Oct 9, 2023 3 min read

Find the Length of a List in Python

Find the Length of a List in Python with our step-by-step tutorial. It is a collection of items that are ordered and changeable.

Find the Length of a List in Python
Table of Contents


Before we begin talking about how to find the length of a list in Python, let's briefly understand – What is a List?

A list in Python is a collection of items that are ordered and changeable. It can hold different types of elements such as numbers, strings, or even other lists. Lists are versatile data structures and an important concept in Python programming.

Lists are enclosed in square brackets and can contain any combination of elements, including numbers, strings, or even other lists. Lists are mutable, meaning you can change, add, or remove elements after creating them.

In this tutorial, you will find the length of a list in Python. We will also address a few FAQs on how to find the length of a list in Python.

Advantages of List

  1. Versatility: Lists in Python can store a mix of elements and even other lists, making them highly flexible for organizing and manipulating data.
  2. Mutable: Being mutable means that you can modify, add, or remove elements from a list, allowing for dynamic data manipulation.
  3. Indexing: Lists use indexing to access individual elements, making it easy to retrieve or modify specific values within the list.
  4. Iterability: Lists can be easily iterated over, allowing for efficient processing of elements using loops and list comprehensions.
  5. Logical Operations: With various built-in methods and operations, lists enable efficient sorting, searching, and filtering of data, providing powerful data manipulation capabilities.

len() Function

Python incorporates a built-in function len() that returns the length of a given object. The object may be a list, tuple, string, dictionary etc.

The syntax of the len() function is as follows:


The function accepts just one argument. The returned value is an integer that's the quantity of elements within the list.

Here is an example.

capitals = ['Tokyo', 'Sofia', 'London', 'Budapest']

list_len = len(capitals)

print("The list has {0} elements.".format(list_len))

The list has 4 elements.

Using Loop

Another way to get the length of a list is to use the for loop. This works by fixing a counter and looping through all the elements of the list. On each iteration, this value of the counter variable is incremented by one.

Below is being a sample code that shows a way to find the quantity of elements in a very given list using the for loop:

capitals = ['Tokyo', 'Sofia', 'London', 'Budapest']
counter = 0

for capital in capitals:
  counter = counter + 1

print("The list has {0} elements.".format(counter))

The list has 4 elements.

This method isn't very Pythonic. You must always prefer using the len() function.

FAQs to Find the Length of a List in Python

Will len() include nested lists within the main list? 

Yes, the len() function considers all elements, including nested lists, when calculating the length of a list.

Can I use the len() function on other data types? 

Yes, the len() function can be used on other data types like strings, tuples, and even sets.

Will len() count duplicate elements multiple times? 

No, len() counts each unique element only once, so duplicate elements will not increase the length of a list.

How is the length of an empty list determined? 

An empty list has a length of 0. Using len() on an empty list will return 0.

Is the length of a list dynamic or fixed? 

In Python, lists have a dynamic length, meaning you can add or remove elements, changing the length of the list during runtime.

Are there any performance considerations when using len()? 

The len() function has a time complexity of O(1), regardless of the size of the list. It provides fast and efficient length calculation.

Does the len() function work with built-in and user-defined lists? 

Yes, the len() function works with both built-in lists provided by Python and user-defined lists created in your code.


To find the length of an inventory in Python list, use the len() function.

If you have any queries, please leave a comment below and we’ll be happy to respond to them.

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