Extract Year from Date in R (Example)


This tutorial illustrates how to return only the year of an object with class Date in the R programming language.

The content of the tutorial is structured as follows:

Let’s dive right in:


Creation of Exemplifying Data

Consider the following example data:

my_date <- "2021/01/30"                                     # Create example data
my_date                                                     # Print example data
# "2021/01/30"

As you can see based on the previous output of the RStudio console, our exemplifying data is a single date formatted as character string.


Example: Extracting Only Year from Date Object Using format Function

The following R code illustrates how to extract the year from a date object in R. For this, we first have to convert our character string to the Date class:

my_date_formatted <- as.Date(my_date, format = "%Y/%m/%d")  # Convert to Date object
my_date_formatted                                           # Print Date object
# "2021-01-30"

Let’s check the class of our new data object:

class(my_date_formatted)                                    # Check class
# "Date"

Our formatted data object has the class Date. Looks good!

Now, we can apply the format function to extract only the year from our Date object:

my_date_year <- format(my_date_formatted, "%Y")             # Extract only year
my_date_year                                                # Print final output
# "2021"

The output is the year 2021!


Video & Further Resources

I have recently released a video on my YouTube channel, which shows the R codes of this post. You can find the video below:


The YouTube video will be added soon.


Besides the video, I can recommend to have a look at the other tutorials on my website.


In this R post you learned how to extract years from dates. If you have any additional questions, let me know in the comments section below.


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