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Circle Graphs

Graphs take complicated data and make them easier to understand for everyone. When we run experiments or conduct surveys, graphs help us tell the world all about our amazing discoveries. Circle graphs let us display data in a very easy-to-understand format, and even casual observers can figure out what we're talking about with a quick glance. But what exactly are circle graphs? How do we make our own circle graphs? Let's find out:

What is a circle graph?

As you might have guessed, a circle graph takes the form of a circle. It's also commonly called a pie chart since we will subdivide the circle into shapes that look like pie slices. We can then divide this circle into different sections depending on the distribution of our data. Visually, this graph is very easy to understand. But making your own circle graph is sometimes a little more tricky than it seems, so let's review the steps.

Creating our own circle graph

In order to create our own circle graph, we need to run an imaginary survey. Let's say we asked all our 100 friends about their favorite foods. We might get the following results:

  • 41 said pizza
  • 24 said ice cream
  • 9 said raw mushrooms
  • 11 said dog food
  • 15 said chicken liver

The first step is to convert these values into percentages. This is easy because our survey size is 100. Next, we need to organize these percentages into a circle graph.

But wait a second -- how do we figure out how big each section of the circle should be? How do we know what 15% of a circle looks like?


We all know that a circle has 360 degrees, right? In other words, 100% of a circle is 360 360 . Based on these principles, we can create the following equation:

15 100 = x 360


0.15 × 360 = x

Solve this equation, and you'll find that x = 54 .

All we need to do now is measure out 54 degrees within our circle, and we have our first section. If we continue this process for each of the data points, we can complete the entire circle graph:

For the finishing touches, shade each section with a different color and write the percentage. Create a legend showing our viewers which color represents each food. Finally, we can give our circle graph a title. Now you know how to show the world your amazing data with a snazzy circle graph!

To draw out your own circle graph, you'll need something called a "protractor." This is a tool that shows you the number of degrees in different angles.

When are circle graphs most useful?

As you might have guessed, circle graphs are very useful when dealing with percentages and ratios. You might use a circle graph to communicate data about a particular population, such as your classroom, your country, or even the entire world!

You can also show circle graphs to display your budget. For example, you might want to figure out how much of your allowance you're spending on ice cream each month. A circle graph can help you see how much of your "pie" you're spending on certain things, helping you make better choices in the future.

Guide your student toward better confidence in math class

If your student is struggling with any of the skills involved in making a circle graph, working with a private math tutor can help them understand the math behind each concept. Varsity Tutors is standing by to assist you, so reach out today and let us pair your student with a math tutor whose skills match your student's unique goals.

Topics related to the Circle Graphs

Scatter Plots

Bar Graphs

Box and Whisker Plots

Flashcards covering the Circle Graphs

Statistics Flashcards

Common Core: High School - Statistics and Probability Flashcards

Practice tests covering the Circle Graphs

Probability Theory Practice Tests

Common Core: High School - Statistics and Probability Diagnostic Tests

Get a better understanding of circle graphs

If your student is struggling with circle graphs or related skills, private tutoring can help. Varsity Tutors is standing by to assist you, so reach out today and let us pair your student with a math tutor whose experience matches your student's unique goals in math.

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