GED Mathematical Reasoning: Circle Graphs (Pie Graphs)

  • A circle graph, like the one shown in the example, is also known as a “pie graph” because it’s represented by a circle broken into pieces like a pie. The circle represents a whole amount and the pieces represent the parts that comprise the whole.


Example 1

Below is a circle graph representing the Morris family’s monthly budget. Use the graph to answer the following questions.

  1. How much more does the Morris family spend on food than on rent? State your answer as a percent.
  2. If the Morris family’s income is $3,500 per month, what is the dollar amount spent on clothes?

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For part (a) of the example, to find how much more the Morris family spends on food than on rent we’ll first identify the percent corresponding to each component. Then, we’ll subtract since we’re comparing one amount to another.

Based on the graph, the percent of the budget spent on food is 33%. The percent of the budget spent on rent is 25%.

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When we subtract 25% from 33%, we find that the Morris family spends 8% more on food than on rent.

To answer Part (B), let’s first use the circle graph to determine the percent of monthly income spent on clothes. As you can see, the answer is 15%.

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To find the amount of money spent on clothes, we need to find what 15% of $3,500 is equal to. Recall that the word “of” means to multiply. Therefore, we’ll multiply 15% by $3,500.

Before we do, however, we need to turn the percent into a decimal by moving the decimal point two places to the left.


0.15 \times \$3,500 = \$525

This means the amount of money that the Morris family spends on clothes each month, in dollars, is $525.

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