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Read, Write and Parse JSON using Python

  • Difficulty Level : Expert
  • Last Updated : 31 Dec, 2019

JSON is a lightweight data format for data interchange which can be easily read and written by humans, easily parsed and generated by machines. It is a complete language-independent text format. To work with JSON data, Python has a built-in package called json.

s = '{"id":01, "name": "Emily", "language": ["C++", "Python"]}'

The syntax of JSON is considered as a subset of the syntax of JavaScript including the following:

  • Name/Value pairs: Represents Data, name is followed by ‘:'(colon) and the Name/Value pairs separated by, (comma).
  • Curly braces: Holds objects.
  • Square brackets: Hold arrays with values separated by, (comma).

Keys/Name must be strings with double quotes and values must be data types amongst the following:

  • String
  • Number
  • Object (JSON object)
  • array
  • Boolean
  • Null
   "employee": [

         "id": "01",
         "name": "Amit",
         "department": "Sales"

         "id": "04",
         "name": "sunil",
         "depatment": "HR"

Parse JSON (Convert from JSON to Python)

json.loads() method can parse a json string and the result will be a Python dictionary.




# Python program to convert JSON to Python
import json
# JSON string
employee ='{"id":"09", "name": "Nitin", "department":"Finance"}'
# Convert string to Python dict
employee_dict = json.loads(employee)


{'id': '09', 'department': 'Finance', 'name': 'Nitin'}

Python read JSON file

json.load() method can read a file which contains a JSON object. Consider a file named employee.json which contains a JSON object.



Example: Let’s suppose the JSON looks like this.


We want to read the content of this file. Below is the implementation.

# Python program to read
# json file
import json
# Opening JSON file
f = open('data.json',)
# returns JSON object as 
# a dictionary
data = json.load(f)
# Iterating through the json
# list
for i in data['emp_details']:
# Closing file



Here, we have used the open() function to read the JSON file. Then, the file is parsed using json.load() method which gives us a dictionary named data.

Convert from Python to JSON

json.dumps() method can convert a Python object into a JSON string.


json.dumps(dict, indent)

It takes two parameters:

  • dictionary – name of dictionary which should be converted to JSON object.
  • indent – defines the number of units for indentation


# Python program to convert
# Python to JSON
import json
# Data to be written
dictionary ={
  "id": "04",
  "name": "sunil",
  "depatment": "HR"
# Serializing json 
json_object = json.dumps(dictionary, indent = 4)


    "depatment": "HR",
    "id": "04",
    "name": "sunil"

The following types of Python objects can be converted into JSON strings:

  • dict
  • list
  • tuple
  • string
  • int
  • float
  • True
  • False
  • None

Python objects and their equivalent conversion to JSON:

PythonJSON Equivalent
list, tuplearray
int, floatnumber

Writing JSON to a file

json.dump() method can be used for writing to JSON file.


json.dump(dict, file_pointer)

It takes 2 parameters:

  • dictionary – name of dictionary which should be converted to JSON object.
  • file pointer – pointer of the file opened in write or append mode.

# Python program to write JSON
# to a file
import json
# Data to be written
dictionary ={
    "name" : "sathiyajith",
    "rollno" : 56,
    "cgpa" : 8.6,
    "phonenumber" : "9976770500"
with open("sample.json", "w") as outfile:
    json.dump(dictionary, outfile)



The above program opens a file named sample.json in writing mode using ‘w’. The file will be created if it does not exist. Json.dump() will transform dictionary to a JSON string and it will be saved in the file sample.json.

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