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How to add a row to a Pandas dataframe

Understanding Pandas DataFrames

Before we delve into the process of adding a row to a Pandas DataFrame, it's important to understand what a DataFrame is. Think of a DataFrame as a table or a spreadsheet that you can manipulate with Python. It's a collection of columns and rows, where each column represents a variable and each row represents an observation. It's one of the most important tools in data analysis and manipulation.

Setting Up Your Environment

To start working with Pandas, you need to have it installed in your Python environment. If you haven't done so yet, you can install it using pip, Python's package installer, with the following command:

pip install pandas

Once installed, you can import Pandas and start using it to create and manipulate DataFrames:

import pandas as pd

Creating a Simple DataFrame

To get started, let's create a simple DataFrame. This will help us understand how to add rows to it later on. Here's a basic example:

# Define a dictionary containing data
data = {'Name': ['John', 'Anna', 'Peter', 'Linda'],
        'Age': [28, 23, 34, 29]}

# Convert the dictionary into a DataFrame
df = pd.DataFrame(data)

# Display the DataFrame

When you run this code, you'll see that it prints out a table with the names and ages that we defined in the data dictionary.

Adding a Single Row to the DataFrame

Now that we have our DataFrame, let's add a new row to it. To do this, we use the append() function. This function takes a dictionary or another DataFrame as an argument and adds it to the original DataFrame.

Here's how you can add a single row:

# New data for the new row
new_row = {'Name': 'Sophia', 'Age': 22}

# Add the new row to the DataFrame
df = df.append(new_row, ignore_index=True)

# Display the updated DataFrame

When you append the new row, you'll notice the ignore_index=True parameter. This tells Pandas to reassign the index numbers so that they're in order. Without it, the new row would have an index based on the original dictionary, which could lead to duplicate index numbers.

Adding Multiple Rows

What if you have more than one row to add? You can still use the append() method, but you'll pass a list of dictionaries instead:

# Data for the new rows
new_rows = [{'Name': 'James', 'Age': 25},
            {'Name': 'Laura', 'Age': 30}]

# Add the new rows to the DataFrame
df = df.append(new_rows, ignore_index=True)

# Display the updated DataFrame

Using loc to Add a Row

Another way to add a row to a DataFrame is by using the loc indexer. The loc indexer allows you to access a group of rows and columns by labels or a boolean array. It's a powerful tool for selecting and modifying data within a DataFrame.

Here's how you can use loc to add a new row:

# Define the index of the new row
new_index = len(df)

# Add a new row using loc
df.loc[new_index] = ['Mike', 31]

# Display the updated DataFrame

In this example, len(df) gives us the number of rows in the DataFrame, which is also the next available index since Python uses zero-based indexing.

Using pd.concat to Add Rows

Sometimes, you might want to add multiple rows from another DataFrame. In this case, you can use the concat function, which stands for "concatenate." It allows you to join two or more DataFrames along a particular axis, either by stacking them on top of each other (axis=0) or side by side (axis=1).

Here's an example of adding multiple rows using concat:

# Create another DataFrame with new rows
new_data = pd.DataFrame({'Name': ['Sara', 'Tom'], 'Age': [27, 24]})

# Concatenate the two DataFrames
df = pd.concat([df, new_data], ignore_index=True)

# Display the updated DataFrame

Handling DataFrames with Different Columns

But what happens if the new data doesn't have the same columns as your original DataFrame? Pandas handles this gracefully by filling in missing values with NaN (Not a Number), which is the standard missing data marker used in Pandas.

# New data with an additional column 'City'
new_row_with_city = {'Name': 'Emma', 'Age': 32, 'City': 'New York'}

# Add the new row to the DataFrame
df = df.append(new_row_with_city, ignore_index=True)

# Display the updated DataFrame

In the output, you'll see that a new 'City' column has been added, with NaN values for all the rows that don't have city information.

Intuition and Analogy

Adding a row to a DataFrame can be thought of as adding a new member to a club's sign-up sheet. Imagine you have a clipboard with a list of names and ages. When a new member arrives, you write down their details at the bottom of the list. In the world of DataFrames, this is akin to appending a new row.


Adding rows to a DataFrame is a fundamental task in data manipulation, akin to building up a story by adding new characters. Each method shown here is like a different narrative technique, whether you're introducing a single character with a simple line using append() or bringing in a whole new cast with concat(). By understanding these methods, you become the author of your data's story, able to weave in new details and expand your analysis with ease. As you continue your programming journey, remember that each line of code is a sentence in your data's novel, and you hold the pen that writes its future chapters.