How to Convert a String List into an Integer List in Python

This article will guide you through multiple techniques by which you can convert a string list into an integer list. Data manipulation and conversion are essential programming skills that every developer should possess. One of the most common scenarios is converting a string list into an integer one. This can be particularly useful when working with user inputs or data extracted from a file or an API response.

However, certain data, such as ratings and feedback, are often represented as strings. Yet, in scenarios like data visualization and statistical analysis, it may be necessary to convert these values into an integer list. This conversion is essential to extract meaningful insights from feedback data. Let’s discuss the practical use of converting a string list into an integer list in Python with examples.

Significance of Converting String Lists to Integer Lists

Converting a string list into an integer list is a crucial data transformation step that facilitates various data manipulation, analysis, and visualization tasks in Python programming. This conversion, which is a frequent requirement across various programming scenarios, holds a multitude of practical applications:

  1. Data Validation: When handling numerical data, converting strings to integer lists serves as a robust technique to validate the accuracy and integrity of provided data before undertaking for further computing.
  2. Better Data Visualization: The conversion of data into integer lists enhances the computational efficiency and readability of data, facilitating improved data visualization when exporting to formats such as CSV files.
  3. Machine Learning and Data Science: For machine learning and data science endeavors, the conversion of categorical data representations into numeric forms (such as integer lists) is a critical preprocessing step. It enables seamless integration and utilization of data in machine learning models and data analysis.
  4. Database Operations: Databases frequently involve complex operations such as aggregation and comparisons. In such scenarios, the conversion of string lists to integer lists is important for efficient data handling and accurate results.

By understanding and harnessing the potential of converting string lists to integer lists, developers can optimize their programming workflows, streamline data-related tasks, and extract valuable insights from diverse datasets.

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Naive Approach for the conversion of String List into an Integer List

Python employs a straightforward and naive method to transform a string list into an integer list. By utilizing the int() function, we can systematically iterate through each string element and convert them into integers. This process involves replacing the original strings with their corresponding integer values. Such a direct approach enables a smooth transition from a string list to an integer list in Python. This conversion facilitates simplified numerical operations and streamlined data analysis.

We will discuss three scenarios:

  • List with integers stored in the string format
  • List with floating numbers stored in the string format
  • Handling Non-Convertible Elements in String Lists

List with integers stored in the string format

Consider a scenario where you have a list named ‘temperature_list_strings’ containing temperature values represented as strings in Celsius. The following example code demonstrates how can we convert this string-based temperature data into a format suitable for numerical operations and analysis

# List of temperature values as strings in Celsius
temperature_list_strings = ["23", "29", "19", "15", "26"]

# Using a naive method to convert string list into an integer list
for i in range(0, len(temperature_list_strings)):
    temperature_list_strings[i] = int(temperature_list_strings[i])

# Print the original temperature list (in Celsius)
print("\n Original Temperature List (Celsius):", temperature_list_strings)

# Print the temperature list after conversion (as integers)
print("\n Temperature List (Integer):", temperature_list_strings)


 Original Temperature List (Celsius): [23, 29, 19, 15, 26]

 Temperature List (Integer): [23, 29, 19, 15, 26]

In this approach, a for loop is utilized to iterate through each element in the ‘temperature_list_strings’. Within the loop, the int() function is applied to each string element, converting it into an integer. This modified integer value is then stored back in the same position within the list ‘temperature_list_strings’, effectively replacing the original string.

You can also use list comprehension in place of for loop in the above method. List comprehension simplifies the process of applying a function to a list. Here’s the modified code using list comprehension:

# List of temperature values as strings in Celsius
temperature_list_strings = ["23", "29", "19", "15", "26"]

# Using list comprehension to convert string list into an integer list
temperature_list_integers = [int(temp) for temp in temperature_list_strings]

# Print the original temperature list (in Celsius)
print("\n Original Temperature List (Celsius):", temperature_list_strings)

# Print the temperature list after conversion (as integers)
print("\n Temperature List (Integer):", temperature_list_integers)


 Original Temperature List (Celsius): ['23', '29', '19', '15', '26']

 Temperature List (Integer): [23, 29, 19, 15, 26]

This code snippet achieves the same outcome as your original code but uses a list comprehension for a more concise and elegant approach.

