Difference Between Chart and Graph

Difference Between Chart and Graph

If you are a mathematician, you wouldn’t have a challenge spotting the difference between graph and chart. Unfortunately, we all cannot be mathematicians at the same time. They say variety is the spice of life, so there are engineers, electricians, lawyers, doctors, IT experts, etc. Do you often wonder: What is the difference between graph and chart whenever you see either of them? Do the two “diagrams” confuse you? If yes, you are not alone.

The thing is, they are both used for representing numerical information and arriving at solutions but that achieved differently. So, we will explain the two diagrams, and then take you through the difference between charts and graphs in this guide titled “Difference Between Chart and Graph”.

Definition of Chart

A chart is a diagrammatic or pictorial representation of data which often helps the user to predict the future pattern of such a representation. When dataset is represented in charts, it appears more professional. For many schools and bodies, projects and thesis that contain charts are strong indications that the researcher should be taken seriously. As a result, in standard thesis and projects, data is often represented in such forms. The definition of chart is better shown in a diagram.


The diagram above is an example of a chart that shows the population distribution of communities in three cities around the world. From the diagram, you can deduce that the population sampling involves children, ladies, men and elderly people. What’s more, you can also read the various population distribution in the three communities under review.

Definition of Graph

Similarly, a graph focuses on raw data and also shows the trend over a period of time. A graph has two parts (called axes): X-axis and Y-axis. While the X-axis is the horizontal side of the graph, the Y-axis is the vertical axis. With regard to the definition of graph, a graph is a mathematical diagram that depicts the relationship that exists between numbers or measurement. On a graph, you can get the intercept and gradient, which are factors used for important decision-making.

Graph Sheet

Chart vs Graph Comparison Table

Basis of ComparisonGraphChart
DefinitionShows mathematical relationship between two variables on two axesIt is merely used for representing large dataset
ClassificationAll graphs are types of chartAll charts are not graphs
Data analysis Used for analyzing raw data and shows trend Structured or categorized data
Trend forecastPerfect for trend prediction or projection More often than not, this data doesn’t analyze trend
ExampleLine and bar graphs Pie chart and histogram
Solutions Gradient and Intercept Mean, median, mode, etc.
ComponentsAxes (vertical, horizontal and gradient)Bars, slices, and symbols

Conclusion of the Main Difference Between Chart vs Graph

At this juncture, you would agree that we have been able to spot the difference between the two diagrams. Indeed, this chart vs graph guide would be incomplete without drawing a far-reaching conclusions. So, we will quickly run down the key points:

  • Charts are used to represent information into graphs and diagrams. On the other hand, graphs are mere mathematical relationship between dataset
  • While charts are more appealing when they represent data, graphs merely show the relationship that exist between dataset
  • Also, charts represent dataset in well categorized manner. This could demographic information as seen in the example above. With respect to graphs, they focus mainly on patterns and trend that exist between two datasets
  • There is a particular paper called graph sheets (as shown above) used to represent the dataset contained in graphs. The paper contains tiny boxes (cells) where you will match the two coordinates. Unlike graph, there are no chart sheets. You just draw the type of chart in question. For digital charts, you just click on Chart from the menu bar (in spreadsheet, work processor, etc.) and key in your figures.    

The two diagrams are used to for representing numerical information or datasets. However, there are some differences between them. These differences tend to confuse people who are not conversant with them. If you are one of those people who get confused because you need the perfect disparity between the two entities (in text), we have provided you with that. By and large, the two entities represent data used to achieve different objectives.