# Histogram

## Graphical representation of the distribution of numerical data / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A **histogram** is a visual representation of the distribution of quantitative data. The term was first introduced by Karl Pearson.^{[1]} To construct a histogram, the first step is to "bin" (or "bucket") the range of values— 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 (intervals) are adjacent and are typically (but not required to be) of equal size.^{[2]}

Histograms give a rough sense of the density of the underlying distribution of the data, and often for density estimation: estimating the probability density function of the underlying variable. The total area of a histogram used for probability density is always normalized to 1. If the length of the intervals on the *x*-axis are all 1, then a histogram is identical to a relative frequency plot.

Histograms are sometimes confused with bar charts. In a histogram, each bin is for a different range of values, so altogether the histogram illustrates the distribution of values. But in a bar chart, each bar is for a different category of observations (e.g., each bar might be for a different population), so altogether the bar chart can be used to compare different categories. Some authors recommend that bar charts always have gaps between the bars to clarify that they are not histograms.^{[3]}^{[4]}