Count occurrences of item in Python list

David Y.

The Problem

How do I count the occurrences of an item in a Python list?

The Solution

We can use the Python list.count method, as below:

products = ["Apple", "Orange", "Banana", "Pear", "Apple", "Banana"] banana_count = products.count("Banana") # => 2

If we need to count the occurrences of every unique item in the list, it is more performant to use the Counter collection from the built-in Python collections library than to use the count method in a loop.

from collections import Counter products = ["Apple", "Orange", "Banana", "Pear", "Apple", "Banana"] element_counts = Counter(products)

This will produce a Counter object, which is a subclass of dict. For the code above, element_counts will look like this:

Counter({"Apple": 2, "Orange": 1, "Banana": 2, "Pear": 1})
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