Does Python Have a Map Data Structure?


Scott Campbell

Python is a powerful programming language that offers a wide range of data structures to store and manipulate data efficiently. One commonly used data structure in Python is the map, which allows us to store key-value pairs.

However, it’s important to note that Python does not have a built-in map data structure like some other programming languages do. Instead, Python provides a dictionary, which serves as an excellent alternative for implementing maps.

What is a dictionary?

A dictionary in Python is an unordered collection of key-value pairs. It is also known as an associative array or hash table in other programming languages. The keys in a dictionary are unique and immutable, while the values can be of any data type and mutable.

Creating a dictionary

To create a dictionary in Python, we use curly braces ({}) and separate the key-value pairs with colons (:). Here’s an example:

my_dict = {'apple': 5, 'banana': 10, 'orange': 3}

In the above example, we have created a dictionary called my_dict with three key-value pairs: ‘apple’ with a value of 5, ‘banana’ with a value of 10, and ‘orange’ with a value of 3.

Accessing values in a dictionary

We can access the values in a dictionary by using their corresponding keys. Here’s how:


The above code will output 5, which is the value associated with the key ‘apple’.

Modifying values in a dictionary

We can modify the values in a dictionary by assigning a new value to a specific key. Here’s an example:

my_dict['banana'] = 15

The above code will output {‘apple’: 5, ‘banana’: 15, ‘orange’: 3}, as we have updated the value of the key ‘banana’ to 15.

Iterating over a dictionary

We can iterate over a dictionary using loops to access all the keys and values. Here’s an example:

for key, value in my_dict.items():
    print(key, value)

The above code will output:

  • apple 5
  • banana 15
  • orange 3

Checking if a key exists in a dictionary

We can check if a specific key exists in a dictionary using the in operator. Here’s an example:

if 'apple' in my_dict:
    print("Key 'apple' exists!")
    print("Key 'apple' does not exist!")

The above code will output Key ‘apple’ exists!, as the key ‘apple’ is present in the dictionary.


In Python, although there is no built-in map data structure, we can effectively use dictionaries to achieve similar functionality. Dictionaries provide an efficient way to store and retrieve data based on unique keys.

They also allow us to easily modify and iterate over the key-value pairs. By utilizing dictionaries, we can implement maps in Python and perform various operations on the stored data.

Discord Server - Web Server - Private Server - DNS Server - Object-Oriented Programming - Scripting - Data Types - Data Structures

Privacy Policy