Length of a JavaScript object


If I have a JavaScript object, say

var myObject = new Object();
myObject["firstname"] = "Gareth";
myObject["lastname"] = "Simpson";
myObject["age"] = 21;

is there a built-in or accepted best practice way to get the length of this object?

The most robust answer (i.e. that captures the intent of what you're trying to do while causing the fewest bugs) would be:

Object.size = function(obj) {
    var size = 0, key;
    for (key in obj) {
        if (obj.hasOwnProperty(key)) size++;
    }
    return size;
};

// Get the size of an object
var size = Object.size(myObj);

There's a sort of convention in JavaScript that you don't add things to Object.prototype, because it can break enumerations in various libraries. Adding methods to Object is usually safe, though.


Here's an update as of 2016 and widespread deployment of ES5 and beyond. For IE9+ and all other modern ES5+ capable browsers, you can use Object.keys() so the above code just becomes:

var size = Object.keys(myObj).length;

This doesn't have to modify any existing prototype since Object.keys() is now built in.

Edit: Objects can have symbolic properties which can not be returned via Object.key method. So the answer would be incomplete without mentioning them.

Symbol type was added to the language to create unique identifiers for object properties. Main benefit of Symbol type is prevention of overwrites.

Object.keys or Object.getOwnPropertyNames does not work for symbolic properties. To return them you need to use Object.getOwnPropertySymbols.

var person = {
  [Symbol('name')]: 'John Doe',
  [Symbol('age')]: 33,
  "occupation": "Programmer"
};

const propOwn = Object.getOwnPropertyNames(person);
console.log(propOwn.length); // 1

let propSymb = Object.getOwnPropertySymbols(person);
console.log(propSymb.length); // 2

If you know you don't have to worry about hasOwnProperty checks, you can do this very simply:

Object.keys(myArray).length

Updated: If you're using Underscore.js (recommended, it's lightweight!), then you can just do

_.size({one : 1, two : 2, three : 3});
=> 3

If not, and you don't want to mess around with Object properties for whatever reason, and are already using jQuery, a plugin is equally accessible:

$.assocArraySize = function(obj) {
    // http://stackoverflow.com/a/6700/11236
    var size = 0, key;
    for (key in obj) {
        if (obj.hasOwnProperty(key)) size++;
    }
    return size;
};

Here's the most cross-browser solution.

This is better than the accepted answer because it uses native Object.keys if exists. Thus, it is the fastest for all modern browsers.

if (!Object.keys) {
    Object.keys = function (obj) {
        var arr = [],
            key;
        for (key in obj) {
            if (obj.hasOwnProperty(key)) {
                arr.push(key);
            }
        }
        return arr;
    };
}

Object.keys(obj).length;

I'm not a JavaScript expert, but it looks like you would have to loop through the elements and count them since Object doesn't have a length method:

var element_count = 0;
for (e in myArray) {  if (myArray.hasOwnProperty(e)) element_count++; }

@palmsey: In fairness to the OP, the JavaScript documentation actually explicitly refer to using variables of type Object in this manner as "associative arrays".


This method gets all your object's property names in an array, so you can get the length of that array which is equal to your object's keys' length.

Object.getOwnPropertyNames({"hi":"Hi","msg":"Message"}).length; // => 2

To not mess with the prototype or other code, you could build and extend your own object:

function Hash(){
    var length=0;
    this.add = function(key, val){
         if(this[key] == undefined)
         {
           length++;
         }
         this[key]=val;
    }; 
    this.length = function(){
        return length;
    };
}

myArray = new Hash();
myArray.add("lastname", "Simpson");
myArray.add("age", 21);
alert(myArray.length()); // will alert 2

If you always use the add method, the length property will be correct. If you're worried that you or others forget about using it, you could add the property counter which the others have posted to the length method, too.

