Bar Chart

Reference work entry

Bar chart is a type of quantitative graph. It consists of a series of vertical or horizontal bars of identical width but with lengths relative to the represented quantities.

Bar charts are used to compare the categories of a categorical qualitative variable or to compare sets of data from different years or different places for a particular variable.


See graphic representation.


A vertical axis and a horizontal axis must be defined in order to construct a vertical bar chart.

The horizontal axis is divided up into different categories; the vertical axis shows the value of each category.

To construct a horizontal bar chart, the axes are simply inverted. The bars must all be of the same width since only their lengths are compared.

Shading, hatching or color can be used to make it easier to understand the the graphic.


A bar chart can also be used to represent negative category values. To be able to do this, the scaleof the axis showing...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008