In Python, you use a list to store various types of data such as strings and numbers.

A list is identifiable by the square brackets that surround it, and individual values are separated by a comma.

To get the length of a list in Python, you can use the built-in len() function.

Apart from the len() function, you can also use a for loop and the length_hint() function to get the length of a list.

In this article, I will show you how to get the length of a list in 3 different ways.

How to Get the Length of a List in Python with a For Loop

You can use the native for loop of Python to get the length of a list because just like a tuple and dictionary, a list is iterable.

This method is commonly called the naïve method.

The example below shows you how to use the naïve method to get the length of a list in Python

demoList = ["Python", 1, "JavaScript", True, "HTML", "CSS", 22]

# Initializing counter variable
counter = 0

for item in demoList:
    # Incrementing counter variable to get each item in the list
    counter = counter + 1

    # Printing the result to the console by converting counter to string in order to get the number
print("The length of the list using the naive method is: " + str(counter))
# Output: The length of the list using the naive method is: 7

How to Get the Length of a List with the len() Function

Using the len() function is the most common way to get the length of an iterable.

This is more straightforward than using a for loop.

The syntax for using the len() method is len(listName).

The code snippet below shows how to use the len() function to get the length of a list:

demoList = ["Python", 1, "JavaScript", True, "HTML", "CSS", 22]

sizeOfDemoList = len(demoList)

print("The length of the list using the len() method is: " + str(sizeOfDemoList))
# Output: The length of the list using the len() method is: 7 

How to Get the Length of a List with the length_hint() Function

The length_hint() method is a less known way of getting the length of a list and other iterables.

length_hint() is defined in the operator module, so you need to import it from there before you can use it.

The syntax for using the length_hint() method is length_hint(listName).

The example below shows you how to use the length_hint() method to get the length of a list from operator import length_hint:

demoList = ["Python", 1, "JavaScript", True, "HTML", "CSS", 22]

sizeOfDemoList = length_hint(demoList)
print("The length of the list using the length_hint() method is: " + str(sizeOfDemoList))
# The length of the list using the length_hint() method is: 7

Final Thoughts

This article showed you how to get the size of a list with 3 different methods: a for loop, the len() function, and the length_hint() function from the operator module.

You might be wondering which to use between these 3 methods.

I would advise that you use len() because you don't need to do much to use it compared to for loop and length_hint().

In addition, len() seems to be faster than both the for loop and length_hint().

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