Two Simple Method to Sort a Python Dictionary

Two Simple Method to Sort a Python Dictionary

Dictionary is an important data structure that stores data by mapping keys with values. The default dictionaries in Python are unordered data structures. Like lists, we can use the sorted() function to sort the dictionary by keys. However, it will only return a list of sorted keys, which is usually not what we desire. We may want to have it sorted by values instead of keys, or we may want it to return a sorted dictionary rather than a list. In this article, I will discuss two simple methods we can use to sort a Python dictionary and return what you desire. Two Simple Method to Sort a Python Dictionary

Dictionary is an important data structure that stores data by mapping keys with values. The default dictionaries in Python are unordered data structures. Like lists, we can use the sorted() function to sort the dictionary by keys. However, it will only return a list of sorted keys, which is usually not what we desire. We may want to have it sorted by values instead of keys, or we may want it to return a sorted dictionary rather than a list. In this article, I will discuss two simple methods we can use to sort a Python dictionary and return what you desire.

Sort a list

Since we are talking about sorting, I want to first point out a very important difference between the two sorting functions. Let’s show the difference in lists. Suppose we have two lists:

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We have two methods of sorting the lists, one is in-place sorting using sort(), another way is to use sorted() that is not an in-place sorting. The difference is that when using sort(), you will change the original list, while sorted() will return a new list without change the original list. As demonstrated below:

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sort() changed the original list

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sorted() doesn't change the original list

Choosing which one to use highly depends on the practical situation. For example, if you want to keep the original record, then you should use sorted(). If you want to save space and memory, then you should use sort().

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