In pictographs we learn to recognize different things in our surroundings and to express the given information through pictorial symbols of different objects.

Every government, business organization, department or individual needs some information to review the progress, plans and activities for the future. Even your school principal needs different information to plan for the next session.

For example, he/she wants to purchase new furniture for the next session. Naturally, he/she will need information about number of classes, number of students in each class, number of furniture items present, number of new admissions expected, and so on. Such information is always collected in numbers, called numerical data.

The collection of information through numerical data is done by many ways such as going individually from place to place and gathering information, collecting information through newspapers, magazines and T.V. etc. or going to a library and consulting reference books, government publications etc.

To study the details of data, we use pictures. The study of data through pictures is known as pictorial representation of data.

There are different methods of representing numerical data pictorially. One of the methods is to use picture symbols. Such a representation is called a pictograph. Now we will study about representing information by pictographs in more details.

What is pictorial representation or pictograph?

The expression or illustration regarding the different information about any object or objects or activities through pictures or picture symbols is called pictorial representation or pictograph.

A pictograph is a way of showing data using images. Each image stands for a certain number of things. Pictograph makes information easy and clear to understand.

We can collect data regarding conveyances of students coming and going to school from their homes. The pictograph can be made using symbols of conveyances, students and their numbers.Pictograph showing conveyance and students

Pictographs Symbols

The given pictograph expresses the following information:

(i) The kinds of conveyance used by the students.

(ii) The number of students using conveyances and the number of students coming and going on foot.

(iii) The number of students using school-bus, own car, bicycle, rickshaw, taxi, etc.

(iv) Percentage of students using hired tempo or rickshaw, own car or scooter, cycle etc., fraction of students coming and going without any vehicle.

(v) Percentage of students related to rich family. Students having their own cars belong to rich families.

Thus, much information may be gathered by studying the pictograph.

Let us consider some examples on Pictograph Representation:

1. Ryan, the student of a primary school, collects some information about the number of studying in different class from call I to V.

Represent the Data

Represent the data through a pictograph.


Suppose the symbol of one figure represents 10 students as shown below.

Pictorial Symbol

Now we can easily represent the information given in the table with the help of the symbol. We can represent the number of students horizontally and the classes vertically

Problems with Pictographs

The pictograph gives us the following information.

(i) The pictograph shows the number of students in classes I to V.

(ii) The number of students is maximum in class IV.

(iii) The number of students is minimum in classes I to III.

(iv) The number of students is same in class I to III.

(v) The total number of students in the school is 260.

2. Students of grade III-A come to school by different mode of transport. Some of them come by school bus, some by private van and others by personal vehicle.

Let us observe the table given here showing number of students and mode of transportation.

Mode of Transportation

Number of Students

School Bus


Private Van










Let us represent the given information using an image to draw a pictograph and give a title for the same.

Number of students use different mode of transportation

Pictograph Representation

This representation of data where we use pictures or symbols is known as pictograph or pictogram. A pictograph has a title and a key. Here, ‘Number of students use different mode of transportation’ is a title or a label. The symbols used in a pictograph are well defined.

Pictograph Symbol

is a symbol that is used here to represent a student. It is also called a key of the pictograph.

Here, in the above example, 

Pictograph Symbol

represents 1 student. 

So, the key of the pictograph is

Pictograph Symbol

= 1 student. 

When the numbers in data are large we can use one picture or symbol to represent a specific number.

Questions and Answers on Pictographs:

1. Fill in the blanks:

(i) The method of representing data using pictures is called .............

(ii) A pictograph has a title and a .............


1. (i) Pictograph

(ii) key

2. How many paintings did the painter sell in February?


= 1 painting

Pictograph on Paintings


2. 5 paintings.

You might like these

Related Concepts on Data Handling


To Make a Pictograph

Data for The Pictograph

Pictograph to Represent The Collected Data

Interpreting a Pictograph

4th Grade Math Activities

From Pictographs to HOME PAGE

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