Create Data Frame where a Column is a List in R (Example)

 

In this tutorial you’ll learn how to construct a new data frame with a list as column in the R programming language.

The content of the article is structured like this:

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Example: Creating Data Frame Containing Numeric Vector & List

The following R code shows how to construct a new data frame consisting of a numeric column and a list. First, we need to create a numeric vector:

my_var <- 1:3                             # Create vector
my_var                                    # Print vector
# 1 2 3

Then, we also need to create a list:

my_list <- list(1:5, letters[1:3], 5)     # Create list
my_list                                   # Print list
# [[1]]
# [1] 1 2 3 4 5
# 
# [[2]]
# [1] "a" "b" "c"
# 
# [[3]]
# [1] 5

Finally, we can store our numeric vector and our list in a data frame. Note that we have to wrap our list with the I() function to make sure that our list object is retained as it is:

data <- data.frame(my_var, I(my_list))    # Create data.frame
data                                      # Print data.frame
#   my_var      my_list
# 1      1 1, 2, 3,....
# 2      2      a, b, c
# 3      3            5

The previous output may look a bit confusing. However, if you have a look at the variable, in which our list is stored, you can see that the data structure is the same as in the original list:

data$my_list                              # Print list column of data.frame
# [[1]]
# [1] 1 2 3 4 5
# 
# [[2]]
# [1] "a" "b" "c"
# 
# [[3]]
# [1] 5

 

Video & Further Resources

I have recently published a video on my YouTube channel, which explains the contents of the present page. You can find the video below:

 

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Also, you could have a look at the related posts on my website. A selection of tutorials about data frames and lists is shown here:

 

At this point you should have learned how to use a list as data frame variable in R. Please let me know in the comments, in case you have further questions or comments.

 

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