Everything You Need to Know About Python Arrays

Python is one of the most popular programming languages available today. It is widely used in many different business sectors such as programming, web development, machine learning, and data science. Given its widespread use, it's not surprising that Python has surpassed Java as the top programming language. In this article, you will learn about one of the most essential Python data structures: Python arrays. 

Here’s an overview of the Python array topics we will be covering:

  • What is an Array?
  • Why Use an Array in Python?
  • Creating an Array
  • Accessing the Elements of an Array
  • Basic Array Operations
    • Insertion Operation
    • Deletion Operation
    • Array Concatenation
    • Looping Through an Array
  • Python Array V/s Lists

What Is an Array?

An array is a data structure that lets us hold multiple values of the same data type. Think of it as a container that holds a fixed number of the same kind of object. Python makes coding easier for programmers. 

Why Use an Array in Python?

An array is used to store more than one value at a time. It can hold multiple values in a single variable, and also helps you reduce the overall size of the code. Arrays save time.

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Creating an Array in Python

An array is created by importing an array module to the Python program.

Syntax: from array import *

  arrayName = array(typecode, [ Initializers ])



Fig: Python array

Typecodes are alphabetic representations that are used to define the type of value the array is going to store. Some common typecodes are:




Represents signed integer of size 1 byte


Represents unsigned integer of size 1 byte


Represents character of size 1 byte


Represents signed integer of size 2 bytes


Represents unsigned integer of size 2 bytes


Represents floating-point of size 4 bytes


Represents floating-point of size 8 bytes

Accessing the Elements of an Array

To access an array element, you need to specify the index number. Indexing starts at 0—not at 1. 

Hence, the index number is always one less than the length of the array.



Fig: Accessing elements of an Python array

Basic Array Operations

  • Insertion Operation

We can add value to an array by using the insert() function. This function inserts the element at the respective index.

Syntax: insert(index, value)



Fig: Insertion operation

  • Deletion Operation

Array elements can be removed by using remove() or pop().



Fig: Deletion operation by remove method()

In the pop() method, you specify the index of the element that you want to remove.



Fig: pop() method

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  • Array Concatenation

Two arrays can be combined by using the + symbol.



Fig: Array concatenation

  • Looping Through an Array

We can get all the elements in an array by using a loop.



Fig: Looping through a Python array

  • Reversing the Elements

You can reverse the order of elements by using the reverse() method.



Fig: reverse() method

  • Count() Method

The count() method is used to count the number of occurrences of a particular element.



Fig: count() method

Python Arrays vs. Lists

The major difference between Python arrays and lists is that we can constrain the data type to be stored in an array. Lists have no such restrictions.

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Arrays are an important data structure for any programming language. Python uses arrays to store collections of similar data, saving space and time. 

If you have any comments or questions, please share them in the Python arrays article section, and we'll have our experts answer it for you.

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About the Author

Ravikiran A SRavikiran A S

Ravikiran A S works with Simplilearn as a Research Analyst. He an enthusiastic geek always in the hunt to learn the latest technologies. He is proficient with Java Programming Language, Big Data, and powerful Big Data Frameworks like Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark.

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