R Pie Chart – Base Graph

A Pie Chart is a special chart that shows relative sizes of data using pie slices.

typical pie chart

They are good if you are trying to compare parts of a single data series to the whole.

The pie() function

In R, you can create a pie chart using the pie() function.

It has many options and arguments to control many things, such as labels, titles and colors.

Syntax

The syntax for the pie() function is:

pie(clockwise,init.angle,labels,density,angle,col,border,lty,main,)

Parameters

R pie() function parameters
ParameterDescription
clockwiseIf True, slices are drawn clockwise ortherwise counter-clockwise
init.angleThe starting angle for the slices
labelsThe names for the slices
densityThe density of shading lines
angleThe slope of shading lines
colA vector of colors to be used in filling or shading the slices
borderThe color to be used for the border
ltyType of lines used for plotting pie chart
mainAn overall title for the plot
Other graphical parameters

Create a Simple pie chart

To get started, you need a set of data to work with.

Let’s consider a survey was conducted of a group of 190 individuals, who were asked “What’s your favorite fruit?”.

The result might appear as follows:

Fruit:AppleKiwiGrapesBananaPearsOrange
People:401530502035

Let’s put this data in a vector.

> survey <- c(apple=40, kiwi=15, grape=30, banana=50, pear=20, orange=35)
> survey
 apple   kiwi  grape banana   pear orange 
    40     15     30     50     20     35 

To create a pie chart just specify the vector in pie() function.

Example: Create a pie chart from a vector of data points

> pie(survey)

Plot:

It is really a good way to show relative sizes: you can see which fruits are most liked, and which are not, at a glance.

Coloring a Pie Chart

You can change the colors of each pie slice by passing a vector of colors to the col argument.

Example: Change the colors of each pie slice

> survey <- c(apple=40, kiwi=15, grape=30, banana=50, pear=20, orange=35)
> pie(survey,
+     col=c("steelblue4", "steelblue", "steelblue3", "steelblue2", "steelblue1", "skyblue1"))

Plot:

Example: Create a shaded pie chart

> survey <- c(apple=40, kiwi=15, grape=30, banana=50, pear=20, orange=35)
> pie(survey,
+     col=gray(seq(0.4, 1.0, length = 6)))

Plot:

Labeling a Pie Chart with Percentage

Often you want to label each pie slice with the percentage of the whole that slice represents.

You can do that by passing the precalculated percent values to the labels argument.

Example: Labeling a pie chart with percentage

> survey <- c(apple=40, kiwi=15, grape=30, banana=50, pear=20, orange=35)
> pct <- round(survey/sum(survey)*100)		# calculate percentages
> lbls <- paste(names(survey), pct, "%")	# add percents to labels
> pie(survey,
+     col=c("steelblue4", "steelblue", "steelblue3", "steelblue2", "steelblue1", "skyblue1"),
+     labels=lbls)

Plot:

If this argument is omitted, then the labels are taken from the names attribute of a vector.

Adding Hatches

Adding hatches to each pie slice is rather easy, just specify the density argument in the pie()function.

By default the chart is hatched with 45° slanting lines, however, you can change it with the angle argument.

Example: Create a hatched pie chart with different slanting lines

> survey <- c(apple=40, kiwi=15, grape=30, banana=50, pear=20, orange=35)
> pie(survey,
+     col="steelblue",
+     density = 20,
+     angle = 30*1:6)

Plot:

Pie Chart Start Angle and Direction

Use the init.angle and clockwise arguments to set the starting angle for the first segment in a pie chart, and the direction of the segments (clockwise or counter-clockwise).

By default, the init.angle is 0° (3 o’clock) and the direction of the segments is counter-clockwise.

If you change the direction of the segments to clockwise, the init.angle defaults to 90° (12 o’clock).

Example: Change the start angle to 90° and the direction of the segments to clockwise

> survey <- c(apple=40, kiwi=15, grape=30, banana=50, pear=20, orange=35)
> pie(survey,
+     col=c("steelblue4", "steelblue", "steelblue3", "steelblue2", "steelblue1", "skyblue1"),
+     init.angle = 90,
+     clockwise = TRUE)

Plot:

3D Pie Chart

To create a 3D pie chart, use pie3D() function of plotrix package and pass in the vector of data points.

You can alter the appearance of your 3D pie chart by using following parameters.

Plotrix pie3D() function parameters
ParameterDescription
colA vector of colors to be used in filling slices
mainAn overall title for the plot
labelsThe names for the slices
labelcexThe character expansion factor for the labels
explodeThe amount to explode the pie
thetaThe angle of viewing in radians
edgesThe number of lines forming an ellipse
radiusThe radius of the pie
heightThe height of the pie
startThe angle at which to start drawing sectors
borderThe color of the sector border lines

Example: Create a 3D Pie Chart

> library(plotrix)
> survey <- c(apple=40, kiwi=15, grape=30, banana=50, pear=20, orange=35)
> pie3D(survey,
+       col=c("steelblue4", "steelblue", "steelblue3", "steelblue2", "steelblue1", "skyblue1"),
+       labels = names(survey),
+       labelcex = 1,
+       explode=0.1,
+       theta = 0.8,
+       main="3D Pie Chart")

Plot: