Difference Between Histogram vs Bar Graph
A lot of people have admitted to having some difficulty in determining the difference between bar graph and histogram, which is very understandable seeing that the two are quite similar both in function and appearance. Functionally, they are used to denote information in a graphical and easy-to-understand format, which is usually the last in the process of data representation in statistics.
Aside from these two, one may decide to use a pie chart, which serves the same purpose as well. Before employing these graphical illustrations, one is expected to have collected, organized, and summarized the required data.
Definition of Histogram
A histogram is defined as a graphical representation of statistical information showing its frequency distribution using gapless bars. The keyword from this definition is “gapless.” You will soon get to know why later on in this article.
A feature that makes a difference between histogram and bar graph is that the former can only be used in showing continuous data. What this means is that such information can take any value. Examples include time, weight, height, distance, temperature, profit, and so on.
Another very important fact to take note of is that this diagram works better for class intervals rather than just one particular number. A histogram can be used in the following ways.
- To simplify the display of a large number with regards to frequency of distribution
- Can be used to find the median of the collection
- A simple way of showing the shape of the distribution of a set of information
Definition of Bar Graph
A bar graph can be defined as a pictorial representation of a set of carefully selected information showing a comparison among them in the form of spaced-out bars. A side by side comparison of bar graph vs histogram shows that the bars in the former need to be spaced out, while the ones in the latter are gapless.
The bars in this case are rectangles with equal spaces in between them. They also have equal width. There are two ways of drawing a bar chart—horizontally or vertically. With this type of graph, you can only denote discrete information, which is information with variables that are countable in a finite amount of time. Every block in this case is arranged from the highest point to the lowest to give it an even look. This is usually not the case with histograms.
Main Differences Between Histogram vs Bar Graph
So far, we have explained the meaning of these concepts in the most comprehensive way possible. This section is a visual summary of these methods, their unique features, and other components that can help you tell them apart more easily.
|Basis of Comparison||Histogram||Bar Graph|
|Definition||A graphical representation of statistical information showing its frequency distribution using gapless bars||A pictorial representation of a set of carefully selected information showing a comparison among them in the form of spaced-out bars|
|Variables||Continuous or non-discrete||Discrete|
|Space between bars||Does not have any space||Comes with spaces in between each bar|
|Purpose||Shows the frequency of different occurrences||Displays how different categories of data compare|
|Data||Quantitative in nature||Categorical in nature|
|Column||Each column is placed above the quantitative variable||Each column is placed above the categorical values|
|Reordering bars||Cannot be reordered||Can be reordered|
|Data points||Signified in groups and expressed based on the class value||Represented individually and rendered as a separate bar|
|Required values||Y alone||X and Y|
Difference Between Histogram and Bar Graph: Conclusion
We hope that you have a better understanding of these statistical methods. In conclusion, it is obvious that the histogram vs bar graph comparison throws more light on the unique features that make these factors differ from one another. The most obvious of them all is that the former does not have any spaces in between the bars, while the latter does.
Also, the former can only be arranged in a vertical order with indiscrete values required on the Y axis alone. This is unlike the latter, which can be arranged whether in vertical or horizontal order with discrete values required on both the X and Y axes.