Difference Between ArrayList and LinkedList

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between ArrayList and LinkedList

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The Java programming language makes frequent use of an object called an ArrayList, which is a kind of resizable array. The dimensions of util packages may be changed, unlike the sizes of built-in displays, and util packages include a higher number of items derived from other arrays. This sets util packages apart from built-in collections.

LinkedList is distinct from ArrayList in that its data structure is linear, and unlike ArrayList, it does not store its components in a location that is susceptible to contamination. As a result of the differences that exist between them, it is possible to use it in several different algorithmic situations, both in Java and in other types of coding.

The List interface may be implemented in several different ways; two examples of such implementations are ArrayList and LinkedList. Their particular methods and outputs are also relatively comparable to one another. It depends on the context, however, whether one is preferable to the other due to a few essential differences between them.

ArrayList vs. LinkedList

The main difference between ArrayList and LinkedList is that the former belongs to the category of collection frameworks of dynamic arrays, as opposed to standard arrays, whereas the latter exercises LinkedList Data Structure within its class, with variations in every element embraced with a data and address wedge. ArrayList falls under the category of collection frameworks of standard arrays, whereas LinkedList is distinct from traditional arrays.

According to what has been said, ArrayList plays a significant role in the collection architecture, resulting in dynamic arrays in Java that are executed by various components and actions. The ArrayList class will consistently conduct certain fundamental operations, such as adding and modifying parts and inheriting the AbstractList class. The default initialization of size in ArrayList tends to become larger or smaller depending on the collection. The resizable array known as the ArrayList class may be found in the Java. util package of the Java programming language.

The size of a built-in array in Java cannot be changed; thus, if you wish to add or delete entries from an array, you will need to construct a new array instead. This is one of the key differences between a built-in array and an ArrayList in Java.

One way to describe a singly linked list is as a collection of sets of items arranged in some fashion. The number of components could change depending on the requirements of the software. Two components comprise a node in a singly linked list: the data portion and the linked part. While the address of the node's immediate successor is stored in the node's link section, the node, the data component of the node, is responsible for storing the actual information that will be represented by the node.

In contrast to ArrayList, the LinkedList is well-known for having a size that may be changed at any time and the ability to make insertions and deletions easily. The node, also known as the pointer, is used to assess whether or not the linked ListList should be regarded as necessary. This is done by pointing to the head of the linked ListList.

Addresses also link them together, and the majority of the time, it is advisable to use them rather than array elements as the more appropriate option. A connected list may be created using a linked list, a collection of data structures that are interconnected and linked to one another.

A linked list is a collection of things grouped as a list of hyperlinks. Each connection in the network is linked to a few more links somewhere else in the network. The array is the most popular data structure, followed by the linked ListList as the second most prevalent type.

Difference Between Arraylist and Linked List in Tabular Form

Parameter of Comparison ArrayList LinkedList
Usage  In order to store items internally, a dynamic array is used.  When storing components on the internal level, a double-linked list is used.
Manipulation  The manipulation process is both sluggish and time-consuming.  The time required for manipulation is the shortest possible amount.
Implementation  The only interface that ArrayList supports is List.  LinkedList implements List and Queue.
Access  When an application needs to store data and retrieve that data, ArrayList is the best option.  The modification of the data that has been saved may be completed more quickly using LinkedList.
Performance ArrayList performs 0(1). LinkedList performs 0(n).

What is an ArrayList ?

ArrayList's built-in dynamic array is used to store the items, and there is no size restriction on the array. This improvises the fact that these components may be added or removed at any moment that is necessary. The significant array that was used in Java earlier and now has been replaced by the ArrayList, which can be found in the util package of the Java programming language. In addition to this, the ArrayList makes use of an array data structure, and as a result, it keeps its components organised using an index-based mechanism. This makes it far easier and quicker to search for a certain item in the list.

The ArrayList class is a resizable array that may be found in the java.util package of the Java programming language.

ArrayLists have the ability to dynamically vary their size, in contrast to built-in arrays which have a predetermined size. An ArrayList allows for the user to have more control over memory management by allowing elements to be added to or deleted from the list at any time.

ArrayList has some duplicate items, some of which are implemented, and some of which act on the list. This takes place so that we may utilize all of the methods of the List interface here as major aspects of the interface itself. The ArrayList inherits the properties of the AbstractList but does not support synchronization. Additionally, it is responsible for the management and maintenance of the internal order insertion. The fact that ArrayList works like an array based on an index, which allows for random access, is an essential aspect of this data structure.

