Stacked Area Chart

Ideal for displaying the share breakdown of the total value over continuous intervals or a period of time. For percentage share use Stacked Area Chart (100%).



  • Choose a time period that encompasses reference points that add perspective to the data.
  • Always label your axes and include the units for the y-axis.
  • On the y-axis, choose increments that are easy to follow. All values on the y-axis must be divisible by the increment itself.
  • Always include a zero baseline on the y-axis. A Stacked Area graph that doesn't include a zero baseline is misleading.
  • The zero baseline should be thicker than the rest of the grid lines.
  • The legend is the key to the information. It should be positioned above or to the left of the graph and in the same order as the sequence of the components.
  • Add each area to the one below.
  • The top of the upper data series represents the total.


  • Don't use negative values.
  • Don't position the legend below the chart.
  • Don't overlap areas.