Python Program to Count Occurrences of Element in List

1. Introduction

Counting the occurrences of an element within a list is a fundamental operation in Python, which can be utilized to analyze the frequency distribution of elements in datasets.


An occurrence is the frequency with which a particular item appears in a list. The task is to iterate through the list and count the number of times a specified element occurs.

2. Program Steps

1. Define a list of elements.

2. Choose the element for which occurrences will be counted.

3. Use the list method count() or iterate with a for loop to tally occurrences.

4. Print the number of occurrences.

3. Code Program

# Step 1: Define the list
elements = [1, 2, 4, 2, 2, 3, 5, 4, 2, 1]

# Step 2: Specify the element to count
target_element = 2

# Step 3: Count occurrences using the count() method
occurrences = elements.count(target_element)

# Step 4: Print the number of occurrences
print(f"The element {target_element} occurs {occurrences} times in the list.")

# Alternative method: Count occurrences using a for loop
occurrences_loop = sum(1 for element in elements if element == target_element)

# Print the number of occurrences found by the loop
print(f"(Using loop) The element {target_element} occurs {occurrences_loop} times in the list.")


The element 2 occurs 4 times in the list.
(Using loop) The element 2 occurs 4 times in the list.


1. elements is a list containing integers with some repeating values.

2. target_element is the integer 2, which is the element we're counting in elements.

3. occurrences utilizes the count() method to find how many times target_element appears in elements.

4. The first print statement outputs the result directly.

5. occurrences_loop uses a generator expression within the sum() function as an alternative method to count occurrences, which is useful if you need more complex conditions.

6. The second print statement outputs the result of the alternative counting method, confirming the count as 4.