How to Create a Vector of Zero Length in R (Example)


In this post, I’ll explain how to create an empty vector in R programming.

Table of contents:

Let’s dive right in:


Example 1: Create Empty Numeric Vector in R

In Example 1, I’ll show you how to create a numeric vector of zero length. For this task, we can use the numeric() function as follows:

vec_num <- numeric()          # Numeric vector of 0 length

The previous R code stored an empty numeric vector in the data object vec_num. Let’s print the vector to the RStudio console:

vec_num                       # Print empty vector
# numeric(0)

As you can see, the output is a numeric array with zero length.

We can double check the length of our vector by applying the length function:

length(vec_num)               # Apply length function
# 0

The RStudio console shows the length of our numeric vector (i.e. 0).


Example 2: Empty Vectors of Other Data Types

In Example 1 you have learned how to create an empty vector of the numeric data class. However, we can create a vector with zero length of basically any data type. The following R code creates empty factors, logicals, integers, and so on…

vec_cha <- character()        # Numeric vector of 0 length
vec_fac <- factor()           # Factor vector of 0 length
vec_log <- logical()          # Logical vector of 0 length
vec_int <- integer()          # Integer vector of 0 length
vec_dou <- double()           # Double vector of 0 length
vec_raw <- raw()              # Raw vector of 0 length
vec_com <- complex()          # Complex vector of 0 length


Video, Further Resources & Summary

Have a look at the following video of my YouTube channel. In the video, I’m explaining the R programming codes of this tutorial.


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In addition, you might read some of the other posts of this homepage. A selection of related articles is shown below:


Summary: At this point you should have learned how to initialize a vector with a fixed length of zero in R. Let me know in the comments below, in case you have any additional questions.


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