

Stacked Bar Chart

Consumption Histogram

Here shows an elaborately-made bar chart example, which is editable, printable and sharable.

More Related

How to Create a Bar Chart

How to Create a Histogram

Bar Chart Templates

Histogram Templates

Bar Chart Software

Histogram Maker

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