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Python | Pandas DataFrame.dropna()

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  • Last Updated : 05 Jul, 2018

Python is a great language for doing data analysis, primarily because of the fantastic ecosystem of data-centric python packages. Pandas is one of those packages and makes importing and analyzing data much easier.

Sometimes csv file has null values, which are later displayed as NaN in Data Frame. Pandas dropna() method allows the user to analyze and drop Rows/Columns with Null values in different ways.


DataFrameName.dropna(axis=0, how='any', thresh=None, subset=None, inplace=False)


axis: axis takes int or string value for rows/columns. Input can be 0 or 1 for Integer and ‘index’ or ‘columns’ for String.
how: how takes string value of two kinds only (‘any’ or ‘all’). ‘any’ drops the row/column if ANY value is Null and ‘all’ drops only if ALL values are null.
thresh: thresh takes integer value which tells minimum amount of na values to drop.
subset: It’s an array which limits the dropping process to passed rows/columns through list.
inplace: It is a boolean which makes the changes in data frame itself if True.

For link to CSV file Used in Code, click here.

Example #1: Dropping Rows with at least 1 null value.

Data frame is read and all rows with any Null values are dropped. The size of old and new data frames is compared to see how many rows had at least 1 Null value.

# importing pandas module
import pandas as pd
# making data frame from csv file
data = pd.read_csv("nba.csv")
# making new data frame with dropped NA values
new_data = data.dropna(axis = 0, how ='any')
# comparing sizes of data frames
print("Old data frame length:", len(data), "\nNew data frame length:"
       len(new_data), "\nNumber of rows with at least 1 NA value: ",


Old data frame length:  458 
New data frame length:  364 
Number of rows with at least 1 NA value:  94

Since the difference is 94, there were 94 rows which had at least 1 Null value in any column.

Example #2: Changing axis and using how and inplace Parameters

Two data frames are made. A column with all values = none is added to the new Data frame. Column names are verified to see if the Null column was inserted properly. Then Number of columns is compared before and after dropping NaN values.

# importing pandas module
import pandas as pd
# making data frame from csv file
data = pd.read_csv("nba.csv")
# making a copy of old data frame
new = pd.read_csv("nba.csv")
# creating a value with all null values in new data frame
new["Null Column"]= None
# checking if column is inserted properly 
print(data.columns.values, "\n", new.columns.values)
# comparing values before dropping null column
print("\nColumn number before dropping Null column\n",
       len(data.dtypes), len(new.dtypes))
# dropping column with all null values
new.dropna(axis = 1, how ='all', inplace = True)
# comparing values after dropping null column
print("\nColumn number after dropping Null column\n",
      len(data.dtypes), len(new.dtypes))


['Name' 'Team' 'Number' 'Position' 'Age' 'Height' 'Weight' 'College'
 ['Name' 'Team' 'Number' 'Position' 'Age' 'Height' 'Weight' 'College'
 'Salary' 'Null Column']

Column number before dropping Null column
 9 10

Column number after dropping Null column
 9 9

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