Java Array

How to declare Java array, creating it, initialization, and accessing array elements?. An Array in Java is a container object that holds a collection of similar types of elements (type may be integer, float, long, etc.). It means we cannot store multiple data type values.

Java Array Scenario : In our previous articles, we saw the variable declaration, initialization and, they are pretty good for initializing a few variables. What if we want to store 100 employee salaries? Is it worth to create 100 variables and assign those values? What happens if it is 150 employees?.

In order to handle this type of situation, Java Programming language introduced the concept of arrays.

Java Array Introduction

For example, an integer array in Java will store all the integer elements. If you try to insert a float or char value, then it will throw an error.

The length of a Java array decided when we are creating it. Once it created, the length is fixed. We have 3 types of arrays in Java Programming

  1. One Dimensional Array
  2. Two Dimensional
  3. MultiDimensional
    • Three Dimensional
    • Four Dimensional etc

Java array declaration or Syntax

The following code snippet will show you the most basic way of Java array declaration:

Data_Type[] Array_Name;
  • Data_type: It will decide the type of elements array will accept. For example, If we want to store integer values, the Data Type will be declared as an int, to store Float values the Data Type is float
  • Array_Name: This is the name you want to give. For example, students, age, marks, emp

Similarly, you can declare the remaining type of arrays in Java as follows:

int [] anIntegerArray; 
byte[] anByteArray; 
short[] anShortArray; 
long[] anLongArray; 
float[] anFloatArray; 
double[] anDoubleArray; 
boolean[] anBooleanArray;
char[] anCharArray; 
String[] anStringArray;

Create a Java Array

In order to create an array in Java, we have to use the New operator

Data_Type[] Array_Name = new Array_Name[Array_Size];

Array_Size: Number of elements an array can hold or store. For example, Array_Size =10, then it will hold 10 values.

If you already initialized an array in java then

int [] anIntegerArray; // Declaration

// Crating it
anIntegerArray = new int[10];

For Example, int[] Student_Marks = new int[10];

  1. We used int as the data type to declare an array. So, the above one will accept only integers. If we try to add float values, then it will throw an error.
  2. Student_Age is the name
  3. The size of an Array is ten. It means Student_Marks will only accept ten integer values.
    • If we try to store more than ten, then it throws an error.
    • We can store less than 10. For Example, If we store three integer values, then the remaining two values will be initialized to the default value (Which is 0).

Java Array Initialization

There are multiple ways to initialize the array in Java Programming language

First Approach

Declaring and Creating an Array in Java programming.

int[] Student_Marks = new int[3];

Initializing elements in more traditional way

Student_Marks[0] = 15; // Initializing First elements at position 0
 Student_Marks[1] = 45; // Initializing elements at position 1
Student_Marks[2] = 65; // First elements at position 2

Second Approach to create an Array in Java

In this approach, We initialize the array at the declaration time only

int[] anIntegerArray = {15, 25, 35, 45, 55}

Here, We did not mention the size. However, the Javac is intelligent enough to determine the size by checking the number of elements.

Third Approach

Although this approach works without any error, this is not the preferred way to initialize in in Java Programming.

int Employees[ ] = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5}

Fourth Approach

The above 3 methods are good to store a small number of items into an array. What if we want to store 50, 100, or more values. It will be a torture to add all of them using any of the approaches mentioned above. To resolve this, we can use the loop concept to store data:

int i, Employees[100];

for (i =0; i < 100 ; i++)
   Employees[i] = i * 2;

TIP: In order to store the elements, We can use For loop, While Loop and Do While Loop

Fifth Approach of creating an array in Java

int[] anIntegerArray = new int[5];
anIntegerArray[0] = 10;
anIntegerArray[1] = 20;
anIntegerArray[2] = 30;

Here we declared an anIntegerArray array of size 5, but we only assigned three values to it. In this condition, the remaining values assigned to default values (0 in this case).

The above one will be:

anIntegerArray[0] = 10
anIntegerArray[1] = 20
anIntegerArray[2] = 30
anIntegerArray[3] = 0
anIntegerArray[4] = 0

Accessing Java Array Elements

We use the index position to access the items of an Array in Java. Using an index, we can access or alter/change the item. Index value starts at 0 and ends at n-1, where n is the size or length.

For example, if it stores ten elements, the index starts at 0 and ends at 9. To access or modify the first value, use Array_Name[0] and to access or alter 10th value, use Array_Name[10]. Let us see the example for better knowledge of accessing Java array elements:

package ArrayDefinitions;

public class ArrayTest {

	public static void main(String[] args) {
		int[] anIntegerArray = {15, 25, 35, 45, 55, 65};


Java Array example

In this Java program, we will declare an integer array of size ten. Then we will sum those ten values and displays the output.

package ArrayDefinitions;

public class JavaArray {

	public static void main(String[] args) {
		int i, Sum =0;
		int [] anIntegerArray = {10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100};
		for(i = 0; i < anIntegerArray.length; i++) {
			Sum = Sum + anIntegerArray[i];
			System.out.format("Addition of %d to Sum = %d \n", anIntegerArray[i], Sum);
		System.out.format("Sum of the elemts in anIntegerArray = %d \n", Sum);
Java Array example 1

In this Java array example Program, We declared 1 One Dimensional anIntegerArray[] with 10 elements and also declared i to iterate the elements,

int [] anIntegerArray = {10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100};

The For loop iterate every cell in the anIntegerArray[4] array. The condition inside the for loops (i < anIntegerArray.length) will ensure the Jcompiler not exceed the array limit.

  • Sum = Sum + anIntegerArray[i]; statement is used to add each and individual element present in the anIntegerArray to Sum variable.
  • System.out.format statement displays the Sum value after every iteration.
  • anIntegerArray.length finds the length of it

Java Array First Iteration: The value of i will be 0, and the condition (i < 10) is True. So, it will start executing the statements inside the loop.

Sum = Sum + anIntegerArray[i]

=> Sum + anIntegerArray[0]

Sum = 0 + 10 = 10

The value of i will be incremented by 1

Second Iteration: The value of i is 1, and the condition (1 < 10) is True.

Sum = Sum + anIntegerArray[1]
Sum = 10 + 20 = 30

Third Iteration: After the increment, the i = 2, and the condition (2 < 10) is True.

Sum += anIntegerArray[2]
=> 30 + 30 = 60

Fourth Iteration: The value of i is 3, and the condition (3 < 5) is True.

Sum = 60 + 40 = 100

Fifth Iteration: i = 4, and the condition (4 < 10) is True.

Sum = 100 + 50 = 150

Sixth Iteration: i is 5, and the condition (5 < 10) is True.

Sum = 150 + 60 = 210

Seventh Iteration: After increment, i = 6, and the condition (6 < 10) is True.

Sum = 210 + anIntegerArray[6] => 210 + 70 = 280

Eighth Iteration: i = 7, and the condition (7 < 10) is True.

Sum = 280 + anIntegerArray[7] => 280 + 80 = 360

9th Iteration: i is 8, and the condition (8 < 10) is True.

Sum = 360 + anIntegerArray[8] => 360 + 90 = 450

10th Iteration: i is 9 and the condition (9 < 10) is True.

Sum = Sum + anIntegerArray[9]
Sum = 450 + 100 = 550

11th Iteration: The value of i is 10, and the condition (10 < 10) is False. So, it will exit from the for loop.

Lastly, we used System.out.format statement to display the Sum