Spineplot in R


The following table contains the count the number of Titanic survivals based of their economic status (class). This data will be used in the examples below.

# Data 
dat <- apply(Titanic, c(1, 4), sum)
class \ Survived No Yes
1st 122 203
2nd 167 118
3rd 528 178
Crew 673 212


Spineplots are a generalization of stacked bar charts. The spineplot function allows creating this type of graph in base R (actually a mosaic plot, which is a spineplot for two or more variables). See ?spineplot to know more about the possible input options.


Basic spineplot in R

Transpose the variables

The spineplot can be flipped transposing the data, as in the example below.


Spine plot in R with spineplot function

Color customization

Spineplot color customization

Fill color

You can pass a vector of colors to col to customize the default gray scale colors. Pass as many colors as classes on the Y-axis.

spineplot(dat, col = c("#07798D", "#7BCB9F"))

Border color spineplot

Border color

You can also customize the border color with border. In this example we are setting it to the fill color.

spineplot(dat, col = c("#07798D", "#7BCB9F"),
          border = c("#07798D", "#7BCB9F"))



Spinograms are a generalization of histograms. The default spineplot function creates a spineplot, but setting off = 0 a spinogram will be created, removing the offset between the bars.

spineplot(dat, off = 0)

Spinogram in R

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See also