Bar Chart

One way to pictorially display the numbers shown in Table 1 in "What Are Graphic Displays for Statistics?" is with a bar chart (see Figure 1).


Figure 1.Vertical bar chart presentation of the expenditures of a college undergraduate for the past year.

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Comparing the size of the bars, you can quickly see that room‐and‐board expenses are nearly double the tuition fees, and tuition fees are more than double the expenses for books and lab and transportation.

A bar chart also may be placed on its side with the bars going horizontally, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2.Horizontal bar chart presentation of the expenditures of a college undergraduate for the past year.

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In each bar chart, vertical or horizontal, the amounts are ordered from highest to lowest or lowest to highest, making the chart clearer and easier to understand. Space is left between each of the bars in order to define the categories as being different.

The bottom line in Figure 1 and the left side in Figure 2 indicate 0. Although typical, this presentation need not always be used. Finally, although the lengths of the bars may be different, their thicknesses are the same.