What Is Anonymous Data Type in C#?


Angela Bailey

The Anonymous Data Type in C# is a powerful feature that allows you to create objects without explicitly defining a class. It provides a convenient way to generate temporary objects on the fly, making your code more concise and readable. In this tutorial, we’ll explore what anonymous data types are, how to use them, and their benefits.

What is an Anonymous Data Type?

An anonymous data type is a type that is defined at runtime without explicitly specifying its structure. It is typically used for one-time data requirements where creating a separate class would be unnecessary and cumbersome. Anonymous types are immutable, meaning their properties cannot be modified once they are assigned values.


In C#, you can create an anonymous data type using the new keyword followed by an object initializer:

  • var anonymousObject = new { Property1 = value1, Property2 = value2, .. };

The properties of an anonymous data type are defined using the Name = Value syntax. The property names can be any valid identifier, while the values can be any expression or variable of compatible types.


Let’s see a simple example to understand how anonymous data types work:

var person = new { Name = “John”, Age = 25 };

Console.WriteLine($”Name: {person.Name}, Age: {person.Age}”);

In this example, we create an anonymous data type with two properties – Name and Age. We assign values “John” and 25 respectively to these properties. Then, we access and display these values using the $”.” string interpolation feature.

The output of the above code will be:

Name: John, Age: 25

Benefits of Anonymous Data Types

Anonymous data types offer several benefits:

  • Simplicity: They allow you to create objects without defining a separate class, reducing code complexity.
  • Readability: They make your code more readable by eliminating the need for additional classes for small, temporary data requirements.
  • Type Safety: Anonymous types are still strongly typed, ensuring type safety at compile-time.
  • Convenience: They provide a convenient way to package related data together without creating custom classes.

Limitations of Anonymous Data Types

While anonymous data types offer flexibility and convenience, they also have some limitations:

  • No Reusability: Anonymous types can only be used within the scope where they are defined. They cannot be returned from methods or shared across different parts of your code.
  • No Explicit Typing: Since anonymous types are implicitly typed, you cannot explicitly declare variables or parameters with their type.


The anonymous data type feature in C# provides a concise and elegant way to create temporary objects. It simplifies code by eliminating the need for explicit class definitions when dealing with small, one-time data requirements.

However, it’s important to remember that anonymous types are limited in terms of reusability and explicit typing. Use them judiciously based on the specific needs of your application.

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