The Advantages and Disadvantages of Pie Charts and Bar Graphs


The table compares the number of terrorists’ attacks in the worst-hit countries around the world in the year 2015 and 2016. The table offers a quick comparison of shifts in the number of terror attacks as well as arranges the countries according to the order of frequency of attacks. Iraq is the most hit country while Somali is the least hit in the list. The table shows that the number of attacks is more prone in countries without a stable government.

Figure 1

The number of terrorist attacks in various countries.


The bar graph presents a visual comparison between the attacks in 2015 and 2016. The number of attacks in Iraq, Somalia and India in 2015 is smaller than in 2016. The bar graph shows a reduced number of attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Philippines, Nigeria, Syria, and Yemen in 2016. The total compares the state of terror in the various countries showing descending order from Syria to Somalia.

Figure 2

The distribution of terror attacks in various countries


The pie chart compares the total number of attacks in 2015 and 2016 using the percentages. It gives a quick method of analyzing the impact of terror in the various countries. Iraq comprises a third of the total number of attacks made in 2015 and 2016 which shows the gravity of the situation in Iraq.

Table 2

The distribution of terror attacks made by the most lethal terrorist groups around the world retrieved

Terrorism groups

year 2015

year 2016

Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)**






Maoists/Communist Party of India - Maoist (CPI-Maoist)






Houthi Extremists




The table presents a comparison between the numbers of attacks made by the most lethal terror groups around the world. Taliban has the highest number both in the 2015 and 2016 but register a reduced number of attacks in 2016. The table offers an easy comparison between the two countries.

Figure 3

The distribution of the terror attacks among the most lethal terrorist groups


The bar graph presents a more clear method of comparing the number of attacks perpetrated by the terror groups in the two years. The graph shows an increase in the number of attacks made by ISIS and Al-Shabaab in 2016 as compared to 2015. The attacks made by Maoists remain constant while those of Taliban and Houthi extremists reduce in 2016.

Part 2

Advantages of using a pie chart

According to «Building Pie Charts» a pie chart allows readers to understand the data represented at a glance. The use of percentages makes it unnecessary to compare the constituent numbers as representative of the data provided.

Disadvantages of using pie charts

“Building Pie Charts”, however, appreciates that pie charts become ineffective when the data being compared includes many variables since the pie chart has to be divided into many compartments.

Advantages of using bar graphs

Bar graphs are effective in comparing the frequencies and hence provide the clear display of the trends of the data. The reader can make inference with increased ease without the need for the data (Humphrey et al. 70-72).

Disadvantages of using bar graphs

Bar graphs become ineffective when the variables in the data are numerous due to the increase in the number of bar graphs (Humphrey et al. 73-75).

Part 3

Zach Zessack

The use of bar graphs is made appropriately; the number of data variables is of medium size and allows for standard bar graph sizes. According to Humphrey despite the fact that the width of the bar graphs do not represent any character of the data, the width determines the data and ability of the reader to comprehend the data presented. The bars provide the trend of the data, and a reader would easily understand the data without the need to study the data values. The bar graphs can, however, be misleading if not well interpreted (Humphrey et al. 70-75). The bar graphs can be improved by including the values represented by the bars. In the same manner, the pie chart is also useful in describing the data. According to “Building Pie Charts” the risk of misinterpretation of the data can be reduced when including the percentages represented by the compartments.

Tamya Morris

The Violent Crime Rates in the Open Carry States for 2014 data has many variables and largely reduce the effectiveness of bar graphs. The risk of misinterpretation of the data is high. The inclusion of values represented by the variables cannot be presented since doing that would increase the risk of misunderstanding. (Humphrey et al. 70-75) Use of scatter plot may be a better method of describing the data. The use of the bar graphs in evaluating the Violent Crime Rates in the Non-Open Carry States for 2014 data is justified and allows for natural interpretation of the data. “Building Pie Charts” argues that method can be improved by including the percentages represented by the compartments of the bar graphs to reduce the risk of misinterpretation.

Works Cited

“Building Pie Charts” The Green Guide to Specification, pp.16-17.

Humphrey, Patricia B., et al. “Developing Consistency in the Terminology and Display of Bar Graphs and Histograms” Teaching Statistics, 20 Oct. 2013, pp.70-75.

Miller, Erin. “National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism: Annex of Statistical Information” Accessed 18 Feb. 2018

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