Basic histogram with ggplot2

A histogram is a representation of the distribution of a numeric variable. This document explains how to build it with R and the ggplot2 package. You can find more examples in the [histogram section](histogram.html.

Histogram Section About histogram

Basic histogram with geom_histogram

It is relatively straightforward to build a histogram with ggplot2 thanks to the geom_histogram() function. Only one numeric variable is needed in the input. Note that a warning message is triggered with this code: we need to take care of the bin width as explained in the next section.

Control bin size with binwidth

A histogram takes as input a numeric variable and cuts it into several bins. Playing with the bin size is a very important step, since its value can have a big impact on the histogram appearance and thus on the message you’re trying to convey. This concept is explained in depth in data-to-viz.

Ggplot2 makes it a breeze to change the bin size thanks to the binwidth argument of the geom_histogram function. See below the impact it can have on the output.

Related chart types



This document is a work by Yan Holtz. Any feedback is highly encouraged. You can fill an issue on Github, drop me a message on Twitter, or send an email pasting with

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