Circle Graph: Definition & Examples

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  • 0:05 What is a Circle Graph?
  • 0:35 Types of Circle Graphs
  • 1:32 Creating a Circle Graph
  • 3:20 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Beddoe

Jennifer has an MS in Chemistry and a BS in Biological Sciences.

A circle graph is a circular chart divided into sections that each represent a percentage of the total. This lesson will define a circle graph and give some examples of types of circle graphs.

What is a Circle Graph?

A circle graph is also known as a pie chart. The graph is in the shape of a circle with different wedges that each represent a percentage of a total. These wedges often look like pieces of pie, which is why the circle graph is sometimes referred to as a pie chart. Each angle of the circle graph is proportional to the quantity it represents.

The circle graph was first used in 1801 by William Playfair; however, it did not gain popularity until the late 1800's when used by Florence Nightingale.

Types of Circle Graphs

There are different types of circle graphs. They might look different, but they all represent data in much the same manner.

Circle Graph This is the basic circle graph. This example shows what percentage of people belong to the world's major religions.


Exploded Circle Graph In this type of chart, the sections are 'exploded out.' This is done to show details of smaller sections or to highlight one section.


3D Circle Graph Often used for aesthetic reasons, this 3-dimensional circle graph often makes the data more difficult to interpret, but as you can see, it does indeed look pretty.


Donut Chart Functionally the same as a circle graph, but with a hole in the center, this type of graph is able to support multiple statistics as one.


Exploded Donut Chart This chart is the same as a donut chart, but the wedges have 'exploded out,' much like the Exploded Circle Graph.


Creating a Circle Graph

Creating a circle graph of your own is not difficult at all. For example, let's create a circle graph that represents how many students got each grade on the most recent test.

First, collect the data.

Here is the breakdown of grades achieved.

A - 8

B - 15

C - 7

D - 4

F - 1

Total Students = 35

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