As a result of this conversion process, the ‘temperature_list_strings’ is transformed from containing strings to now holding integer values. This transformation enables seamless and efficient numerical computations, data visualization, and statistical analyses, offering valuable insights from the temperature data for various applications.

List with floating numbers stored in the string format

Let’s explore another fascinating scenario where our string elements contain decimal points. This adds a layer of complexity to the conversion process, as attempting to directly convert these string elements into integer types would result in an error. Fear not, for Python provides us with a solution to gracefully handle these situations. First, we’ll transform these elements into floating-point numbers (floats), and then we’ll round them to the nearest whole number before converting them into integers.

Considering the same example:

# List of decimal strings
decimal_strings = ["2.17", "22.1", "21.4", "1.29"]

# Converting decimal strings to integers using list comprehension and float()
integer_list = [round(float(decimal)) for decimal in decimal_strings]

# Printing the original decimal string list and the new integer list
print("Original Decimal String List:", decimal_strings)
print("Rounded Integer List:", integer_list)


Original Decimal String List: ['2.17', '22.1', '21.4', '1.29']
Rounded Integer List: [2, 22, 21, 1]

In the above example, we use a list comprehension to iterate over each element in the decimal_strings list. The float() function is used to convert each decimal string into a floating-point number. Afterward, we apply the round() function to round these floating-point numbers to the nearest whole number. The result is a new list, integer_list, containing the rounded integers.

Handling Non-Convertible Elements in String Lists

Sometimes, our string lists might not only consist of numbers but also contain words or alphabets. In such cases, attempting a direct conversion to integers can lead to errors. To address this, we can turn to the powerful try-except block, which comes to the rescue when the conversion process encounters a roadblock.

For instance, imagine we have a list of temperature values, including some words like “high” and “moist”:

# List of temperature values as strings in Celsius
temperature_list_strings = ["23.7", "29.5", "19.1", "15.8", "high", "moist"]

# Initialize an empty list to store converted temperature values
temperature_integer_list = []  

# Loop through each element in the temperature_list_strings
for temp in temperature_list_strings:
        # Try converting the current temperature string to a floating-point number
        # and then rounding it to an integer before appending it to the integer list
    except ValueError:
        # If conversion to float raises a ValueError (e.g., for non-numeric strings),
        # handle the exception, print an error message, and add None to the integer list
        print(f"Error: Unable to convert '{temp}' to an integer.")

# Print the original temperature list (in Celsius)
print("\nOriginal Temperature List (Celsius):", temperature_list_strings)

# Print the rounded temperature list (as integers)
print("\nRounded Temperature List (Integer):", temperature_integer_list)


Error: Unable to convert 'high' to an integer.
Error: Unable to convert 'moist' to an integer.

Original Temperature List (Celsius): ['23.7', '29.5', '19.1', '15.8', 'high', 'moist']

Rounded Temperature List (Integer): [24, 30, 19, 16, None, None]

In this example, we use a try-except block to attempt the conversion of each element. If the element can be converted, we add the rounded integer to the temperature_integer_list. If an error occurs, we handle it gracefully and print an error message, replacing the unconvertible element with None.

This approach ensures that our conversion process keeps rolling, even when faced with unexpected elements. As a result, our temperature list now has rounded integer values and any non-convertible elements are marked as None. This technique proves invaluable when dealing with diverse data sets, allowing us to smoothly handle various types of input in our Python programs.

Basic conversion of a string list into integer list using For…in structure

One of the most traditional and simplistic approaches to converting a string list into an integer list in Python is by using the for…in structure to iterate over each element in the string list and typecasting it to an integer type using the int() function.

