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How to Sort a DataFrame by Date in R?

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  • Last Updated : 19 Dec, 2021
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In this article, we will discuss how to sort a dataframe in R Programming Language.

We can create a dataframe in R by using data.frame() function. In a dataframe we can create a date column using as.Date() function in the ‘%m/%d/%Y’ format.

Example:

Let’s create a dataframe with 2 columns including dates

R




# create a dataframe
data=data.frame(date=c('1/1/2021', '4/5/2021',
                       '2/3/2021', '11/21/2011'),
                values=c(34,56,78,32))
  
# display
data


Output:

Method 1: User order() from base R

Here order() function is used to sort the dataframe by R using order() function based on the date column, we have to convert the date column to date with the format, this will sort in ascending order.

Syntax:

data[order(as.Date(data$column_name, format="%m/%d/%Y")),]

where

  • data is the input dataframe
  • column_name is the date column

Example:

R




# create a dataframe
data = data.frame(date=c('1/1/2021', '4/5/2021',
                         '2/3/2021', '11/21/2011'),
                  values=c(34, 56, 78, 32))
  
# display
data[order(as.Date(data$date, format="%m/%d/%Y")), ]


Output:

In order to sort in descending order, we have to use rev() function  which is used to reverse the dataframe

Example:

R




# create a dataframe
data = data.frame(date=c('1/1/2021', '4/5/2021',
                         '2/3/2021', '11/21/2011'),
                  values=c(34, 56, 78, 32))
  
# display
data[rev(order(as.Date(data$date, format="%m/%d/%Y"))), ]


Output:

Method 2: Use functions from the lubridate and dplyr packages

We can use these packages to sort the dataframe by date using the below methods. mdy() is used to sort the date in the dataframe  and will sort it in ascending order

Syntax:

data %>% arrange(mdy(data$column_name))

where

  • data is the input dataframe
  • column_name is the date column

Example:

R




# import libraries
library(lubridate)
library(dplyr)
  
# create a dataframe
data = data.frame(date=c('1/1/2021', '4/5/2021',
                         '2/3/2021', '11/21/2011'),
                  values=c(34, 56, 78, 32))
  
# display
data % > % arrange(mdy(data$date))


Output:

If we want to sort the date in the dataframe in reverse order, then we have to use desc() function

Syntax:

data %>% arrange(desc(mdy(data$column_name)))

Example:

R




# import libraries
library(lubridate)
library(dplyr)
  
# create a dataframe
data = data.frame(date=c('1/1/2021', '4/5/2021',
                         '2/3/2021', '11/21/2011'),
                  values=c(34, 56, 78, 32))
  
# display
data % > % arrange(desc(mdy(data$date)))


Output:


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