Which Data Structure Is Used by Python?


Heather Bennett

Python, being a versatile programming language, provides a wide range of data structures that can be used to store and manipulate data. These data structures play a crucial role in solving complex problems efficiently. In this article, we will explore the various data structures used by Python and understand their characteristics and applications.


One of the most commonly used data structures in Python is the list. A list is an ordered collection of elements separated by commas and enclosed within square brackets.

It allows storing heterogeneous elements such as integers, strings, or even other lists. Lists are mutable, which means their content can be modified after creation.

Here’s an example of creating a list:

fruits = ['apple', 'banana', 'orange']

Lists offer several operations like indexing, slicing, appending, inserting, removing elements, etc., making them highly flexible and convenient to work with.


A tuple is another essential data structure in Python. Tuples are similar to lists but are immutable once created. They are defined by enclosing elements within parentheses instead of square brackets.

An example of creating a tuple:

point = (3, 4)

Tuples are useful when you want to store related pieces of information that should remain unchanged throughout your program’s execution.


A set is an unordered collection of unique elements enclosed within curly braces. Sets do not allow duplicate values. They are useful for operations like membership testing, removing duplicates, and performing mathematical set operations like union, intersection, etc.

Creating a set in Python:

numbers = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5}

Since sets are unordered, they do not support indexing or slicing.


A dictionary is a powerful data structure that stores key-value pairs. It is created using curly braces and separating key-value pairs with colons. Dictionaries provide fast access to values based on their unique keys.

Here’s an example of creating a dictionary:

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

Dictionaries are widely used to represent real-world entities and efficiently retrieve information associated with specific keys.


In conclusion, Python offers several data structures such as lists, tuples, sets, and dictionaries. Each data structure has its unique characteristics and applications. Understanding these data structures allows programmers to choose the most appropriate one for a given problem and efficiently manipulate data in their programs.

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