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Bar Graphs

When you have finished this page, try the Bar Graphs Quiz.

Bar graphs are an excellent way to show results that are one time, that aren't continuous - especially samplings such as surveys, inventories, etc. Below is a typical survey asking students about their favorite after school activity. Notice that in this graph each column is labeled - it is also possible to label the category to the left of the bar.

In this case, the numbers for each category are across the bottom of the chart.

A bar chart is marked off with a series of lines called grid lines. These lines typically mark off a numerical point in the series of numbers on the axis or line. In this case, each grid line going up and down marks a multiple of 20 as the graph is divided such.More gridlines can make it easier to be exact with the amounts being shown on the bar graph, but too many can make it confusing.

Notice that for data that does not fall evenly on a multiple of 20, the bar is in between two grid lines.

Bar graphs are useful to get an overall idea of trends in responses - which categories get many versus few responses.

Bar Graph

Activity Number
Visit W/Friends 175
Talk on Phone 168
Play Sports 120
Earn Money 120
Use Computers 65


Tables & Graphs Main Page

Bar Graphs
Column Graphs
Line Graphs
Circle/Pie Graphs