Is Class a Core Data Type in Python?


Heather Bennett

Is Class a Core Data Type in Python?

In Python, classes are not considered core data types like integers, strings, lists, or dictionaries. Instead, classes are used to define new data types called objects. Objects are instances of a class that can have attributes (variables) and methods (functions).

Classes and Objects

A class is essentially a blueprint for creating objects. It defines the structure and behavior that an object of that class should possess. To create an object of a class, you use the class name followed by parentheses:

class MyClass:
my_object = MyClass()

The example above creates an object called my_object from the MyClass class.

Attributes and Methods

A class can have attributes, which are variables associated with the class or its objects. These attributes store data specific to each instance of the class. You can access these attributes using dot notation:

class Person:
    name = "John"
    age = 30
person1 = Person()
print(  # Output: John
print(person1.age)   # Output: 30

The example above defines a Person class with two attributes: name and age. We create an object called person1, and we can access its attributes using dot notation.

A class can also have methods, which are functions defined within the class. These methods can operate on the object’s attributes or perform specific actions:

class Circle:
    def __init__(self, radius):
        self.radius = radius
    def area(self):
        return 3.14159 * self.radius ** 2
my_circle = Circle(5)
print(my_circle.area())  # Output: 78.53975

The example above defines a Circle class with an attribute radius and a method area(). We create an object called my_circle, passing the radius value as an argument. We then call the area() method on the object to calculate and print the area of the circle.


In Python, classes can inherit attributes and methods from other classes. This is known as inheritance and allows for code reuse and creating specialized classes that inherit common functionality.

class Animal:
    def __init__(self, name): = name
    def speak(self):
class Dog(Animal):

The example above demonstrates inheritance using a hypothetical animal hierarchy. The base class is called Animal, which has an attribute name and a method speak(). The derived class, in this case, is called Dog, which inherits from the Animal class using parentheses after the class name.

@staticmethod and @classmethod Decorators (Bonus)

In Python, you can use the @staticmethod and @classmethod decorators to define static and class methods, respectively. Static methods are independent of the class instance, while class methods have access to the class itself. These decorators allow for more flexibility when defining methods within a class.

Overall, classes in Python provide a powerful way to organize and structure code by creating custom data types. Understanding classes is essential for object-oriented programming and building complex applications.

Remember that classes are not considered core data types in Python but are used to create objects with attributes and methods.

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