Enumerating Dictionaries in Python


Dictionaries are one of the most commonly used data structures in Python. They are used to store key-value pairs and provide a way to access values based on their keys. However, sometimes we need to enumerate through the items in a dictionary, either to print them out or to perform some operation on them. In this blog, we will explore different ways to enumerate through dictionaries in Python.

What is a Dictionary in Python

A dictionary is a built-in data structure in Python that is used to store key-value pairs. Each key in the dictionary maps to a specific value. The keys in a dictionary must be unique and immutable, while the values can be of any data type and can be repeated.

Dictionaries are enclosed in curly braces {} and have a comma-separated list of key-value pairs within them. Here’s an example:

my_dict = {'name': 'John', 'age': 25, 'city': 'New York'}

In this example, we have defined a dictionary called `my_dict` with three key-value pairs: `’name’` maps to `’John’`, `’age’` maps to `25`, and `’city’` maps to `’New York’`.

We can access the values in a dictionary by using their corresponding keys. For example:

print(my_dict['name']) # Output: 'John'

This will print the value associated with the key `’name’`, which is `’John’`.

Dictionaries are commonly used in Python programs for tasks such as counting the frequency of words in a text file, storing configuration settings for an application, and more.

Enumerating Dictionaries using for loops

Dictionaries are a powerful data structure in Python that allow you to store data in key-value pairs. Sometimes, you may need to iterate over the keys, values, or both in a dictionary. This is where enumeration comes in handy.

To enumerate a dictionary in Python, you can use a for loop. Let’s say we have a dictionary of students and their ages:

students = {'John': 18, 'Mary': 19, 'Jane': 20}

If we want to iterate over the keys in the dictionary, we can simply use the `keys()` method:

for name in students.keys():

This will output:


Similarly, if we want to iterate over the values in the dictionary, we can use the `values()` method:

for age in students.values():

This will output:


Finally, if we want to iterate over both the keys and values in the dictionary, we can use the `items()` method:

for name, age in students.items():
    print(name + " is " + str(age) + " years old")

This will output:

John is 18 years old
Mary is 19 years old
Jane is 20 years old

As you can see, enumerating dictionaries using for loops is a simple and effective way to access and manipulate their contents.

Enumerating Dictionaries using list comprehension

Python provides several ways to enumerate dictionaries, and one of the most efficient ways is using list comprehension. List comprehension is a concise way to create a new list from an existing list or iterable, where each element of the new list is the result of applying a function or expression to each element of the existing list.

To enumerate a dictionary using list comprehension, we can use the `items()` method of the dictionary object, which returns a list of key-value pairs as tuples. We can then iterate over this list using a for loop inside the list comprehension, and create a new list with the desired output.

Here’s an example that demonstrates how to enumerate a dictionary using list comprehension:

my_dict = {'apple': 3, 'banana': 5, 'orange': 2}

enum_dict = [(i, my_dict[i]) for i in my_dict]


In this example, we first define a dictionary `my_dict` that contains some key-value pairs. We then use list comprehension to create a new list `enum_dict`, where each element is a tuple containing the key and value of each item in the dictionary.

The output of this code will be:

[(‘apple’, 3), (‘banana’, 5), (‘orange’, 2)]

As you can see, we have successfully enumerated the dictionary using list comprehension and created a new list that contains tuples with the key-value pairs of each item in the dictionary.

Using list comprehension to enumerate dictionaries is not only concise but also efficient and easy to read. It allows us to perform complex operations on dictionaries in just one line of code, making our code more readable and maintainable.

Enumerating Dictionaries using dictionary comprehension

Dictionaries are one of the most commonly used data structures in Python. They allow you to store key-value pairs, which can be accessed quickly and efficiently. Enumerating dictionaries is a common task when working with them.

One way to enumerate a dictionary is by using dictionary comprehension. Dictionary comprehension allows you to create a new dictionary from an existing one by iterating over its keys and values.

Here’s an example:

original_dict = {'a': 1, 'b': 2, 'c': 3}

new_dict = {key: value for key, value in original_dict.items()}


In this example, we first define an original dictionary with three key-value pairs. We then create a new dictionary called `new_dict` using dictionary comprehension. The `items()` method returns a list of tuples containing the keys and values of the original dictionary. We then iterate over each tuple and assign the key to `key` and the value to `value`. Finally, we use those variables to create a new key-value pair in the `new_dict`.

The output of this code will be:

{‘a’: 1, ‘b’: 2, ‘c’: 3}

As you can see, the new dictionary has the same key-value pairs as the original one.

Dictionary comprehension is a powerful tool for manipulating dictionaries in Python. It allows you to create new dictionaries quickly and easily by iterating over their keys and values.


In conclusion, enumerating dictionaries in Python is a powerful tool that can be used to iterate through key-value pairs in a dictionary. The `items()` method returns a list of (key, value) pairs from the dictionary. This list can be iterated over using a for loop to access each key-value pair.

The `keys()` method returns a list of all the keys in the dictionary, which can also be iterated over using a for loop. Similarly, the `values()` method returns a list of all the values in the dictionary.

It’s important to note that when iterating through a dictionary, the order of the key-value pairs is not guaranteed to be preserved. If you need to maintain order, consider using an ordered dictionary from the `collections` module.

Overall, understanding how to enumerate dictionaries in Python can greatly improve your ability to work with and manipulate data stored in dictionaries.
Interested in learning more? Check out our Introduction to Python course!

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