DEFINITION of 'Bar Graph'
A bar graph is a chart that plots data using rectangular bars (called bins) that represent the total amount of observations in the data for that category. A bar chart is a style of bar graph; it is often used to represent the price range of a stock over a single day. In finance and economics, an example of a bar graph is one that compares median household income for several states, in which one axis represents different categories, the different states, and the other represents a discrete range of data points, median income.
Bar graphs can be constructed with the data rising vertically or extending horizontally. A commonly used verticallyoriented bar graph is the histogram, which uses bars to represent the frequency distribution of data visually. Histograms are commonly used in statistics to demonstrate how many of a certain type of variable occurs within a specific range, clustered into 'bins' or 'buckets'. For example, a census counting the age distribution of a particular country may generate a histogram to show how many people are between the ages of 0 and 10, 11 and 20, 21 and 30, 31 and 40, etc. This histogram would look similar to the example below:.
BREAKING DOWN 'Bar Graph'
The purpose of a bar graph is to convey relational information quickly as the bars display the quantity for a particular category. The left side of a bar graph is called the yaxis, while the bottom of a bar graph is called the xaxis. When interpreting a bar graph, the length of the bars determines the highest value, lowest value and any inconsistencies.
Features
A typical bar graph has a label, axis, scales and bars. These graphs are ideal for comparing two or more values. Data is displayed either horizontally or vertically. Single bar graphs are used to convey discrete values of an item within a category. For instance, a bar graph could display the number of males with a certain trait for specific ages. The discrete value, or the number of instances in which an individual has a certain trait, is displayed based on the length of the bar. In this example, a different bar is established for each age or age group.
When a graph has a welldefined zero point and the data set has positive and negative values in relation to this point, bars can still be displayed. When this occurs, a horizontal bar graph is typically used in which the independent variable is placed on the vertical axis. The bars proceed to the left and right of the zero point; bars to the left usually display negative values while bars to the right are positive values.
Grouped Bar Graphs
Grouped bar graphs, also called clustered bar graphs, represent discrete values for more than one item that share the same category. Elaborating on the example above, a bar graph could display the number of individuals, male and female, with a certain trait for specific ages. The aggregate of number of instances could be combined into one bar. Alternatively, the instances could remain segregated by gender; one bar for all male instances and one bar for all females instances would be placed side by side for each age or age group.
Stacked Bar Graphs
Stacked bar graphs or composite bar graphs divide an aggregate total into parts. These parts are typically identified by utilizing different colors for each section. In the example above, the aggregate of instances for both males and females may be combined into one bar but the bar may be divided into multiple sections represented by different colors.
Bar Graphs in Technical Analysis
Some technical analysis relies on bar graphs. For instance, traders may employ a moving average convergence divergence (MACD) histogram, which is a popular technical indicator that illustrates the difference between the MACD line and the signal line.

Bar Chart
A style of chart used by some technical analysts, on which, as ... 
Line Graph
A graph that measures change over time by plotting individual ... 
Hikkake Pattern
A charting pattern used by technical traders which is used in ... 
Daily Chart
A line graph that displays the intraday movements of a given ... 
Forex Charting Software
Forex charting software helps traders analyze foreign currency ... 
Morning Star
A bullish candlestick pattern that consists of three candles ...

Trading
Gauging Entry and Exit Signals With Range Bars
Price bars often generate important signals that traders can use for timely entry or exit. 
Investing
How Do You Purchase Physical Gold Bars?
Find out how to buy gold bars, including tips on evaluating purity, form, size and authenticity of the purchase. 
Trading
Measure Profit Potential With Options Risk Graphs
See how price, time and volatility affect potential gains in a single diagram. 
Insights
How to Understand a Stock Quote
Trading stocks is a popular way to invest money. Learn the details of a quote and what its information suggests, including pricing data and charts. 
Investing
Monetary Inflation
Ever wondered why a candy bar no longer costs 50 cents? The answer is monetary inflation. Find out what this means and how it affects your purchasing power. 
Investing
Amazon Is Opening a PopUp Cocktail Bar in Japan
The tech giant continues to build out its physical presence in efforts to expand into new markets. 
Investing
Risk Management Techniques For Shorting Call Options (IBM)
Shorting covered calls is a popular options trade strategy. Here are the methods to mitigate the risk/loss and enhance profits for selling covered calls 
Trading
Charts Suggest Commodities Are Poised to Have a Strong 2017
Longterm weekly charts combined with the under followed Volume by Price indicator are pointing to higher commodity prices in 2017. 
Trading
The 5 Most Powerful Candlestick Patterns
Statistics show unusual accuracy for the buy and sell signals of certain candlestick patterns.

What do the different colored candlesticks mean?
A typical candlestick chart is composed of a series of bars, known as candles, which vary in height and color. Read Answer >> 
How does the balance of trade impact currency exchange rates?
Find out how the balance of trade affects a country's exchange rates and how those exchange rates can, in turn, affect the ... Read Answer >> 
How do I start using technical analysis?
Technical analysis is a method of analyzing securities by evaluating current and historical price and/or volume activity. ... Read Answer >>