A stacked bar chart is a bar chart that includes subgroups of data in each bar.
The length of each bar communicates the total value of a group which is a sum of it’s subgroup values, and the length of each subgroup represents their individual values. Stacked bar charts are best used to compare data between groups and between subgroups.
Stacked bar charts are best for depicting large changes of a subgroup or for gathering a quick, high level view of the content. Stacked bar charts are not optimal for conveying detailed or subtle changes in the subgroup values. As the subgroups get further from the axis, the values become harder to determine.
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Always begin the bar lengths at zero.
Always include a legend along with labels.
Always maintain an even amount of space between bars.
Never depict more than five subgroups.
It is recommended that you order groups by their total value or the values of a selected subgroup.
It is recommended that you include no more than five subgroups.
It is recommended that you use a sequential or diverging color scheme if the subgroups have an order.
It is recommended that you use a qualitative color scheme if the subgroups do not have an order.
It is not recommended that you order groups by their alphabetical label.