What Type of Data Is Used for Bar Graphs?


Scott Campbell

Bar graphs are one of the most commonly used data visualization tools. They are effective in presenting and comparing different categories or groups of data.

But have you ever wondered what type of data is used for creating bar graphs? In this article, we will explore the different types of data that can be represented using bar graphs.

Quantitative Data

Bar graphs are primarily used to represent quantitative data. This type of data is numerical and can be measured or counted.

It provides information about the quantity or amount of something. For example, the number of books sold in a month, the temperature variations throughout a day, or the population growth in different countries.

Discrete Data

One common form of quantitative data used in bar graphs is discrete data. Discrete data consists of separate and distinct values that cannot be subdivided further.

These values are usually whole numbers or counts. For instance, the number of cars sold by a dealership in a particular year or the number of students in each grade level at a school.

Continuous Data

In contrast to discrete data, continuous data represents measurements that can take on any value within a specific range. This type of quantitative data is often collected through measuring devices such as thermometers or scales. Examples include temperature readings at different times during the day or weight measurements for a group of individuals.

Categorical Data

In addition to quantitative data, bar graphs can also be used to represent categorical data. Categorical data consists of distinct categories or groups with no inherent order or numerical value associated with them. This type of data is often represented using labels or names rather than numbers.

Nominal Data

Nominal data is a form of categorical data where the categories are purely descriptive and have no inherent order. Examples include gender (male, female), types of fruits (apple, banana, orange), or different colors.

Ordinal Data

Ordinal data, on the other hand, represents categories that have a natural order or ranking. This means that the categories can be arranged in a specific sequence based on their attributes. Examples of ordinal data include educational levels (elementary, middle school, high school) or satisfaction ratings (very dissatisfied, dissatisfied, neutral, satisfied, very satisfied).


Bar graphs are versatile tools for visualizing different types of data. They are most commonly used to represent quantitative data such as discrete and continuous data.

However, they can also effectively showcase categorical data like nominal and ordinal data. By choosing the appropriate type of data and using the right styling elements in your HTML code, you can create visually engaging and informative bar graphs to present your data effectively.

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