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What is a bar graph, and how to make a bar graph?

Apr 13, 2022

Do you know what a graph is? A graph is a pictorial representation of any data used to analyze, calculate, and define numerous outputs.

A graph contains a grid network of X-axis and Y-axis that intersect at angles perpendicular to each other. The coordinate grid formed by the intersection of the horizontal X-axis and the vertical Y-axis helps a person locate coordinate points on a graph.

While there are many methods to represent a given data set, bar graphs are the most common ones. These graphs contain either vertical or horizontal bars, which have different lengths depending upon the data they portray. Keep going through the subheadings below to understand what a bar graph is.

What is a bar graph?

Bar graphs show a collection of analysis, organization, presentation, and interpretation of data that are known as statistics. While this statistical data is represented through various methods, a bar graph is popular.

Bar graphs represent a pictorial display of data in the form of vertical or horizontal bars. It is important to know that the length of each bar indicates and describes the data that it holds.


The statistic of bar graphs is that each bar has a fixed width. However, their height may differ concerning the data they represent. A bar graph uses both the X-axis and the Y-axis to represent and display the variable quantities of the given data.

Apart from this, the data on a bar graph can also be used to compare different sets of data. Bar graphs can represent frequency distribution and simplify the calculations for them. 

Following are the main properties of a bar graph

  • It is easy to compare data differences with other groups with the help of a bar graph.
  • A bar graph shows the relationship between the X-axis and the Y-axis.
  • In a bar graph, different values are represented by the X-axis and the Y-axis.
  • Bar graphs are a convenient way to show data change in a given time.

What are the types of bar graphs?

A bar graph could be either vertical or horizontal. A noticeable feature of any bar graph is the length of its bar that represents the given data. It means if the length of a single bar is more than the length of other bars, then it denotes a greater value.

A typical bar graph shows numeric variables arranged at equal class intervals. These graphs are represented with the help of an x-axis and a y-axis. Each part of a bar graph displays frequencies of the different values of a variable or other distinct values.


A scale represents different values on the X-axis and the Y-axis of a bar graph.

The different types of bar graphs are mentioned below

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

Explain the different types of paragraphs

  • Vertical bar graphs

If the bars in a bar graph are represented vertically, it is known as a vertical bar graph. These bars signify the measurement of data and the representation of another statistic. In vertical bar graphs, the data is displayed along the Y-axis of the bar graph.

  • Horizontal bar graphs

Horizontal bar graphs are referred to the graphical charts where the data is represented horizontally along the X-axis. These horizontal bars represent the statistical data and project the values after giving data along the X-axis.

  • Grouped bar graph

Also known as the clustered bar graph, the grouped bar graph is used to show the precise value of more than one entity, usually among the same category. In this particular type of bar graph, the total number of the given data is combined into a single bar graph.

In simple terms, a grouped bar graph represents different sets of comparable data in a bar graph. This type of bar graph can be expressed both by vertical and horizontal charts.

  • Stacked bar graph

This type of bar graph is also known as a composite bar graph. It is because it divides the total value into different parts.

Different colors represent different values in this type of chart as it helps identify different categories. Because every value is stacked in a stacked bar graph, specific labels are needed to show them apart. 

A stacked bar graph displays the whole data while also containing different segments of that particular data.  

Describe the properties of the bar graph

After reading about different types of bar graphs, it is also important to know other properties of the same. Some properties of a bar chart are

  • All the bars in a bar graph have a common base
  • Every column in a bar chart has equal width
  • The height of a single bar corresponds to the data it represents
  • Each bar shares a distance that is the same every bar

What are the applications of a bar graph?

Bar graphs are a convenient way to represent the values of different statistical data and their changes over time. Also, bar graphs are easily understandable to describe changes in statistical information when the difference in change is bigger.

Bar graphs have a distinct domain of divisions that are done by scaling all the data to fit in a graph. Moreover, the divisions in a bar chart can be reorganized in any order.

