Python Language Counting Occurrences Using Comprehension


When we want to count the number of items in an iterable, that meet some condition, we can use comprehension to produce an idiomatic syntax:

# Count the numbers in `range(1000)` that are even and contain the digit `9`:
print (sum(
    1 for x in range(1000) 
    if x % 2 == 0 and
    '9' in str(x)
# Out: 95

The basic concept can be summarized as:

  1. Iterate over the elements in range(1000).
  2. Concatenate all the needed if conditions.
  3. Use 1 as expression to return a 1 for each item that meets the conditions.
  4. Sum up all the 1s to determine number of items that meet the conditions.

Note: Here we are not collecting the 1s in a list (note the absence of square brackets), but we are passing the ones directly to the sum function that is summing them up. This is called a generator expression, which is similar to a Comprehension.