10 Differences Between hashmap and hashset

Difference between HashMap and HashSet


HashMap and HashSet are two commonly used data structures in Java that are part of the Java Collections framework. Understanding the differences between the two is crucial for efficient programming. In this article, we will explore what HashMap and HashSet are, provide examples, discuss their uses, and finally, compare them through a comprehensive differences table.

What is/are HashMap?

HashMap is a class in Java that implements the Map interface. It is used to store key-value pairs and provides constant time performance for basic operations like get() and put(). The entries in a HashMap are not ordered.

Examples of HashMap:

Let’s consider an example where we want to store the population of different countries using HashMap:

HashMap populationMap = new HashMap<>();
populationMap.put(“India”, 1366000000);
populationMap.put(“China”, 1444216107);
populationMap.put(“USA”, 331002651);

System.out.println(populationMap.get(“India”)); // Output: 1366000000

Uses of HashMap:

  1. Efficient retrieval and storage of key-value pairs
  2. Frequent reordering of elements is not required
  3. Finding specific elements based on keys

What is/are HashSet?

HashSet is a class in Java that implements the Set interface. It is used to store a collection of unique elements. The elements in a HashSet are not ordered and can be accessed using the iterator.

Examples of HashSet:

Let’s consider an example where we want to store a set of unique names using HashSet:

HashSet namesSet = new HashSet<>();
namesSet.add(“Amy”); // Adding duplicate element

System.out.println(namesSet.size()); // Output: 3

Uses of HashSet:

  1. Checking for duplicates in a collection
  2. Basic set operations like union, intersection, and difference
  3. Storing unique elements without any particular order

Differences Table:

Difference Area HashMap HashSet
Storage of Elements Stores key-value pairs Stores unique elements
Order of Elements Does not maintain any order Does not maintain any order
Accessing Elements Accessed using keys Accessed using iterator
Duplicate Values Key duplication not allowed, but value duplication allowed No duplicate elements allowed
Null Elements Allows one null key and multiple null values Allows only one null element
Performance Provides constant time performance for most operations Similar performance to HashMap
Iterator Order No specific order No specific order
Internal Implementation Implemented using hash table Implemented using hash table
Required Libraries Requires only the Java Collections framework Requires only the Java Collections framework
Use Cases Storing and retrieving key-value pairs Storing unique elements and checking for duplicates


In conclusion, HashMap and HashSet are both important data structures in Java, but with different purposes and characteristics. HashMap is used to store key-value pairs, while HashSet is used to store unique elements. The differences table above summarizes the variations between the two in various aspects, including storage, order, accessing elements, duplicate values, null elements, performance, iterator order, internal implementation, required libraries, and use cases.

People Also Ask:

Q: Can a HashMap contain duplicate keys?

A: No, HashMap does not allow duplicate keys. However, it allows duplicate values.

Q: Can a HashSet contain duplicate elements?

A: No, HashSet does not allow duplicate elements. It automatically removes any duplicates added to the set.

Q: Can HashMap store null values?

A: Yes, HashMap can store null values along with null keys.

Q: Can HashSet store null values?

A: No, HashSet allows only one null element and does not allow duplicate null values.

Q: Which is more efficient: HashMap or HashSet?

A: Both HashMap and HashSet offer similar performance for most operations, as they are both implemented using hash tables.

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