Let’s consider a fun example where we have a list of game scores, like “75”, “92”, and so on, and we want to turn them into numbers to see how well players did. Start by creating a list of game scores as strings. Next, create an empty list called integer_scores to store the converted scores. Now comes the exciting part where we will use a loop to go through each score in the string list. Inside the loop, we convert each score from a string to an integer using the int() function and then add it to our new integer_scores list using append() function.

Here’s the code:

# List of game scores as strings
score_strings = ["75", "92", "48", "100", "88"]

# Initialize an empty list to store integer scores
integer_scores = []

# Convert each string score to an integer and append to the integer scores list
for score_string in score_strings:
    integer_score = int(score_string)

# Print the original score list along with the converted integer scores.
print("Original Score List:", score_strings)
print("Integer Scores List:", integer_scores)

When you run this code, it will output:


Original Score List: ['75', '92', '48', '100', '88']
Integer Scores List: [75, 92, 48, 100, 88]

We can now perform cool calculations on our integer scores. For example, we can find the average, highest, and lowest scores. Here’s how:

# Calculate the average score
average_score = sum(integer_scores) / len(integer_scores)

# Find the highest and lowest scores
highest_score = max(integer_scores)
lowest_score = min(integer_scores)
print("Average Score:", average_score)
print("Highest Score:", highest_score)
print("Lowest Score:", lowest_score)


Average Score: 80.6
Highest Score: 100
Lowest Score: 48

With just a few lines of code, we’ve converted string scores to numbers, and we can now easily analyze the players’ performance using mathematical operations. This method is a key skill in Python and can be used in various real-world scenarios.

Converting all string elements in the list to integer type using the eval function

An alternate approach to converting a string list into an integer list in Python involves the use of the eval() function. The eval() function allows us to evaluate any arbitrary Python expression. This function interprets strings as Python expressions and is particularly adept at handling arithmetic expressions, allowing it to convert simple numeric strings to integers.

Consider an example where we have a list of arithmetic expressions represented as strings. We want to evaluate these expressions and convert them into their corresponding numeric results. The eval() function proves invaluable in this situation:

# List of expressions as strings
expressions = ["22 + 17", "22 * 17", "22 - 17", "22 / 17"]

# Evaluating the arithmetic expressions using eval()
eva = [eval(x) for x in expressions]

print("Original String List:", expressions)
print("\nEvaluation String List:", eva)

When executed, this code yields the following output:


Original String List: ['22 + 17', '22 * 17', '22 - 17', '22 / 17']

Evaluation String List: [39, 374, 5, 1.2941176470588236]

In the provided example code, we utilize the eval() function within a list comprehension to convert a list of arithmetic expressions represented as strings into a corresponding list of numeric results. The evaluation results are stored in the list named ‘eva’. Each element of the string list, represented by the variable x, undergoes evaluation using the eval() function, effectively translating the expressions into their integer representations.

However, it is essential to note that the eval() function can introduce potential security risks and should use cautiously. Therefore, it is recommended to only use eval() with trusted inputs.

using the map function for conversion

A powerful method to convert a string list into an integer list in Python is by using the map() function. This function is useful when we need to perform a specific operation on each element of an iterable, hence providing a concise and efficient solution.

# List of integer strings
integer_strings = ["17", "22", "39", "3"]

# Using map() and list comprehension to convert the list strings to integers
integerList = [int(i) for i in map(int, integer_strings)]

print("Original String List:", integer_strings)
print("Integer List:", integerList)


Original String List: ['17', '22', '39', '3']
Integer List: [17, 22, 39, 3]

In this example, we used the map() function, which takes two arguments: the desired function that we want to apply (in our case, the int() function) and an iterable (the string list). The map() function applies the int() function to each element of the string list and produces a resultant map object. Then, a list comprehension is used to iterate over the integers in the map object, creating the new list ‘integerList‘ and thereby converting the map object into an integer list.

