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Histograms VS. Bar Charts

> Chart Knowledge > Histograms VS. Bar Charts
Posted by James Freeman | 04/24/2020
Learn the differences between histograms and bar charts. Make histograms and bar charts easily, quickly, and flexibly.

Definition of Histograms and Bar Charts

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 point 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

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. Refer to the following diagram to see a visual comparison between them.

Comparison between Bar Chart and Histogram

Why Use Histograms and Bar Charts

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

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

Histograms and Bar Charts 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 Edraw Max - 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.

Histograms and Bar Charts Examples

Histogram Example - Candy Assumption

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.

Column Chart Example - Sales Growth

This column chart example is shown to inspire more graph designers.

Bar Chart Example - Sales Report

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

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

Edraw Max: 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.

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