Filling bars with color

ggplot(___) + 
  geom_col(
    mapping = aes(x = ___, y = ___, 
                  fill = ___)
 )
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Like other geoms geom_col() allows users to map additional dataset variables to the color attribute of the bar. The fill aesthetic can be used to fill the entire bars with color. A usual confusion is the color aesthetic which specifies the line color of each bar’s border instead of the fill color.

Based on the gapminder_top5 dataset we plot the population (in millions) of the biggest countries and use the continent variable to color each bar:

Input
ggplot(gapminder_top5) + 
  geom_col(aes(x = country, y = pop, fill = continent))

Since the continent variable is a categorical variable the bars have a clear color scheme for each continent. Let’s see what happens if we use a numeric variable like life expectancy lifeExp instead:

Input
ggplot(gapminder_top5) + 
  geom_col(aes(x = country, y = pop, fill = lifeExp))

The bar colors have now changed according the continuous legend on the right. We see that also numeric variables can be used to fill bars.

Create your first bar chart