List the advantages of using the bar graph

The advantages of representing data on a bar graph are

  • The bar chart evenly displays all the categories of data
  • This type of graph conveniently shows the frequency distribution
  • Bar graphs are better than tables in portraying the trend of data
  • Bar charts help in estimating the major values easily

List the disadvantages of using the bar graph

Even though bar graphs are a popular way to represent statistical data, they still might have a few disadvantages. The disadvantages are –

  • A bar graph sometimes does not close the cause, patterns, effects, and other aspects of statistical data.
  • Bar graphs can be easily manipulated to display false information because they are easy to represent.

What is the difference between a histogram and a bar graph?

The bar graph and a histogram might look similar, but they have different importance. The main difference between a histogram and a bar graph is that they represent different types of information or data. It means in a bar graph, only the data which is already in existence can be plotted. Whereas in a histogram, even continuous data, can easily be represented.

For example, a ball graph is a convenient way to represent types of fabrics or types of movies. These categories are best suited to be represented by a bar graph.

On the other hand, continuous data – people’s age, can be easily represented through a histogram.

How is a pie chart different from a bar graph?

Like a bar graph, a pie chart is also a graphical representation. While a bar chart contains a bar to represent different data, a pie chart uses a circular figure which is divided into different sections depending upon respective statistical data. 

What is the main difference between a line graph and a bar graph?

Even though a bar graph may seem different from a line graph, some individuals might consider them similar.

Nevertheless, some major differences make a bar graph different from a line graph. They are

  • A bar graph uses rectangular bars to represent its data, whereas a line graph uses lines to represent a chart.
  • In a bar chart, the height of the bar represents a value, whereas, in a line graph, various series of connected lines represent the given data.
  • The presence of lines in a line graph makes it inconvenient to visibly show changes in a chart. On the other hand, a bar graph is a convenient representation to establish statistics of the provided data.

How to correctly draw bar graphs?

A bar graph is a comparatively easy chart to represent out of various other graphical representations. Following other steps included drawing a bar graph.

  • Give a title to the bar graph.
  • Draw the X-axis and the Y-axis and label them.
  • Both the X-axis and the Y-axis will have different labels.
  • Scale the horizontal X-axis according to the requirement.
  • Mark the scale under the range of the given data.
  • The last step is to draw the bars that should satisfy the theoretical data and represent each category respectively.

Graphical terms used in a bar graph

Below are some frequently used terms that a person comes across while dealing with a bar graph. They are:

  • X-axis – the horizontal axis
  • Y-axis – the vertical axis
  • Data – the information which is represented along a chart using different methods.


Bar graphs are a convenient method to represent different sets of data. Apart from this, these types of graphs are easy to describe and easily understood by the reader. The above explanation helps one understand the different types of paragraphs and the correct way to represent data in a bar chart. These types of graphs are a popular way of expressing industrial data and experimental data.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do you create a simple bar graph?

Ans. A bar graph is a visual representation of data. It can be used to show data about the population, purchases, or anything else that can be measured on a scale.

To create a simple bar graph, you’ll need:

-A graph paper (either lined or unlined will work).

-A pen or pencil

2. How to make a bar graph in Microsoft?

Ans. Click “Insert” on the ribbon.

. Click “Chart” on the ribbon.

. Choose a chart type from the menu, and then click “OK.”

3. How do you create a bar graph in Excel?

Ans. Creating a bar graph in Excel is straightforward. All you need to do is:

Select the range of data you want to include in your bar graph.

On the Insert tab, select Bar under Charts.

Select Column from the Type dropdown menu

Click OK to create your chart!

4. What is the easiest way to make a bar graph?

Ans. The easiest way to make a bar graph is to use the chart wizard in Microsoft Excel. This tool allows you to build your bars from scratch or import data from an external source.

5. How do I create my own bar graph?

Ans. Create a bar chart in Excel with the data you want to display. If you don’t have any data, you can use the example below:

Copy and paste the bar chart into PowerPoint.

Add your text to the slide. You can also add other graphics and images if you wish.

Bar Graph


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