(PHP 3, PHP 4 , PHP 5)

count -- Count elements in a variable


int count ( mixed var [, int mode])

Returns the number of elements in var, which is typically an array (since anything else will have one element).

If var is not an array, 1 will be returned (exception: count(NULL) equals 0).

Note: The optional mode parameter is available as of PHP 4.2.0.

If the optional mode parameter is set to COUNT_RECURSIVE (or 1), count() will recursively count the array. This is particularly useful for counting all the elements of a multidimensional array. The default value for mode is 0.


count() may return 0 for a variable that isn't set, but it may also return 0 for a variable that has been initialized with an empty array. Use isset() to test if a variable is set.

Please see the Arrays section of the manual for a detailed explanation of how arrays are implemented and used in PHP.

Example 1. count() example

[0] = 1;
$a[1] = 3;
$a[2] = 5;
$result = count($a);
// $result == 3

$b[0]  = 7;
$b[5]  = 9;
$b[10] = 11;
$result = count($b);
// $result == 3;

Example 2. recursive count() example (PHP >= 4.2.0)

= array('fruits' => array('orange', 'banana', 'apple'),
'veggie' => array('carrot', 'collard', 'pea'));

// recursive count
echo count($food, COUNT_RECURSIVE);  // output 8

// normal count
echo count($food);                  // output 2


Note: The sizeof() function is an alias for count().

See also is_array(), isset(), and strlen().

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