Data structures in R

The power of R resides in its ability to analyze data, and this ability is largely derived from its powerful data types. Fundamentally, R is a vectorized programming language. Data structures in R are constructed from vectors that are foundational. This means that R's operations are optimized to work with vectors.


The vector is a core component of R. It is a fundamental data type. Essentially, a vector is a data structure that contains an array where all of the values are the same type. For example, they could all be strings, or numbers. However, note that vectors cannot contain mixed data types.

R uses the c() function to take a list of items and turns them into a vector.


R contains two types of lists: a basic list, ...

Get Advanced Analytics with R and Tableau now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.