Pie Chart

Pie Chart: a special chart that uses "pie slices" to show relative sizes of data.

Imagine you survey your friends to find the kind of movie they like best:

Table: Favorite Type of Movie
Comedy Action Romance Drama SciFi
4 5 6 1 4

You can show the data by this Pie Chart:

Pie Chart Example

It is a really good way to show relative sizes: it is easy to see which movie types are most liked, and which are least liked, at a glance.

You can create graphs like that using our Data Graphs (Bar, Line and Pie) page.

Or you can make them yourself ...

How to Make Them Yourself

First, put your data into a table (like above), then add up all the values to get a total:

Table: Favorite Type of Movie
Comedy Action Romance Drama SciFi TOTAL
4 5 6 1 4 20

Next, divide each value by the total and multiply by 100 to get a percent:

Comedy Action Romance Drama SciFi TOTAL
4 5 6 1 4 20
4/20
= 20%
5/20
= 25%
6/20
= 30%
1/20
= 5%
4/20
= 20%
100%

 

Now to figure out how many degrees for each "pie slice" (correctly called a sector).

A Full Circle has 360 degrees, so we do this calculation:

Comedy Action Romance Drama SciFi TOTAL
4 5 6 1 4 20
20% 25% 30% 5% 20% 100%
4/20 × 360°
= 72°
5/20 × 360°
= 90°
6/20 × 360°
= 108°
1/20 × 360°
= 18°
4/20 × 360°
= 72°
360°

 

Pie Chart Drawing

Now you are ready to start drawing!

Draw a circle.

Then use your protractor to measure the degrees of each sector.

Here I show the first sector ...

Finish up by coloring each sector and giving it a label like "Comedy: 4 (20%)", etc.

(And dont forget a title!)
Pie Chart Example

Another Example

You can use pie charts to show the relative sizes of many things, such as:

  • what type of car people have,
  • how many customers a shop has on different days and so on.
  • how popular are different breeds of dogs

Example: Student Grades

Here is how many students got each grade in the recent test:

A B C D
4 12 10 2

And here is the pie chart:

Pie Chart Example