Of course, you could always overwrite the methods. But even if you do, your code would probably fail noticeably, making it easy to debug. ;)


Here's how and don't forget to check that the property is not on the prototype chain:

var element_count = 0;
for(var e in myArray)
    if(myArray.hasOwnProperty(e))
        element_count++;

Simply use this to get the length:

Object.keys(myObject).length

Here is a completely different solution that will only work in more modern browsers (IE9+, Chrome, Firefox 4+, Opera 11.60+, Safari 5.1+)

See jsFiddle

Setup your Associative Array class

/**
 * @constructor
 */
AssociativeArray = function () {};

// Make the length property work
Object.defineProperty(AssociativeArray.prototype, "length", {
    get: function () {
        var count = 0;
        for (var key in this) {
            if (this.hasOwnProperty(key))
                count++;
        }
        return count;
    }
});

Now you can use this code as follows...

var a1 = new AssociativeArray();
a1["prop1"] = "test";
a1["prop2"] = 1234;
a1["prop3"] = "something else";
alert("Length of array is " + a1.length);

For some cases it is better to just store the size in a separate variable. Especially, if you're adding to the array by one element in one place and can easily increment the size. It would obviously work much faster if you need to check the size often.


Use:

var myArray = new Object();
myArray["firstname"] = "Gareth";
myArray["lastname"] = "Simpson";
myArray["age"] = 21;
obj = Object.keys(myArray).length;
console.log(obj)


<script>
myObj = {"key1" : "Hello", "key2" : "Goodbye"};
var size = Object.keys(myObj).length;
console.log(size);
</script>

<p id="myObj">The number of <b>keys</b> in <b>myObj</b> are: <script>document.write(size)</script></p>

This works for me:

var size = Object.keys(myObj).length;

@palmsey: In fairness to the OP, the javascript docs actually explicitly refer to using variables of type Object in this manner as "associative arrays".

And in fairness to @palmsey he was quite correct, they aren't associative arrays, they're definitely objects :) - doing the job of an associative array. But as regards the wider point you definitely seem to have the right of it according to this rather fine article I found:

JavaScript “Associative Arrays” Considered Harmful

But according to all this, isn't the accepted answer itself bad practice?

Specify a prototype size() function for Object

If anything else has been added to Object .prototype, then the suggested code will fail:

<script type="text/javascript">
Object.prototype.size = function () {
  var len = this.length ? --this.length : -1;
    for (var k in this)
      len++;
  return len;
}
Object.prototype.size2 = function () {
  var len = this.length ? --this.length : -1;
    for (var k in this)
      len++;
  return len;
}
var myArray = new Object();
myArray["firstname"] = "Gareth";
myArray["lastname"] = "Simpson";
myArray["age"] = 21;
alert("age is " + myArray["age"]);
alert("length is " + myArray.size());
</script>

I don't think that answer should be the accepted one as it can't be trusted to work if you have any other code running in the same execution context. To do it in a robust fashion surely you would need to define the size method within myArray and check for the type of the members as you iterate through them.


If you need an associative data structure that exposes its size, better use a map instead of an object.

const myMap = new Map();
myMap.set("firstname", "Gareth");
myMap.set("lastname", "Simpson");
myMap.set("age", 21);
myMap.size; // 3

What about something like this --

function keyValuePairs() {
    this.length = 0;
    function add(key, value) { this[key] = value; this.length++; }
    function remove(key) { if (this.hasOwnProperty(key)) { delete this[key]; this.length--; }}
}

If we have the hash

hash = {"a" : "b", "c": "d"};

we can get the length using the length of the keys which is the length of the hash:

keys(hash).length


If you are using AngularJS 1.x you can do things the AngularJS way by creating a filter and using the code from any of the other examples such as the following:

// Count the elements in an object
app.filter('lengthOfObject', function() {
  return function( obj ) {
    var size = 0, key;
    for (key in obj) {
      if (obj.hasOwnProperty(key)) size++;
    }
   return size;
 }
})

Usage

In your controller:

$scope.filterResult = $filter('lengthOfObject')($scope.object)

Or in your view:

<any ng-expression="object | lengthOfObject"></any>

If you don't care about supporting Internet Explorer 8 or lower, you can easily get the number of properties in an object by applying the following two steps:

  1. Run either Object.keys() to get an array that contains the names of only those properties that are enumerable or Object.getOwnPropertyNames() if you want to also include the names of properties that are not enumerable.
  2. Get the .length property of that array.

