UK Accounting Glossary
A histogram is an accurate representation of the distribution of numerical data. It is an estimate of the probability distribution of a continuous variable and was first introduced by Karl Pearson. It differs from a bar graph, in the sense that a bar graph relates two variables, but a histogram relates only one. To construct a histogram, the first step is to “bin” the range of values—that is, divide the entire range of values into a series of intervals—and then count how many values fall into each interval. The bins are usually specified as consecutive, non-overlapping intervals of a variable. The bins must be adjacent and are often of equal size.
Line-chart based on a histogram, it is drawn by joining the mid-points of the blocks at their apexes with a straight line. The extreme points of the line are joined to the horizontal (‘X’) axis (where the mid-point of the respective next class would have been) to result into a polygon. In a very large set of data (where the number of classes increases and difference between their widths decreases) the polygon turns into a smooth curve known as frequency curve or frequency distribution curve. Histographs (and histograms) are commonly used where the subject item is discrete (such as the number of students in a school) instead of being continuous (such as the variations in their heights).
Sometimes referred to as a frequency polygon, a histograph is usually preferred over a histogram where the number of classes is eight or more.
To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.
Definitions for Histograph are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:
This glossary post was last updated: 28th December 2019.