# How to calculate a pie chart

Written by isaiah david
• Share
• Tweet
• Share
• Email

A pie chart is a visual way to represent information. Although you can use fractions or percentages alone to represent the same data, many people find that having a picture makes it easier to see proportions. The best thing about a pie chart is that it can work for both visual and text-oriented people. The individual slices can each have their percentage value included, along with the picture.

Skill level:
Moderate

• Compass
• Protractor
• Calculator
• Pencil
• Paper
• Stencil

## Instructions

1. 1

Add up the total from all the data you are collecting. For example, if you're making a pie chart of the number of students in school by grade, you would add up the freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors to get the total number of students.

2. 2

Divide each component by the total sum. For example, if there are 250 freshmen out of a student population of 750, divide 250 by 750 to get 0.333. Record all the totals to at least the thousandths place.

3. 3

Multiply the decimals from step 3 by 360° degrees to get the number of degrees of each pies slice. Round the number to the nearest degree. For example, 0.333 x 360 = 120, so the freshman slice in the pie chart takes up 120° degrees.

4. 4

Draw a circle. You can use a stencil, or retrace one with a compass. Put a dot in the exact middle of the circle.

5. 5

Draw one straight line from the centre to one of the edges of the circle.

6. 6

Measure out the first slice of the pie with a protractor. For example, for the freshman slice you would measure 120° degrees from the first line and put a dot on the outside of the circle at the point corresponding to that angle.

7. 7

Draw a second line from the centre of the circle at the angle you just measured. Repeat steps 6 and 7 until the whole circle is divided up and all the slices are represented.

8. 8

Label each slice of the circle. Put in what it represents and the percentage. To get a percentage, multiply the decimal from step 3 by 100. In our example, you would label the first slice of the pie as "Freshman, 33.3%".

#### Tips and warnings

• Because of rounding, your percentages might not add up exactly to 100. This is normal in pie charts.

### Don't Miss

• All types
• Articles
• Slideshows
• Videos
##### Sort:
• Most relevant
• Most popular
• Most recent