difference between tuple and list

The Differences between Tuple and List in Python

Python is a high-level programming language that is used to build numerous applications, from web development to data analysis. Two important data structures in Python are the tuple and the list. Both the tuple and the list could be used in Python to group data elements into a single collection. However, they differ in their usage, structure, and functionality.


Lists in Python are mutable, which means their elements can be modified. A list is a collection of items separated by commas and enclosed in square brackets ([ ]). For instance, the declaration of a list containing the even numbers from 2 to 10 looks like this:

even_numbers = [2, 4, 6, 8, 10]

On the other hand, tuples are immutable, and their elements cannot be changed after being created. A tuple is a collection of values separated by commas and enclosed in parentheses ( ( ) ). For example, the declaration of a tuple containing the odd numbers from 1 to 9 looks like this:

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odd_numbers = (1, 3, 5, 7, 9)


Lists in Python are commonly used when the data needs modification or manipulations. Lists can be resized, appended, or reversed. For example, you can add or remove elements in a list using the append() and remove() methods.

Tuples, on the other hand, are used for data that should not change throughout the program execution. For example, tuples are commonly used to return multiple values from a function. This could be used to extract more than one value during function calls.


Lists have more methods available than tuples. Lists can be used with methods such as append(), remove(), reverse(), insert(), sort(), count(), and extend(). These methods make it easy to manipulate the data in the list.

Tuples, being immutable, do not have many methods available. However, tuples can be used as dictionary keys while lists cannot. Tuples also offer faster performance compared to lists, especially when the number of elements in the collection is small.

In summary, the main difference between a tuple and a list is that tuples are immutable whereas lists are mutable. Tuples are ideal for collection of data that won’t be modified, while lists are perfect for situations where data needs to be modified.

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Table difference between tuple and list

Tuple List
Definition Ordered, immutable collection of values Ordered, mutable collection of values
Creation Created using parentheses () Created using square brackets []
Modification Cannot be modified after creation Can be modified after creation
Accessing Elements Elements can be accessed using indexing Elements can be accessed using indexing
Size Size of the tuple is fixed Size of the list can be changed
Use Cases Used for storing a fixed sequence of elements that are not meant to be changed Used for storing a sequence of elements that can be changed or appended to