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Pictorial Representation of Data: Bar Graph and Double Bar Graph
With the recent technology developments across the world, the amount of data generated is increasing day by day. All the important decisions have become datadriven now. One of the important tools used in data analytics and representation is bar graphs. Bar graphs and double bar graphs are widely used to depict large information for easier understanding. Let us learn in detail about the pictorial representation of data using a bar graph and a double bar graph.
1.  Bar Graph 
2.  Types of Bar Graphs 
3.  Drawing a Bar Graph 
4.  Solved Examples 
5.  Practice Questions 
6.  FAQs on Pictorial Representation of Data 
Bar Graph
A bar chart or bar graph is the simplest form of pictorial representation of data with single bars of various heights. The length of each rectangular bar is proportional to the value it represents. A bar graph is a useful tool which is used for representing data that is easy to understand. The rectangular bars provide a visual display for comparing variables in different categories. Let us consider an example to illustrate a bar graph.
Example: Peter goes to the market to buy different types of fruits for the week. Can you represent the given data in the form of a bar graph to know the fruits that he buys the most?
Types of Fruits 
Number of Fruits bought by Peter 

Apples 
5 
Mangoes 
3 
Watermelons 
2 
Strawberries 
3 
Oranges 
6 
Solution:
The given data can be represented using a bar graph in the following way.
In the bar graph given above, we can observe the following data:
 The title of the bar graph: 'Most bought fruit' tells about the data that is being represented by the graph.
 The horizontal xaxis represents the data categories: Types of fruits (Apples, Mangoes, Watermelons, Strawberries, and Oranges)
 The vertical yaxis represents the values corresponding to each data category: Number of fruits bought by Peter.
 The scale shows the value of 1 unit on the vertical yaxis.
Just by looking at the above graph, we can easily say that:
 The fruit that Peter buys the most is oranges because the bar that represents oranges is the longest in the graph.
 The fruit that Peter buys the least is watermelons because the bar that represents the watermelons is the smallest.
This shows how the usage of bar graphs makes data interpretation very easy.
Properties of a Bar Graph
It is essential for every bar graph to have the following properties:
 Each bar or column in a bar graph must be of equal width.
 The bars can be drawn either horizontally or vertically based on the user's requirements.
 The data represented in a bar graph is proportional to the height of the bars.
 All bars share a common base.
Types of Bar Graphs
A bar chart can be categorized into three broad types for presenting the data visually. They are as follows:
 Vertical Bar Graph
 Horizontal Bar Graph
 Double Bar Graph
1. Vertical Bar Graph
Vertical bar graphs are one of the most widely used types of bar graphs. They represent the grouped data vertically. Vertical graphs are very useful when representing a series of data over time. In a vertical bar graph, the horizontal (x)axis represents the categories and the vertical (y)axis represents the data value for those categories. Let us consider an example to illustrate a vertical bar graph.
Example: A class teacher of Grade 4 makes a note of the favorite colors of all the students in the class. She then decides to display the data in the form of a vertical bar graph so that she can visually know the most favorite color of the students.
In the abovegiven vertical bar graph, we can see that on the scale, 1 unit represents 5 students.
 The graph used: Vertical bar graph
 Yaxis: Number of students
 Xaxis: Colors (red, yellow, blue, and green)
We can see that 10 students like red, 20 students like blue,15 students like green, and 5 students like yellow.
Just by looking at the above vertical graph, we can easily conclude that:
 Blue is the most favorite color of the students since it is represented with the longest bar.
 Yellow is the least favorite color of the students since it is represented with the shortest bar.
2. Horizontal Bar Graph
Horizontal bar graphs represent the grouped data in the form of horizontal bars. The data categories are shown on the vertical (y) axis and the corresponding data values are shown on the horizontal (x) axis. The value corresponding to the data category is equal to the length of each bar in a horizontal bar graph. All the bars in this graph go across from left to right. Let us consider the same example of the favorite color of students to illustrate a horizontal bar graph.
Example: A class teacher of Grade 5 made a note of the favorite colors of all the students in the class. She represented the data in the form of a horizontal bar graph to know the most favorite color of the students.
In the abovegiven horizontal bar graph, we can see that on the scale, 1 unit represents 2 students.
 The graph used: horizontal bar graph
 Xaxis: number of students
 Yaxis: colors (Pink, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Red)
Just by looking at the above horizontal bar graph, we can easily conclude that:
 Yellow is the most favorite color of the students since it is represented with the longest bar.
 Green is the least favorite color of the students since it is represented with the shortest bar.
3. Double Bar Graph
A double bar graph is similar to a normal bar graph. The only difference is that it is used to compare 2 data groups. Double bars are also called double bar charts because they represent information using two bars beside each other at various heights. The bars can be arranged either vertically or horizontally as per the need.
In the abovegiven double bar graph, we can see that on the scale, 1 unit represents 2 students.
 The graph used: double bar graph
 Yaxis: number of students
 Xaxis: sports (football, tennis, baseball, and cricket)
 Green bar: number of boys
 Yellow bar: number of girls
Just by looking at the above double graph, we can easily conclude that:
 Baseball is the most preferred sport of the girls since it is represented with the longest bar in yellow.
 Cricket is the most preferred sport of the boys since it is represented with the longest bar in green.
Drawing a Bar Graph
The following steps are to be followed while drawing a bar graph:
Step 1: First, draw two lines perpendicular to each other with the horizontal line as the xaxis and the vertical line as the yaxis as shown below.
Step 2: Sort the collected data as per the category.
Create a table to build the bar graph.
Class 
Number of Girls 

