Bar ChartsA bar chart is made up of columns plotted on a graph. Here is how to read a bar chart.The columns are positioned over a label that represents a categorical variable.The height of the column indicates the size of the group defined by the column label.The bar chart below shows average per capita income for the four "New" states - New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire, and New Mexico.
HistogramsLike a bar chart, a histogram is made up of columns plotted on a graph. Usually, there is no space between adjacent columns. Here is how to read a histogram.The columns are positioned over a label that represents a quantitative variable.The column label can be a single value or a range of values.The height of the column indicates the size of the group defined by the column label.The Difference Between Bar Charts and HistogramsHere is the main difference between bar charts and histograms. With bar charts, each column represents a group defined by a categorical variable; and with histograms, each column represents a group defined by a quantitative variable.One implication of this distinction: it is always appropriate to talk about the skewness of a histogram; that is, the tendency of the observations to fall more on the low end or the high end of the X axis.With bar charts, however, the X axis does not have a low end or a high end; because the labels on the X axis are categorical - not quantitative. As a result, it is less appropriate to comment on the skewness of a bar chart.