Bar Graph vs. Histogram: What Is the Difference? 8 Facts


After getting the information, it’s important to present it in a way that shows off its strengths.

Diagrams are the best way to show this kind of data for this purpose. A bar graph and a histogram are two types of diagrams that can be used to show data.

Both of these words use bars to show information. The way the data is shown is the main difference between a bar graph and a histogram.

What is Histogram?

A histogram is a type of bar chart that shows how the frequency of continuous data is distributed by using bars to show statistical information. It shows how many observations fall into a group of values called a “class” or “bin.”

A histogram chart shows how the numbers are spread out by using vertical bars. A histogram can be used to compare values that are not all the same.

For example, a histogram chart can show how many students got different English subject grades on an exam.

What is Bar Chart?

In a bar chart, you can compare the frequency, total count, sum, or average of data in different categories by looking at the horizontal or vertical bars. It is also called a column chart.

Bar Graph vs. Histogram

A bar chart, which is a graphical representation, can also be used to compare different types of categories. A bar chart usually has an axis, a label, a scale, and bars that show values that can be measured, like percentages or numbers.

Bar plots can be used to show a wide range of statistics, such as sales by quarter, seasonal rainfall, and job growth.

You can compare two sets of data with a double bar graph. It is also used to look at two or three sets of data quickly.

Comparison Chart

MeaningHistogram refers to a graphical representation, that displays data by way of bars to show the frequency of numerical data.Bar graph is a pictorial representation of data that uses bars to compare different categories of data.
IndicatesDistribution of non-discrete variablesComparison of discrete variables
PresentsQuantitative dataCategorical data
SpacesBars touch each other, hence there are no spaces between barsBars do not touch each other, hence there are spaces between bars.
ElementsElements are grouped together, so that they are considered as ranges.Elements are taken as individual entities.
Can bars be reordered?NoYes
Width of barsNeed not to be sameSame
RearrangementIn the case of a bar graph, the rearrangement of blocks can be easily done from highest to lowest.In the histogram, the rearrangement is not possible, as the bars are present in the sequence.

Key Differences Between Histogram and Bar graph

The main differences between a histogram and a bar graph are the following:

  1. A histogram is a type of graph that shows the frequency of numerical data by using bars. A bar graph is a type of graph that uses bars to compare different kinds of data.
  2. A histogram shows how the frequency of continuous variables is spread out. On the other hand, a bar graph is a way to compare discrete variables in a diagram.
  3. The histogram shows data in the form of numbers, while the bar graph shows data in the form of categories.
  4. The histogram is made so that there is no space between the bars. On the other hand, a bar graph has enough space between the bars to show a break.
  5. The numbers in the histogram are grouped together to show data ranges. Unlike the bar graph, each object is treated as a separate thing.
  6. Most of the time, the blocks in a bar graph are moved from highest to lowest. Because histograms are shown in class sequences, this is not possible.
  7. In a histogram, the width of the rectangles may or may not be the same, but in a bar graph, the width of the bars is always the same.

Bar Graphs vs. Histograms Similarities

  • Bars are used to represent and show data in both histograms and bar graphs.
  • The x and y axes are used in both a histogram and a bar chart.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Histogram

Advantages of Histogram

  • It lets you show a lot of information that would be hard to understand in a tabular format.
  • It shows how often each of the different data values happens.
  • This is helpful when figuring out how well a process works.
  • It lets you predict how the process will work in the future.
  • The histogram shows how often data occurs and how long it takes for that to happen.

Disadvantages of Histogram

  • You can’t read exact values because the data is organized into groups.
  • It only works with data that doesn’t stop.
  • In a histogram, it is hard to compare two different sets of data.
  • When intervals are used in a histogram, it is not possible to get an exact measure of the central tendency.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Bar Graphs

Advantages of Bar Graphs

Some of the pros and cons of using a bar graph are as follows:

  • You can use a bar graph to show either numbers or groups of things.
  • In a frequency distribution, a bar graph is used to show each type of data.
  • It shows how many people, or what percentage, are in each group.
  • A large set of data can be summed up visually.
  • Estimate key values at a glance.
  • Describe exact numbers or ratios.
  • Large sets of data that are shown as graphs are better at showing trends than tables.

Disadvantages of Bar Graph

Here are the things that are bad about a bar graph:

  • A bar graph only shows how often the things in a data set happen.
  • The bar graph needs a little more explanation.
  • It leaves out important ideas, causes, results, and patterns.

Bar Graph vs. Histogram

Bar Graph vs. Histogram FAQs

Is A Histogram a Bar Graph?

Yes, a histogram is a type of bar graph that shows numerical information. The histogram shows how often data that is not discrete is seen.

How is a Histogram Different From A Bar Graph?

Histograms show how many of something there are, while bar graphs show how many of each thing there are.

When to Use Histogram vs. Bar Graph?

Bar graphs are used to compare variables, while histograms are used to show how data is spread out.

Can Histograms Have Gaps?

A histogram is like a bar graph, except that the bars don’t have spaces between them.


Histograms and bar graphs are similar in that they both use bars to show data and have x and y axes. The height of the bars is based on how often the data in the element shows up.

The main difference between bar graphs and histograms is how they show the data. Bar graphs show categorical data, while histograms show numerical data.

There are also different ways the bars are set up. In a bar graph, there is space between the bars, so they can’t touch. But the histogram bars are close together and touch each other.

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