List Iteration

List iteration in Python represents the process of going through each element in a list in order. Python provides several ways to iterate over lists.

For Loop

The simplest method to iterate over a list is using a for loop. The for loop goes through each element one by one.

1fruits = ['apple', 'banana', 'cherry', 'date']
3for fruit in fruits:
4    print(fruit)

Here, fruit is a temporary variable which points to the current element in the list for each iteration of the loop.

Enumerate Function

If you need to keep track of the index of the current item, you can use the enumerate function.

1fruits = ['apple', 'banana', 'cherry', 'date']
3for index, fruit in enumerate(fruits):
4    print(f'At index {index}, the fruit is {fruit}')

Here, index is the current index and fruit is the element at that index.

List Comprehension

Another Pythonic way to iterate over a list is using list comprehension. It’s a concise way to create new lists where each element is the result of some operations applied to each member of another list.

1fruits = ['apple', 'banana', 'cherry', 'date']
3fruit_lengths = [len(fruit) for fruit in fruits]

In this example, we create a new list fruit_lengths where each element is the length of the corresponding fruit in the fruits list.


Although list comprehension is a powerful tool, it can become complex and unreadable if overused. Stick to simple use-cases, such as applying a single function to all elements of a list.

While Loop

Although not as common as for loop for list iteration, a while loop can also be used. You need to manually update the loop variable in this case.

1fruits = ['apple', 'banana', 'cherry', 'date']
2i = 0
4while i < len(fruits):
5    print(fruits[i])
6    i += 1

Here we initiate a counter i and increment it during each iteration until it is less than the length of the list.

Remember, efficient list iteration is a crucial skill in Python, and can greatly enhance the speed and readability of your code.