What Is an Ordered Data Structure in Python?


Angela Bailey

An ordered data structure is a type of data structure in Python that stores elements in a specific order. It provides a way to organize and manipulate data efficiently. In this article, we will explore some commonly used ordered data structures in Python.


A list is a versatile ordered data structure in Python. It can store elements of different data types, including numbers, strings, and even other lists. Lists are mutable, meaning that you can modify their contents.

To create a list, use square brackets:

my_list = [1, 2, 3, 'apple', 'banana', 'cherry']

You can access individual elements of a list using indexing. For example:

print(my_list[0]) # Output: 1
print(my_list[3]) # Output: 'apple'

Lists also support negative indexing to access elements from the end:

print(my_list[-1]) # Output: 'cherry'
print(my_list[-3]) # Output: 3

To add elements to the end of a list, you can use the append() method:


This will add the string ‘grape’ to the end of the list.


A tuple is another type of ordered data structure in Python. However, unlike lists, tuples are immutable. Once created, you cannot modify their contents.

To create a tuple, use parentheses:

my_tuple = (1, 2, 'apple', 'banana')

Accessing elements in a tuple is similar to accessing elements in a list:

print(my_tuple[0]) # Output: 1
print(my_tuple[2]) # Output: 'apple'

Tuples also support negative indexing:

print(my_tuple[-1]) # Output: 'banana'
print(my_tuple[-3]) # Output: 2


A string is an ordered collection of characters. In Python, strings are immutable, just like tuples. You can access individual characters of a string using indexing.

To create a string, enclose the characters in either single quotes or double quotes:

my_string = "Hello, World!"

Accessing characters in a string is similar to accessing elements in a list or tuple:

print(my_string[0]) # Output: 'H'
print(my_string[-1]) # Output: '!'

In conclusion,

An ordered data structure is essential for organizing and manipulating data effectively. Python provides several built-in ordered data structures like lists, tuples, and strings.

Lists are mutable and can store different types of elements. Tuples and strings are immutable but offer efficient ways to access their contents.

By understanding these ordered data structures, you can make informed decisions when choosing the right one for your specific programming needs.

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