# How to Compare Two Lists in Python (3 Examples)

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to compare two lists using Python.

The content of the post looks as follows:

Let’s get right into the code!

## Example Data

As a first step in this tutorial, we will create two sample lists to use as a base in the following examples.

```my_list1 = ['a', 'b', 'c', 'd']

my_list2 = ['a', 'b', 'd', 'c']

print(my_list1)
# ['a', 'b', 'c', 'd']

print(my_list2)
# ['a', 'b', 'd', 'c']```

Take a look at the previous output. We have created `my_list1` and `my_list2`, two lists of strings that contain the same elements, but not in the same order. Let’s see how to compare these two lists using several methods!

## Example 1: Compare Two Lists With ‘==’ Operator

A simple way to compare two lists is using the `==` operator. This operator checks the equality of elements between two lists. If all elements are the same in the same order, the comparison will return “Equal”. Otherwise, it will return “Not equal”.

```if my_list1 == my_list2:
print("Equal")
else:
print("Not equal")
# Not equal```

As you can see, our lists are the same, but the elements aren’t in the same order, so we concluded that our lists are unequal. But what if we wanted to check if our lists have equal elements, no matter their order? If so, we can sort the lists by using the sort() method and, then, use the same code as before.

```my_list1.sort()

my_list2.sort()

if my_list1 == my_list2:
print("Equal")
else:
print("Not equal")
# Equal```

Now we were told that our lists are equal 🙂

## Example 2: Compare Two Lists With set() Function

This method involves converting the lists to sets and then comparing the sets for equality. If the sets contain the same elements, regardless of their order, the comparison will return “Equal”. Otherwise, it will return “Not equal”.

```if set(my_list1) == set(my_list2):
print("Equal")
else:
print("Not equal")
# Equal```

Just as expected, we got that our lists are equal.

## Example 3: Compare Two Lists With collections.Counter() Function

In this example, we will compare `my_list1` and `my_list2` using the Counter() function of the collections module. To do so, first, we will import the collections module.

`import collections`

Now, we can use the Counter() function to see if our two lists have equal elements.

```if(collections.Counter(my_list1) == collections.Counter(my_list2)):
print("Equal")
else:
print("Not Equal")
# Equal```

Here, the Counter() function creates a counter object for `my_list1`, where the elements of `my_list1` are the keys, and the counts of each element are the values.

Similarly, the `collections.Counter(my_list2)` line creates a counter object for `my_list2`. Then, the two lists are compared using the `==` operator. If they are equal, ‘Equal’ is printed. Otherwise, ‘Not equal’ would be printed.

## Video, Further Resources & Summary

Do you need more explanations on how to compare the values in two lists in Python? Then you should have a look at the following YouTube video of the Statistics Globe YouTube channel.

Furthermore, you could have a look at some of the other tutorials on Statistics Globe:

This post has shown how to compare two lists in Python. In case you have further questions, you may leave a comment below.