William Playfair

1759 - 1823

Photo of William Playfair

Icon of person William Playfair

William Playfair (22 September 1759 – 11 February 1823), a Scottish engineer and political economist, served as a secret agent on behalf of Great Britain during its war with France. The founder of graphical methods of statistics, Playfair invented several types of diagrams: in 1786 the line, area and bar chart of economic data, and in 1801 the pie chart and circle graph, used to show part-whole relations. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of William Playfair has received more than 309,136 page views. His biography is available in 18 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 17 in 2019). William Playfair is the 199th most popular engineer (up from 208th in 2019), the 2,351st most popular biography from United Kingdom (up from 2,419th in 2019) and the 20th most popular British Engineer.

Memorability Metrics

  • 310k

    Page Views (PV)

  • 62.12

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 18

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 3.40

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 2.56

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Page views of William Playfairs by language


Among engineers, William Playfair ranks 199 out of 325Before him are Enrico Forlanini, Adolphe Alphand, Wilhelm Nusselt, Ivan Yarkovsky, Benoît Fourneyron, and Marc Isambard Brunel. After him are Émile Levassor, William Froude, Vasily Mishin, Léon Charles Thévenin, Arkhip Lyulka, and Vladimir Petlyakov.

Most Popular Engineers in Wikipedia

Go to all Rankings


Among people born in 1759, William Playfair ranks 26Before him are James Edward Smith, François Devienne, Johann Christoph Friedrich GutsMuths, Johann Christian Reil, William Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville, and Franz Krommer. After him are Ferenc Kazinczy, Matsudaira Sadanobu, Louis Augustin Guillaume Bosc, Andrey Voronikhin, Thomas Andrew Knight, and William Kirby. Among people deceased in 1823, William Playfair ranks 21Before him are Karl Leonhard Reinhold, Princess Amélie Louise of Arenberg, Adam Kazimierz Czartoryski, Friedrich Arnold Brockhaus, Antonio Nariño, and Daniel Steibelt. After him are Luis María de Borbón y Vallabriga, Johann Baptist Allgaier, Henry Raeburn, Princess Caroline of Nassau-Usingen, Erik Johan Stagnelius, and Charles Hutton.

Others Born in 1759

Go to all Rankings

Others Deceased in 1823

Go to all Rankings

In United Kingdom

Among people born in United Kingdom, William Playfair ranks 2,351 out of 6,924Before him are Murray Head (1946), Allan Octavian Hume (1829), Edward Braddock (1695), Snowy White (1948), Ioan Gruffudd (1973), and David Bailey (1938). After him are James H. Wilkinson (1919), Richard Marquand (1937), Eleanor Hibbert (1906), William Wilson (1844), Prince Maurice of Battenberg (1891), and Richard Swinburne (1934).

Among ENGINEERS In United Kingdom

Among engineers born in United Kingdom, William Playfair ranks 20Before him are Patrick Head (1946), Adrian Newey (1958), John Smeaton (1724), John Bagot Glubb (1897), Alexander Cunningham (1814), and Hertha Ayrton (1854). After him are William Froude (1810), André Waterkeyn (1917), W. Ross Ashby (1903), Frederick W. Lanchester (1868), Robert W. Paul (1869), and Ove Arup (1895).