[Tutor] Counting help

Alan G alan.gauld at freenet.co.uk
Tue Aug 23 21:55:56 CEST 2005

>I have extracted a list of names, i.e.
> "Joe Smith"
> "Joe Smith"
> "Jack Smith"
> "Sam Love"
> "Joe Smith"
> I need to be able to count the occurances of these names and I 
> really don't have any idea where to begin.

The classic way to do this kind of thing is with a dictionary:

names = [
 "Joe Smith",
 "Joe Smith",
 "Jack Smith",
 "Sam Love",
 "Joe Smith"]

counts = {}

for name in names:
    if name in counts:
        counts[name] += 1
    else: counts[name] = 1

print counts

You could also use a list comprehension combined with the list
count() method but I doubt if its much faster.


Alan G
Author of the Learn to Program web tutor

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