If you need to do this more than once, you could wrap this logic in a function:

function size(obj, enumerablesOnly) {
    return enumerablesOnly === false ?
        Object.getOwnPropertyNames(obj).length :
        Object.keys(obj).length;
}

How to use this particular function:

var myObj = Object.create({}, {
    getFoo: {},
    setFoo: {}
});
myObj.Foo = 12;

var myArr = [1,2,5,4,8,15];

console.log(size(myObj));        // Output : 1
console.log(size(myObj, true));  // Output : 1
console.log(size(myObj, false)); // Output : 3
console.log(size(myArr));        // Output : 6
console.log(size(myArr, true));  // Output : 6
console.log(size(myArr, false)); // Output : 7

See also this Fiddle for a demo.


The simplest way is like this

Object.keys(myobject).length

where myobject is the object of what you want the length


A variation on some of the above is:

var objLength = function(obj){    
    var key,len=0;
    for(key in obj){
        len += Number( obj.hasOwnProperty(key) );
    }
    return len;
};

It is a bit more elegant way to integrate hasOwnProp.


Here's a different version of James Cogan's answer. Instead of passing an argument, just prototype out the Object class and make the code cleaner.

Object.prototype.size = function () {
    var size = 0,
        key;
    for (key in this) {
        if (this.hasOwnProperty(key)) size++;
    }
    return size;
};

var x = {
    one: 1,
    two: 2,
    three: 3
};

x.size() === 3;

jsfiddle example: http://jsfiddle.net/qar4j/1/


Use Object.keys(myObject).length to get the length of object/array

var myObject = new Object();
myObject["firstname"] = "Gareth";
myObject["lastname"] = "Simpson";
myObject["age"] = 21;

console.log(Object.keys(myObject).length); //3

You can simply use Object.keys(obj).length on any object to get its length. Object.keys returns an array containing all of the object keys (properties) which can come in handy for finding the length of that object using the length of the corresponding array. You can even write a function for this. Let's get creative and write a method for it as well (along with a more convienient getter property):

function objLength(obj)
{
  return Object.keys(obj).length;
}

console.log(objLength({a:1, b:"summit", c:"nonsense"}));

// Works perfectly fine
var obj = new Object();
obj['fish'] = 30;
obj['nullified content'] = null;
console.log(objLength(obj));

// It also works your way, which is creating it using the Object constructor
Object.prototype.getLength = function() {
   return Object.keys(this).length;
}
console.log(obj.getLength());

// You can also write it as a method, which is more efficient as done so above

Object.defineProperty(Object.prototype, "length", {get:function(){
    return Object.keys(this).length;
}});
console.log(obj.length);

// probably the most effictive approach is done so and demonstrated above which sets a getter property called "length" for objects which returns the equivalent value of getLength(this) or this.getLength()


You can always do Object.getOwnPropertyNames(myObject).length to get the same result as [].length would give for normal array.


We can find the length of Object by using :

Object.values(myObject).length

A bit late to the game, but a nice way to achieve this (IE9+ only) is to define a magic getter on the length property:

Object.defineProperty(Object.prototype, "length", {
    get: function () {
        return Object.keys(this).length;
    }
});

And you can just use it like so:

var myObj = { 'key': 'value' };
myObj.length;

Would give 1.


Below is a version of James Coglan's answer in CoffeeScript for those who have abandoned straight JavaScript :)

Object.size = (obj) ->
  size = 0
  size++ for own key of obj
  size

Property

Object.defineProperty(Object.prototype, 'length', {
    get: function () {
        var size = 0, key;
        for (key in this)
            if (this.hasOwnProperty(key))
                size++;
        return size;
    }
});

Use

var o = {a: 1, b: 2, c: 3};
alert(o.length); // <-- 3
o['foo'] = 123;
alert(o.length); // <-- 4

const myObject = new Object();
myObject["firstname"] = "Gareth";
myObject["lastname"] = "Simpson";
myObject["age"] = 21;

console.log(Object.keys(myObject).length)

// o/p 3