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Sorting DataFrame by dates in Pandas

Pandas
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schedule Jul 1, 2022
Last updated
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Sorting by date column

Consider the following DataFrame:

df = pd.DataFrame({"A":pd.to_datetime(["2020/12/25","2020/12/26","2020/12/24"]),"B":["a","b","c"]})
df
A B
0 2020-12-25 a
1 2020-12-26 b
2 2020-12-24 c

Here, column A is of type datetime64.

To sort by dates in column A:

df.sort_values(by="A")
A B
2 2020-12-24 c
0 2020-12-25 a
1 2020-12-26 b

Note the following:

  • a new DataFrame is returned and so the original df is kept intact. To directly modify df, set inplace=True.

  • by default, ascending=True.

Case when column is date string

You must first convert the date strings to datetime64 using Pandas' to_datetime(~) method:

df = pd.DataFrame({"A":["2020/12/25","2020/12/26","2020/12/24"],"B":["a","b","c"]})
df["A"] = pd.to_datetime(df["A"])
df
A B
0 2020-12-25 a
1 2020-12-26 b
2 2020-12-24 c

Sorting by date index

Consider the following DataFrame with a DatetimeIndex:

df = pd.DataFrame({"A":["a","b","c"]}, index=pd.to_datetime(["2020/12/25","2020/12/26","2020/12/24"]))
df
A
2020-12-25 a
2020-12-26 b
2020-12-24 c

To sort by dates in the index, use sort_index():

df.sort_index()
A
2020-12-24 c
2020-12-25 a
2020-12-26 b
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Published by Isshin Inada
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