Bar Chart vs Histogram: Difference and Comparison

To represent data in a more organized and structural manner, graphs have been proven to be the best option. It has edges and vertices connecting them.

And the visual representations of it are known as charts.

It is used in various subjects, including maths, physics, chemistry, etc. Graphs and charts have types that are used according to the data that has to be represented.

These types include Histograms and Bar-graph. Both of them have different characteristics that are important to understand for using them.

Key Takeaways

  1. Bar charts display categorical data, with bars representing distinct categories.
  2. Histograms represent continuous numerical data, with bars illustrating frequency distribution across intervals.
  3. Bar charts have gaps between bars, while histograms have continuous bars reflecting the continuous nature of the data.

Bar Chart vs Histogram

Bar Charts represent categorical data by the bars in a bar chart, whereas a Histogram represents a graphical depiction of the quantitative data sets grouped under a certain parameter. The bars in a bar chart do not touch each other, while the bars in a histogram touch each other.

Bar Chart vs Histogram

A Bar Chart is used to represent the data in pictorial form. It mostly represents the grouped data in a rectangular shape. It is also called a bar graph.

It is the basic form of pictorial representation of data used mostly in statistics. It is a one-dimensional representation. It also has several types and categories.

The histogram represents the continuous class of grouped frequency distribution in graphs.

It has rectangles that are adjacent and proportional to the frequency of a variable and have the same width as the class intervals. It is a two-dimensional representation.

It is the most used for frequency distribution. There are several types of histogram graphs that are used based on preference mostly.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonBar ChartHistogram
VariablesComparison of discrete variables.Distribution of non-discrete variables.
BarsDoes not touch each otherTouch each other
WidthMostly equalMay vary.
DimensionsOne dimensionalTwo dimensional
Types of dataCategorical data.Numerical data.

What is Bar Chart?

It is used for representing the grouped data and statistics in the form of a picture (rectangles). Following are the properties of a bar graph.

  • All rectangles have a common base, and these rectangles are called bars.
  • Columns of each should have equal width.
  • The height of the bars represents the value.
  • Distance between bars or rectangles should be equal.
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Advantages of Bar Chart:

  • Summarises the large data.
  • Frequency distribution is displayed with each class.
  • Clarifies it better than in tabular form.
  • Helpful in estimating the key values.

Disadvantages of Bar Chart:

  • It may not reveal the pattern and cause, etc.
  • It can be easily manipulated.

Types of Bar Charts:

  1. Vertical Bar Graphs: bars are represented in a vertical form where bars are used for representing the measure of data. The bars are represented on the y-axis, and their height represents the values.
  2. Horizontal Bar Graphs: when the bars are drawn horizontally on the x-axis, they show the measures of data, and the length of them represents the values of data.
  3. Grouped Bar Graphs: they are called cluster bar graphs. It is used for representing more than one object of the same categories with discrete values. In this, different sets of items are compared.
  4. Stacked Bar Graphs: also known as composite bar graphs, in this each bar can be described with different colors to make t easy for comparison, bars of this bar represent different groups.
bar chart

What is Histogram?

It is a graphical representation of frequency distribution. The following are the steps required for constructing a histogram:

  1. Mark the X-axis and Y-axis by class intervals and frequencies, respectively.
  2. The scale should be the same for both axes’.
  3. Class intervals should be exclusive.
  4. Draw rectangles as per the data.

Use of histogram can be done under the following circumstances:

  • Data is organized in numerical.
  • To check the shape of data distribution.
  • In the case of two or more processes for checking, the output is different.
  • To check whether the process is meeting the customer’s requirements.

Following are the types of the histogram:

  1. Uniform Histogram: it reversals that the number of classes is extra small. And in this, each class has the same number of elements. It may or may not have a distribution with several peaks.
  2. Bimodal Histogram: bimodal histogram has two peaks. It is used for data that has two different kinds of individuals or groups.
  3. Symmetric Histogram: it has the same shape on both sides of the middle. It is perfectly symmetric, which means it is cut in half. Both of the halves will look like a mirror image. Those that are not symmetric are called skewed.  
  4. Probability Histogram: it is used for showing the pictorial representation of discrete probability distribution. It is begun by selecting the classes.

Main Differences Between Bar Chart and Histogram

  1. Both histogram and bar chart is used for pictorial representation of the different types of data, and the bar chart is mainly used for comparing the discrete variable while the histogram is used for the representation of the distribution of a non-discrete variable.
  2. Both types have rectangular-shaped bars, but in the bar chart, the bars do not touch each other, whereas, in the histogram, each bar connects or always touches each other, leaving no space in between.
  3. In the histogram, elements are grouped to make them considered ranges, but this is not the same in the bar chart. Elements are taken as individuals only.
  4. The width of the bar chart is almost the same, whereas, in Histogram, the width may or may not vary.
  5. A bar chart is used for comparing the different data of different categories, whereas a histogram is used for displaying the occurred frequencies.
  6. The rearranging of blocks cannot be done in histograms, while it can be done in bar charts.
Difference Between Bar Chart and Histogram
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Last Updated : 13 February, 2024

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10 thoughts on “Bar Chart vs Histogram: Difference and Comparison”

  1. Bar charts represent grouped data in a rectangular shape, whereas histograms showcase the continuous class of grouped frequency distribution. This distinction is important for choosing the most appropriate representation for a specific dataset.

  2. Graphs and charts are essential tools to visualize and comprehend data, and they play a vital role in various subjects like Maths, Physics, and Chemistry.

  3. The use of graphs and charts simplifies the interpretation of complex data, allowing for better understanding and communication of insights. They serve as indispensable tools across different domains of knowledge.

  4. The different types of histograms, such as uniform, bimodal, and symmetric, demonstrate the varied applications of this graphical representation in analyzing the characteristics of data distributions.

  5. Histograms provide insights into the shape of data distribution and can be used to compare and monitor different processes. They offer valuable information for quality control and process improvement initiatives.

  6. It’s fascinating to see how bar charts and histograms each have distinct advantages and disadvantages. Being aware of these factors can aid in making sound decisions about data representation.

  7. The comparison between bar charts and histograms highlights the differences in how they are used to represent data. Understanding these differences is crucial for effective data visualization.

  8. Bar charts and histograms are meaningful means of representing categorical and numerical data, respectively. The characteristics of each type must be considered when choosing the right representation.

  9. The various types of bar charts, including vertical, horizontal, grouped, and stacked, offer flexibility in visualizing data based on different characteristics. Each type serves a unique purpose in data presentation.

  10. The graphical representation of data through bar charts and histograms provides a visual context that aids in discerning patterns, trends, and relationships within the data. Understanding these representations is essential for informed decision-making.


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