How to find the length of a list in Python

Hello in this tutorial, we will see how to determine the length of a list in python programming.

1. Introduction

The list data structure in python programming is:

  • A data structure that can store multiple data at once (in other words it is a comma separate items between the square brackets and the items can be of the different or same type)
  • It is an ordered collection
  • Each element in a list have a distinct place in the sequence and will not eradicate the duplicates
  • It is mutable in nature (i.e. we can add and remove the entries

python list length

There are two common ways to determine the length of a list in python programming i.e.

  • Using the in-built len() method – This method takes an argument such as a list, tuple, or an array and returns the count of the elements
    • Represented by the syntax as – len(argument)
    • Recommended approach as it has memory space available to store the size
  • Using the for loop to count the elements of a list and print the count

1.2 Setting up Python

If someone needs to go through the Python installation on Windows, please watch this link. You can download the Python from this link.

2. How to find the length of a list in Python

Let us dive in with the programming stuff now. I am using JetBrains PyCharm as my preferred IDE. You’re free to choose the IDE of your choice.

2.1 Creating an implementation file

Let us understand the implementation with the help of a python script.

Implementation file

# find length of a list

# using len() method
def len_method(languages):
    size = len(languages)
    print('Number of elements in list = {}'.format(size))

# using native method
def loop_method(languages):
    total_items = 0
    for language in languages:
        # print(language)
        total_items += 1

    print('Number of elements in list using native method = {}'.format(total_items))

# driver code
if __name__ == '__main__':
    items = ['English', 'German', 'French', 'Russian', 'Spanish', 'Hindi']


If everything goes well the following output will be shown in the IDE console.

Console Output

Number of elements in list = 6

Number of elements in list using native method = 6


That is all for this tutorial and I hope the article served you with whatever you were looking for. Happy Learning and do not forget to share!

3. Summary

In this tutorial, we learned:

  • Different ways to calculate the length of a list in Python
  • Sample program to understand the different techniques

You can download the source code of this tutorial from the Downloads section.

Learn more about Python in our tutorial for beginners.

4. Download the Project

This was a tutorial on determining the length of a list in python programming.

You can download the full source code of this example here: How to find the length of a list in Python

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