To show:

  • frequency
  • distribution
  • profile
  • range
  • concentration
  • normal curve
  • population pyramid
  • shape

For one variable

Use a histogram to show a distribution of data. Use small gaps between the bars to emphasise the profile of the data.

Usually resident population aged 0 to 21 years
UK, 2013

For two variables

Use a population pyramid to show the distribution of comparable data sets and highlight differences in the profile of the data.

For more than two variables

To compare four variables population pyramids can be overlaid, with the least important data set displayed using an outline pyramid instead of bars.

Small multiple charts can also be used for multiple distributions. Use the same scale to enable comparison across charts.

Box-plots can also be used to compare distributions with two or more variables.