ArrayList vs LinkedList in Java | Explained

In java, ArrayList and LinkedList both belong to the Collection framework of java.util package and both of them inherit the List class. If we talk about the comparison of both these lists, it can be made based on different features, similarities, and differences. Sometimes LinkedList is preferred to use while in some cases, ArrayLists have dominance and are preferred to use.

This write-up will present a profound understanding of the following concepts:

  • What are ArrayLists and LinkedList in Java
  • Key Features of ArrayLists and LinkedList in Java
  • Similarities between ArrayLists and LinkedList in Java
  • Differences between ArrayLists and LinkedList in Java

So let’s start!

What is ArrayList

In java, arrays can be used to store the static data and in order to store the data dynamically, java provides a special Collection framework referred as ArrayList. So, the ArrayLists implements the List Interface where items can be added and removed from the list dynamically. The array size increased dynamically when the elements are added more than the initial size of the ArrayList.

Features of ArrayList

ArrayList provides multiple significant features some of them are listed below:

  • ArrayLists are very flexible as the items can be added/removed dynamically.
  • It can hold duplicate items.
  • It is not synchronized
  • It allows random access to the items as it worked on the basis of indexes.

What is LinkedList

A linear data structure with the collection of multiple nodes where every node comprises a value and a pointer(link) to the location of the next node in the chain/sequence while the final node points to the null which demonstrates that the list ends here. LinkedList is of different types such as singly LinkedList, doubly LinkedList, and circular LinkedList.

Features of LinkedList

LinkedList provides multiple features some major features are listed below:

  • It implements Queue and Deque interfaces therefore we can utilize it for a queue, deque, or a stack in a list.
  • It maintains the insertion order of items.
  • It can hold duplicate items as well.
  • It is not synchronized
  • Manipulation is faster as compared to ArrayList as there is no need to shift any item in case of removing an item.

Comparison Based on Similarities

The essentials similarities between LinkedList and ArrayList are listed below:

  • Both are implementation of the List interface.
  • Both maintain the insertion order of the items.
  • Both are non-synchronized.
  • Both ArrayList and LinkedList can utilize the same methods to perform different functionalities such as adding, removing, modifying the list, etc.
  • Both can hold duplicate items.

LinkedList vs ArrayList

The significant differences between LinkedList and ArrayList are listed below:

  • In LinkedList, insertion, addition, and removal operations are faster as compared to the ArrayLists because there is no need to resize the LinkedList.
  • LinkedList is based on doubly LinkedList implementation on the other hand the ArrayLists are based on the dynamically resizable arrays.
  • LinkedList consumes more memory than ArrayList.
  • ArrayList provides random access to any item while LinkedList provides sequential access to the items.
  • In ArrayList, the manipulation process is a bit slow as compared to LinkedList because in ArrayList when an item is removed, numerous changes (shifting of items) take place.


ArrayLists are the implementation of List Interface where elements can be added and removed from the list dynamically while LinkedList is a linear data structure that is formed by a chain of nodes where each node contains the value and a link to the location of the next node in the chain. Considering the similarities and differences of both these lists it is concluded that ArrayLists has the upper hand in storing and accessing the data while LinkedList provides better manipulation of data. This write-up provides a detailed comparison of both these lists.

About the author

Anees Asghar

I am a self-motivated IT professional having more than one year of industry experience in technical writing. I am passionate about writing on the topics related to web development.