pandas series to a list transition

Convert Pandas Series to a List

Lists are very flexible to work with in python and it may happen depending upon the use-case that you’d want to work with a list instead of a series. In this tutorial, we will look at how to convert a pandas series to a list.

There are a number of ways to get a list from a pandas series. You can use the tolist() function associated with the pandas series or pass the series to the python built-in list() function. The following is the syntax to use the above functions:

# using tolist()
ls = s.tolist()
# using list()
ls = list(s)

Here, s is the pandas series you want to convert. Both the functions return a list with the series values.

Let’s look at some examples of using the above methods to create a list from a series. First, we’ll create a sample pandas series which we will be using throughout this tutorial.

import pandas as pd

# pandas series Wimbledon winners from 2015 to 2019
wimbledon_winners = pd.Series(index=[2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019],
                   data=['Novak Djokovic', 'Andy Murray', 'Roger Federer', 'Novak Djokovic', 'Novak Djokovic'],

# display the series


2015    Novak Djokovic
2016       Andy Murray
2017     Roger Federer
2018    Novak Djokovic
2019    Novak Djokovic
Name: Name, dtype: object

You can see the contents of the series object above. Let’s confirm the type of the object.

# check the type


<class 'pandas.core.series.Series'>

We now have a pandas series containing the name of Wimbledon Winners from 2015 to 2019 with the year as its index.

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First, let’s see the usage of the pandas series tolist() function to get a list from a series.

ls = wimbledon_winners.tolist()
# check the type
# print the content


<class 'list'>
['Novak Djokovic', 'Andy Murray', 'Roger Federer', 'Novak Djokovic', 'Novak Djokovic']

You can see the resulting list with all the series values. Note that the tolist() function does not modify the series in-place rather it returns a list of the series values.

For more on the pandas series tolist() function, refer to its documentation.

Alternatively, you can use the python built-in list() function to create a list from a pandas series. Let’s create a list from the “wimbledon_winners” series using this function.

ls = list(wimbledon_winners)
# check the type
# print the content


<class 'list'>
['Novak Djokovic', 'Andy Murray', 'Roger Federer', 'Novak Djokovic', 'Novak Djokovic']

You can see that the resulting list has all the values from the series “wimbledon_winners”.

With this, we come to the end of this tutorial. The code examples and results presented in this tutorial have been implemented in a Jupyter Notebook with a python (version 3.8.3) kernel having pandas version 1.0.5

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Tutorials on pandas series –


  • Piyush Raj

    Piyush is a data professional passionate about using data to understand things better and make informed decisions. He has experience working as a Data Scientist in the consulting domain and holds an engineering degree from IIT Roorkee. His hobbies include watching cricket, reading, and working on side projects.

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