Create Named List in R (2 Examples)


In this R post you’ll learn how to construct a named list object.

Table of contents:

Let’s dive right into the programming part.


Example 1: Create Named List from Scratch

In this example, I’ll demonstrate how to initialize a new named list from scratch.

For this task, we can use the list() function as shown below:

my_list1 <- list(Name1 = 1:5,                # Create a named list
                 Name2 = letters[3:1],
                 Name3 = "asdf")
my_list1                                     # Print a named list
# $Name1
# [1] 1 2 3 4 5
# $Name2
# [1] "c" "b" "a"
# $Name3
# [1] "asdf"

Have a look at the previous output of the RStudio console: It shows that we have constructed a list with three different list elements. You can also see that each of these list elements has a name.


Example 2: Create Named List from Two Vectors

This section explains how to create a list object based on two vectors of names and values.

As a first step, we have to create such vectors:

vec_values <- 1:5                            # Create vector of values
vec_values                                   # Print vector of values
# [1] 1 2 3 4 5
vec_names <- paste0("Name", 1:5)             # Create vector of names
vec_names                                    # Print vector of names
# [1] "Name1" "Name2" "Name3" "Name4" "Name5"

Next, we can apply the setNames and as.list functions to create a named list from our name and value pairs:

my_list2 <- setNames(as.list(vec_values),    # Convert vectors to named list
my_list2                                     # Print a named list
# $Name1
# [1] 1
# $Name2
# [1] 2
# $Name3
# [1] 3
# $Name4
# [1] 4
# $Name5
# [1] 5


Video, Further Resources & Summary

In case you need more information on the R programming syntax of this article, you might watch the following video on my YouTube channel. In the video, I explain the contents of this post.



Additionally, you could have a look at the other articles on


To summarize: You have learned in this article how to build a named list object in the R programming language. In case you have additional questions, let me know in the comments.


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