Skip to content

Stacked Bar Chart

A stacked bar chart is a specific type of bar chart that takes the concept of visualizing category comparisons a step further. Stacked bar charts are designed to help you see two things simultaneously:

  • How totals compare across categories (represented by the height of the entire bar)
  • How different sub-categories contribute to those totals

An example of an embedded stacked bar chart

Creating an Effective Stacked Bar Chart

Below are the recommended data types to show on each axis:

  • X-Axis Dates, Categorical data
  • Y-Axis Numerical values
  • Group Axis Categorical data


  • Categories: Similar to regular bar charts, one axis represents categories of data.
  • Values: Instead of individual bars for each category, the stacked bar chart uses segments within a single bar to represent different values.
  • Stacked segments: Each segment within the bar corresponds to a sub-category or value component. They are stacked on top of each other, with their combined height representing the total value for that category.
  • Colors: Different colors are typically used for each segment, making it visually clear which value contributes how much to the overall category value.

When to use a Stacked Bar Chart

  • Compare parts of a whole: Unlike regular bar charts that show individual category values, stacked bar charts help you understand how sub-categories contribute to the overall category.
  • Visualize proportions: The segments’ relative sizes within the bar immediately convey the proportional contribution of each sub-category to the whole.
  • Identify dominant components: You can easily see which sub-category has the largest or smallest contribution within each category.