get number of elements in list java
Java

Java Get Number of Elements in a List: Efficient Methods Explained

When working with Java, you may frequently need to assess the collection of elements within a list. This task is efficiently accomplished by utilizing the size() method.

The method is designed for swift retrieval, boasting a constant lookup time. This ensures that the count of elements can be obtained almost instantaneously whenever you require it.

Understanding the list’s size becomes particularly beneficial in scenarios where you need to manage or manipulate data within your Java program. Since the size() method promptly provides the list’s length, it becomes an essential tool in a developer’s arsenal to streamline operations and maintain control over data structures.

Determining ArrayList Size in Java

To ascertain the size of an ArrayList in Java, you can utilize its size() method:

  • Import the ArrayList from java.util
  • Initialize the ArrayList with elements
  • Invoke size() method to get the count of elements

For instance:

List<Integer> arrayList = new ArrayList<>(Arrays.asList(1, 2, 3));
int numberOfElements = arrayList.size(); // Result is 3

Counting Elements in Composite Lists

When working with lists that contain other lists—referred to as composite or nested lists—you may encounter scenarios where you need to determine the total count of individual elements across all contained lists.

In such cases, it is not sufficient to simply assess the size of the outer list; rather, you must aggregate the sizes of each inner list to arrive at the total element count.

Consider this practical approach using Java’s ArrayList:

  • Initialize individual nested lists:

    • List<Integer> list1 = List.of(1, 2, 3);
    • List<Integer> list2 = List.of(1, 2, 3);
    • List<Integer> list3 = List.of(1, 2, 3);
  • Combine the lists into a nested list:

    • List<List<Integer>> arrayList = List.of(list1, list2, list3);
  • Find the size of the outer list:

    • int outerListCount = arrayList.size(); // Result: 3

The above gives you the count of lists contained within the outer list. To calculate the total number of all elements across the nested lists, you must perform the following operations:

  • Map each list to its size and compute the sum:
    • int totalElements = arrayList.stream().mapToInt(x -> x.size()).sum(); // Result: 9

Using the mapToInt() function allows the transformation of each list into an integer that reflects its size.

Subsequently, the sum() function consolidates these sizes into a single total count of elements, providing you with the comprehensive sum of elements in all nested lists.

Posted by
Glenn Yang

I code in Python, JavaScript, and C++; Open-source advocate; Hackathon participant and 'con enjoyer.