The Data Visualisation Catalogue

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Stacked Bar Graph

stacked bar graph


Unlike a Multi-set Bar Graph which displays their bars side-by-side, Stacked Bar Graphs segment their bars. Stacked Bar Graphs are used to show how a larger category is divided into smaller categories and what the relationship of each part has on the total amount. There are two types of Stacked Bar Graphs:

Simple Stacked Bar Graphs place each value for the segment after the previous one. The total value of the bar is all the segment values added together. Ideal for comparing the total amounts across each group/segmented bar.

100% Stack Bar Graphs show the percentage-of-the-whole of each group and are plotted by the percentage of each value to the total amount in each group. This makes it easier to see the relative differences between quantities in each group.

One major flaw of Stacked Bar Graphs is that they become harder to read the more segments each bar has. Also comparing each segment to each other is difficult, as they're not aligned on a common baseline.



When 100% Stacked Bar Graph:



stacked bar graph

stacked bar graph