How to Find the Index of an Item in a Python List

Knowing how to find the index of an item in a Python list can prove instrumental in tackling a variety of data management tasks in programming.

Python, as one of the most popular languages for data manipulation, provides a simple and easy-to-use method to locate the position of an element within a list. This article will guide you step by step on how to do so.

Understanding Python Lists

In Python, a list is a type of mutable sequence type that is ordered and changeable. Indexes in Python are zero-based which means, the first element in the list starts at index 0, the second one at index 1, and so on. So, when we say finding an item’s index, we mean finding the position of an element in the list.

Using the list.index() Method

To find the index of an item in a Python list, use the built-in list method called index(). The list.index() method can take up to two arguments: the element you’re searching for, and the index from which to start the search:

The list.index() method returns the lowest index in a list where the object is found. In this case, ‘banana’ is at index 1 in the list.

Output: 1

Error Handling

If the item is not in the list, Python raises a ValueError. Always remember, to catch this exception:

Output: Item not in list

Final Code


This tutorial illustrated how to find the index of an item in a Python list using the list.index() method. But always remember to use the try-except block for error handling. This way, you can effectively manage and manipulate data stored in Python lists. Happy coding!
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