Converting Expressions with Mixed Elements into Numeric Results using re-Module

The re-module in Python proves to be an indespensible tool when it comes to dealing with regular expressions. Among its versatile capabilities, the re-module also empowers us to efficiently convert a list of strings into a list of integers. One notable function of the re module, finditer() enables us to extract and convert numerical values embedded within strings by using well-defined patterns that match these values.

Consider a scenario where you have a list of expressions that includes both numeric calculations and non-numeric elements. Your goal is to efficiently extract and evaluate the numeric expressions, disregarding non-numeric elements.

Here’s the implementation of the above task in Python

import re

# List of mixed expressions
input_string = ["5 + 3", "invalid", "10 * 2", "no_value", "8 / 4"]

# Define a re pattern to match numerical value
pattern = re.compile(r'-?\d+(?:\.\d+)?')

# Consider an empty list to store the numeric results
output_list = []

# Iterate over each expression in the list
for expression in input_string:
    # Use the pattern to search all numerical values within the expression
    result = [float( for match in pattern.finditer(expression)]

    # Evaluate the expression and add it to the list, if numeric values exist
    if result:

# Print the modified list
print("Converted List:", output_list)


Converted List: [8, 20, 2.0]

In this example, the re-module’s finditer() function effectively identifies and extracts numeric values from mixed expressions. By employing the eval() function, you can compute the numeric results of valid expressions while gracefully handling non-numeric elements. As a result, you obtain a list of numeric outcomes, leaving behind any elements that don’t contribute to the calculations.

Python and the re-module empower you to process and extract valuable information from diverse data sets. You can seamlessly transform complex expressions into numerical outcomes, further expanding your Python programming capabilities.

Converting JSON-Formatted Strings to Integer Lists using Python’s JSON Module

Python’s JSON module offers a seamless solution for transforming data between JSON format and Python data structures. Among its versatile functions, json.loads() stands out as an efficient tool to convert JSON-formatted strings into lists of integers. Let’s explore this process through an illustrative example:

Consider a scenario where you have a JSON-formatted string representing student scores. Your goal is to convert these scores into an integer list for further analysis. Begin by defining a JSON-formatted string containing the student scores. Then, use json.loads() to convert the JSON-formatted string into an integer list. This function ensures that the numbers within the JSON string are accurately represented as integers. If needed, you can revert the process by using json.dumps() to convert the integer list back into a JSON-formatted string.

Here’s the code snippet:

import json

# JSON-formatted string of student scores
scores = '[85, 92, 78, 95, 88]'

# Convert JSON string to integer list
converted_scores_list = json.loads(scores)

# Print original JSON string and converted integer list
print("Original JSON String:", scores)
print("Integer Score List:", converted_scores_list)


Original JSON String: [85, 92, 78, 95, 88]
Integer Score List: [85, 92, 78, 95, 88]

In this example, json.loads() efficiently converts the scores JSON-formatted string into an integer list. This process is particularly valuable when dealing with data retrieved from APIs, databases, or external sources.

Python’s JSON module simplifies the interchange of data formats, enabling smooth data manipulation and analysis. Whether you’re working on web applications, data-driven projects, or any scenario involving data conversion, the JSON module proves to be an essential tool in your Python toolkit.


Throughout this article, we explored various approaches for converting string lists into integer lists including loops, the map function, and list comprehension. These string lists can be of integers, floating numbers, alphabets or JSON formatted data. The map function and list comprehension perform the conversion task with the O(n) time complexity, offering efficient and readable solutions. In contrast, the traditional for-loop approach may have a higher time complexity due to its individual element iteration and appending process. Each method discussed in this article carries its own set of advantages and considerations, tailored to the specific data and problem at hand. If you have any questions regarding this article, let us know in the comments section or contact us. Happy Coding!

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