An area chart, also known as an area graph or mountain chart, combines elements of line charts and bar charts to visually represent quantitative data over time or across categories.
An Area Chart
Good choices for X Axis
Good choices for Y Axis
- Numerical values
- Data points: Similar to line charts, data points plot individual values at specific points in time or categories.
- Lines: Lines connect the data points, reflecting the trend or progression of the data.
- Area fill: The area below the line is filled with color or shade, highlighting the cumulative value across categories or time intervals.
- Axes: Two axes form the chart’s foundation: Horizontal axis (X-axis): Typically represents the continuous variable, often time. Vertical axis (Y-axis): Represents the values being measured.
Types of Area Charts:
- Single-series area chart: Uses a single line and shaded area to show the trend of one dataset.
- Stacked area chart: Uses multiple lines and stacked shaded areas to compare the trends of multiple datasets, showing how they contribute to the overall total.
- Percent-stacked area chart: Similar to a stacked area chart, but the individual areas display proportions instead of absolute values, making it ideal for percentages or ratios.
When to use an area chart
- Visualize trends and variations over time: See how values fluctuate, increase, decrease, or plateau over a specific period.
- Compare multiple datasets: Observe how different data series change in relation to each other, particularly highlighting how they contribute to the overall trend.
- Show cumulative totals: Understand the total value across categories or time intervals by considering the combined shaded area.