Class 5 
30 
Class 6 
35 
Class 7 
20 
Class 8 
25 
Class 9 
40 
Step 3: Now, choose a scale that represents how much of the data is to be represented by a unit length of the bar and label both the yaxis and xaxis.
Step 4: Finally, draw the bars according to the data and the scale chosen. While drawing the bars, make sure that the gap between the bars and the width of bars is kept uniform.
In the abovegiven vertical bar graph, we can see that on the scale, 1 unit represents 5 girls.
 The graph used: vertical bar graph.
 Yaxis: number of girls in the class.
 Xaxis: classes (Class 5, Class 6, Class 7, Class 8, and Class 9)
Just by looking at the above vertical bar graph, we can easily conclude that:
 Class 9 contains the most number of girls since it is represented with the longest bar.
 Class 7 contains the least number of girls since it is represented with the shortest bar.
Uses of Bar Graph and Double Bar Graph
A bar graph or bar chart is the simplest form of pictorial representation of data. It is mostly used in mathematics and statistics. Some of the uses are as follows:
 Bar graphs are used to compare different variables and these comparisons can be simple or complex.
 They are used to visually illustrate huge sets of data.
 They are highly useful in analyzing patterns of growth and decline over long periods of time and to make easy estimations.
 Bar graphs are one of the most widely used methods of data representation across business sectors.
Related Topics
Check out these interesting articles to learn more about the bar graphs and double bar graphs, and their related topics.
Important Notes
Here is a list of a few points that should be remembered while studying bar graphs:
 A bar chart or bar graph is the simplest form of pictorial representation of data with single bars of various heights. In a bar graph, the length of each bar is proportional to the value it represents.
 A double bar graph is similar to a normal bar graph and the only difference is that it is used to compare 2 data groups.
 In order to solve the questions on the bar graph, first, understand the data presented on both the yaxis and xaxis and observe the relation between the two in terms of the length of the bars.
 When a graph is drawn, there must be equal spacing between the bars.
Solved Examples

Example 1: Consider the bar graph given below which shows the number of cakes baked, starting from Monday to Saturday.
Answer the following question:
On which day were the minimum number of cakes baked? How many cakes were baked on that day?
Solution:
From the above graph, we can easily understand that the minimum number of cakes were baked on Tuesday because Tuesday represents the smallest bar. As we follow this bar, it shows that 10 cakes were baked on this day.
Answer: Therefore, the minimum number of cakes were baked on Tuesday and the number of cakes baked on this day were 10.

Example 2: The number of cars manufactured by a factory for five consecutive weeks is shown in the table given below:
Week Number of Cars manufactured First week
600
Second week
850
Third week
700
Fourth week
300
Fifth week
900
i) Draw a bar graph to represent the tabular data.
ii) Calculate the total number of cars manufactured in the fourth week.
Solution
i) The data represented by the bar graph is as follows:
ii) From the above graph, it can be understood that the total number of cars manufactured in the fourth week = 300
Answer: Therefore, the total number of cars manufactured on the fourth week were 300.

Example 3: The data collected from a survey of a city is given below. Draw a double bar graph with an appropriate scale.
Sports
Football
Baseball Basketball
Tennis
Golf
Watched
1200
570
700
500
400
Played
800
400
350
400
105
Solution: The data can be represented by the following double bar graph:
FAQs on Pictorial Representation of Data
What is the Difference Between a Bar Graph and a Double Bar Graph?
A bar graph is a pictorial representation of data with single bars of various heights, whereas, a double bar graph is a pictorial representation of data with two bars next to each other at various heights. Another difference between a double bar graph and a bar graph is that a bar graph displays only one set of data, whereas, a double bar graph compares two different sets of information or data.
What is the Main Purpose of a Bar Graph?
Bar graphs are mostly used in presentations and reports across different industries. They are very popular because they allow the readers to identify trends or patterns far more easily than looking at a table of numerical data.
What are the Advantages of Using Charts and Graphs?
Some of the advantages of using charts and graphs are that two or three data sets can easily be compared, a large data set can be summarized in a visual form, and the key values can be estimated at a glance.
How Are Bar Graphs and Pie Charts Used in Real Life?
Bar graphs and pie charts are used in businesses to present information visually. It represents the performance, sales information, population increase, and decrease, and many others.
What are Some of the Characteristics of Bar Graphs That Make Them Useful?
Some of the useful characteristics of bar graphs are that they make comparisons between different variables which are very easy to understand and they show how one variable has impacted the other. Apart from these, they show the growth or decline of variables over a period of time, and they help us recognize patterns or trends.
Which Types of Graphs Are Used to Display TimeSeries Data?
Horizontal bar graphs, line graphs, and vertical bar graphs are used to display timeseries data.
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