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Bar Chart vs Histogram

> Edraw Knowledge > Bar Chart vs Histogram
Posted by James Freeman | 01/19/2021

Part 1: What Are Bar Charts and Histograms

A bar chart is made up of bars plotted on a graph. It displays data values in thin, vertical rectangles. The height of each rectangular column is indicative of the value of its category. Bar charts can be used to show positive or negative values.

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.

Part 2: Difference between Bar Charts and Histograms

Comparison between Bar Chart and Histogram
Bar Charts (Qualitative Axis) Histograms (Quantitative Axis)
The columns are positioned over a label that represents a categorical variable. The columns are positioned over a label that represents a quantitative variable.
The height of the column indicates the size of the group defined by the categories. The column label can be a single value or a range of values.

Here is the further differences between bar charts and histograms:

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. 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.

Part 3: Commons between Bar Charts and Histograms

Bar charts and histograms can both be used to compare the sizes of different groups. Like many other visuals, histograms and bar charts are gaining increasing popularity for the following benefits.

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


Part 4: Quiz Time: Bar Chart or Histogram?

Consumption Histogram

Bar Chart or Histogram? The answer is at the end.

bar chart example

Bar Chart or Histogram? The answer is at the end.

Part 5: Draw Bar Charts and Histograms with EdrawMax

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: 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.

Answer to the quiz: The above one is a histogram and the below one is a bar chart :)

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Get Started! You Will Love This Easy-To-Use Diagram Software

EdrawMax is an advanced all-in-one diagramming tool for creating professional flowcharts, org charts, mind maps, network diagrams, UML diagrams, floor plans, electrical diagrams, science illustrations, and more. Just try it, you will love it!