Getting key with maximum value in dictionary?


I have a dictionary: keys are strings, values are integers.


stats = {'a':1000, 'b':3000, 'c': 100}

I'd like to get 'b' as an answer, since it's the key with a higher value.

I did the following, using an intermediate list with reversed key-value tuples:

inverse = [(value, key) for key, value in stats.items()]
print max(inverse)[1]

Is that one the better (or even more elegant) approach?

5/29/2013 11:39:26 AM

Accepted Answer

You can use operator.itemgetter for that:

import operator
stats = {'a':1000, 'b':3000, 'c': 100}
max(stats.iteritems(), key=operator.itemgetter(1))[0]

And instead of building a new list in memory use stats.iteritems(). The key parameter to the max() function is a function that computes a key that is used to determine how to rank items.

Please note that if you were to have another key-value pair 'd': 3000 that this method will only return one of the two even though they both have the maximum value.

>>> import operator
>>> stats = {'a':1000, 'b':3000, 'c': 100, 'd':3000}
>>> max(stats.iteritems(), key=operator.itemgetter(1))[0]

If using Python3:

>>> max(stats.items(), key=operator.itemgetter(1))[0]
2/22/2018 5:51:35 PM

max(stats, key=stats.get)

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