Histogram vs Bar Graph

Updated on January 6, 2024
Article byPrakhar Gajendrakar
Edited byRaisa Ali
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

Difference Between Histogram And Bar Graph

In the histogram vs. bar graph, the primary difference is that, in a histogram, the bars are closely spaced without forming gaps, whereas in a bar graph, there will be fixed gaps between bars. In simple words, bars are connected and continuous in a histogram, unlike a bar graph. It also indicates that a histogram represents continuous data using bars and intervals formed by grouping it. In contrast, a bar graph represents categorical data using bars so that each bar represents different items. These are the main distinguishing points of histogram vs bar graph in statistics.

Key Takeaways

  • The histogram and bar graph are statistical techniques enabling a better understanding of the data.
  • In the histogram, there is no space between bars. In contrast, there is space between bars in the bar chart.
  • A histogram showcases the distribution of numerical data and is apt for displaying continuous data. Whereas bar graph represents categorical data, and they are apt for representing discrete data.
  • There are many histogram vs bar graph examples. Examples portray that frequencies falling in ranges are depicted through a histogram. However, a bar chart is appropriate when the elements are treated separately or for different variables’ presentation.
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Comparative Table

ParticularsHistogramBar Graph
DescriptionThe histogram contains connected bars displaying defined intervals and corresponding frequencies or proportions.The bar graph contains discrete bars representing categorical data and facilitating the comparison of values across categories.
RepresentationIt showcases the distribution of numerical data.Bar graphs showcase categorical data.
Apt for It is primarily used for displaying continuous data.It is used for displaying discrete data.
WidthThe bar width is not necessary to be equal.Bars of equal width are important.
SpaceThere are no spaces between the two bars in the histogram.There exist equal space between each bar.
Scope of reorderingThe bars cannot be reordered.In the bar graph, an analyst’s scope of reordering is possible.
ElementsThe entire range of values is broken down into a series of intervals.Each bar represents a specific item.

Explanation of Histogram Excel Chart in Video

What Is Histogram?


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A histogram is a graphical method of effective presentation of quantitative data. Histogram representation is useful in interpreting the probability distribution of a variable. It portrays the frequency or quantity of a variable or item falling into specified ranges. It is useful to present continuous data graphically; however, it can also accommodate discrete data.

When dealing with histogram preparation, intervals or bins are formed based on the given data set and record the count or frequency of values falling in each interval. The intervals are on the x-axis, and frequency or count comes on the y-axis. The histogram pattern obtained can be “symmetric”, “skewed left or right”, “unimodal”, “bimodal” or “multimodal”. The shape obtained points to the nature of data distribution.

What Is Bar Graph?


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A bar graph is also called a bar chart or bar plot. It is a chart with horizontal or vertical rectangular bars or strips to offer a graphical representation of data. It is the most common statistical data handling tool to make critical data easily understood visually. Its most important aspect is comparing different recorded frequencies and defining many other statistical calculations. For instance, it can portray the frequency distribution of people falling into identified categories like the number of people liking different cuisines, falling into different age groups, etc. Bar graph usage is common in mathematics, financial analysis, business reports, etc.

The most significant distinguishing factor in bar charts is the equal space managed between two bars, which is not the case with histograms. Hence, it plays an identification aspect as well; else, it won’t be easy to interpret the histogram vs bar graph worksheet. Hence points to the significance of histogram vs bar chart or bar plot differences and interpretation.


  • Both histogram and bar graph is like a graphical representation of data on the x and y axes.
  • Both graphs make use of vertical bars to represent information.
  • The purpose of both histogram and bar graphs is to make data easily understandable and visually explainable for viewers by the analysts.
  • Both methods represent data only; the nature of the variable is different, and therefore, the analyst uses different techniques to depict it.

This has been a guide to What is Histogram vs Bar Graph. Here, we explain what they are, their differences, and their similarities. You can learn more about them from the following articles –

Reader Interactions


  1. Ayaaba Joseph says

    I enjoyed your explanation

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