List vs Array: Top 5 Main Difference You Should Know

List and Array, both are used for storing the data as a data structure. This data structure is further used for iteration and indexing. But, what is the difference between list vs array? What are the similarities they share? These questions arise in the mind.


Thus, in this blog, we will answer these questions. We will discuss the top 5 main differences between List vs Array. We will also discuss the similarities of both. So, let’s start with an overview of both, list and array.


List Vs Array: Overview


What is a List?


The list is a data type. It is written as the list of commas with distinct values in square brackets. The most notable benefit of the list is: the elements in the list are not suitable for the same data type and negative indexing. 


Strengths and Weakness of List




  • Dynamic Siza
  • Efficient Memory Allocation




  • Additional storage is required for pointers.
  • Slow search time


What is Array?


An array is a data structure. It stores a fixed-size continuous collection of elements of the same type. It is used to keep a group of data. But, it is generally helpful to think of an array as a group of elements of the same type.


Strengths and Weakness Of Array




  • Better Cache Locality
  • Random Access




  • Slow Insertion
  • Fixed Size


List vs Array: Similarities


  • Both are used to store the data.
  • These Both can be modified.
  • Both can be indexed and iterated.
  • These Both can be divided.


Top 5 Main Difference Between List Vs Array


Following are the top 5 differences between list and array;


Data Structure


List: A list is an abstract data type. It can be any data structure that supports a set of operations. This allows for repetition. It means that a single item of data can appear several times in a list. A sequence is another name for a list.


Array: An array is a method of organizing data within a memory device. An array’s elements are assigned at adjacent memory locations.




List: A list is a collection of elements that are all different. Integers, floats, and dictionaries are the elements in a list.


Array: It is a group of homogeneous elements. It stores a series of consecutively numbered objects. They are located in continuous memory.




List: The list has easy modifications. Such as addition, deletion and update of data elements can be done.


Array: Modifications in an array are difficult.


Importing Module


List: It is a built-in data structure. Consequently, there is no need to import modules or packages before using it.


Array: It is not a built-in data structure. Consequently, it requires an “array” module before using it.


Numerical Operations


List: The list is capable of executing mathematical operations. But it is less efficient than Array.


Array: An array can perform and execute mathematical operations.


List vs Array: When To Use


As we have learned above, both list and array have their own importance. But now that question arises: When to use list and array?


So, if we want to store a small series of elements without doing any mathematical operations. Then use the list data structure. As it enables us to keep an ordered, changeable and indexed series of elements without importing any explicit modules.


An array data structure allows for more efficient data storage of elements. 


Moreover, if we want to perform numerical operations on a group of elements, we should use an array. As an array data structure depends on data analytics and data science.


Why is List popular over Array?


The array has several limitations. That is why more than 70% of participants preferred to use lists.



So, from the above blog, List vs Array, we learned about the difference between list and array. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages. We use them on the basis of their requirements of the data. I hope this blog helps you in learning the main difference between list vs array.




  1. Which is a better list or array?

Answer: Well, the list is better known for its frequent insertion and deletion.


  1. Which is faster, list or array?

Answer: The array is faster in the case of access to an element. Whereas, the list is faster in adding or deleting an element from the collection.


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