The ArrayList() function is used to create an empty array list, the ArrayList(Collection? Extends E>c) function is used to create an array list that is initialized by the elements of collection "c," and the ArrayList(int capacity) function is used in array lists where there is specialized initial capacity.

When compared to LinkedList, it has a manipulation speed that is somewhat inferior due to the fact that omitting one element involves several shifting operations, which slows down the process. As a result, the extensions for the list interface are presented in sequential sequence.

What is LinkedList ?

A LinkedList is a collection of data structures that are linked to one another by links. It consists of components that are interconnected with one another from one end to the other in order to function in a linear fashion and in all possible ways. However, a linked list is superior to an array, and it is the second most preferred data structure to utilise after arrays. A double linked list is what the LinkedList class really implements. In order to look for it, one must first pass the crosspiece through all of the components. LinkedList has a significant user base.

Certain concepts need to be grasped before moving onto the next step in LinkedList's conceptualization. The words are Link, where each individual link in the linked list has the ability to hold information in the form of components. There is a step called Next, which connects each link starting at its respective end in the data. At long last, there is LinkedList, which, in order for the LinkedList to function properly, must have a connection from one end link to the first link, which is sometimes referred to as First.

There are several variations of the LinkedList data structure, including the Simple LinkedList, which allows item navigation in only one direction (forward), the Double LinkedList, which allows item navigation in both directions (forward and back), and the Circular Linked List, which forms a circular link by connecting the link of the most recent item to the link of the first element (next) and the link of the first element to the link of the most recent element (previous). Insertion, deletion, display, and search and delete are the fundamental activities of LinkedList for items. Other actions include display.

A linked list is a typical data structure that consists of a chain of nodes, each of which stores a value and a reference to the next node in the chain. Each node in the chain also holds a value.

The head pointer is pointing to the initial node, whereas the null pointer is pointed to by the element that is at the very end of the list. When there are no items in the list, the head pointer will refer to the value null.

Because, unlike with arrays, we need only to modify the pointers of the previous element and the next element in order to insert or remove an element from a linked list, it is straightforward to insert and delete elements from a linked list. Linked lists may also grow in size on their own in a dynamic manner.

The creation of file systems, adjacency lists, and hash tables are three common applications for linked lists.

Main Difference between ArrayList and LinkedList in Points

  • In a linked list, new entries may be added forever, but in an array list, entries are typically added until the list is full or is resized.
  • It is simpler to delete members from a LinkedList than it is from an ArrayList due to the fact that doing so leaves empty spaces, which take up memory in the computer without being put to any productive use.
  • Access to the items included inside an ArrayList may be done in a randomised fashion. LinkedList, on the other hand, only permits access to its items in a sequential order.
  • Because each node in the LinkedList list carries both the data and a reference link to the next mode, the memory space required by the LinkedList structure is more than that required by the ArrayList structure. It is unlike ArrayList.
  • When working with short lists in which practically every item count is already known, the ArrayList data structure should be used. On the other hand, LinkedList is the kind of data structure that should be used for huge data lists in which the total number of items may be subject to change.
  • An implementation of the List interface that uses resizable arrays is referred to as an ArrayList. LinkedList, on the other hand, is an implementation of a doubly-linked list that conforms to the List and Deque interfaces.
  • In ArrayList, accessing an element takes a constant O(1) amount of time, whereas adding an element takes, in the worst case scenario, O(n) amount of time (i.e. adding an item at first position). LinkedLists, on the other hand, need O(n) time to add an element (at the end of the list), and accessing these lists likewise requires O(n) time.
  • However, LinkedList requires additional overhead in the form of next and prior pointers for each node in the linked list, which causes it to utilise more memory than ArrayList does.


Even though both ArrayList and LinkedList implements List Interface and the insertion order is preserved properly, there are significant variations between them that keep them separated for use in various java packages. These differences restrict them from being interchangeable. Because of these differences, one is more favourable than the other depending on the circumstances needed and the runtime of the algorithms.

Their differences are striking in terms of search, maintenance, the need of regular addition and deletion, the number of times search operations are performed, and other aspects. The distinctions are what make java and other forms of coding simpler to use and more adaptable to specific needs.


  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/6606620/
  2. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/1529282.1529391

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"Difference Between ArrayList and LinkedList." Diffzy.com, 2024. Mon. 20 May. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-arraylist-and-linkedlist-1012>.

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