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# Sorting DataFrame by dates in Pandas

schedule Aug 10, 2023
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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 B0 2020-12-25 a1 2020-12-26 b2 2020-12-24 c ```

Here, column `A` is of type `datetime64`.

To sort by dates in column `A`:

``` df.sort_values(by="A") A B2 2020-12-24 c0 2020-12-25 a1 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 B0 2020-12-25 a1 2020-12-26 b2 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 A2020-12-25 a2020-12-26 b2020-12-24 c ```

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

``` df.sort_index() A2020-12-24 c2020-12-25 a2020-12-26 b ```
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