How to Count Associated Entries in Sequelize.js

Updated: December 29, 2023 By: Guest Contributor Post a comment

Learn more than one technique to count associated entries in Sequelize and Node.js.

Solution 1: Using findAndCountAll

Description: The findAndCountAll method in Sequelize can be used to fetch all entries along with the total count, including where conditions for associations. This method is straightforward and utilizes Sequelize’s built-in capabilities to count associated models without loading the actual data.

  • Create the association between models if not already defined.
  • Use the findAndCountAll method on the primary model.
  • Include the associated model with required where conditions.
  • Access the count from the returned object.
const { Post, Comment } = require('./models');

async function countCommentsForPost(postId) {
  const result = await Post.findAndCountAll({
    where: { id: postId },
    include: [
        model: Comment,
        as: 'comments',
        attributes: [],
  return result.count;

Pros: Simple and uses Sequelize’s built-in functions. No need to load entire associated data.

Cons: Less efficient for complex queries or large datasets. Limited ability to customize the count query.

Solution 2: Association Count Methods

Description: When associations are defined between models in Sequelize, it adds methods to the models to easily count associated entries. For a one-to-many relationship, Sequelize adds a count method such as countComments if your model is associated with Comments.

  • Define associations between primary and associated models.
  • Retrieve an instance of the primary model for which you want to count associations.
  • Call the count method (like countComments) on the instance.
  • Handle the returned count as needed.
const { Post } = require('./models');

async function countCommentsForPost(postId) {
  const post = await Post.findByPk(postId);
  const commentCount = await post.countComments();
  return commentCount;

Pros: Utilizes built-in Sequelize methods, optimized for count operations. Easy to use and maintain.

Cons: Requires first retrieving an instance of the primary model, which could be an extra step if the instance is not otherwise needed.

Solution 3: Raw Query Count

Description: Executing a raw SQL query can be used to count associated entries. This method may be more efficient if you are comfortable writing SQL and you have complex query requirements that Sequelize’s ORM methods cannot easily express.

  • Write a raw SQL query for counting the associated entries.
  • Use Sequelize’s sequelize.query function to execute the query.
  • Handle the results as needed.
const { sequelize } = require('./models');

async function countCommentsForPost(postId) {
  const [results, metadata] = await sequelize.query(
    'SELECT COUNT(*) FROM comments WHERE postId = $postId',
      bind: { postId },
      type: sequelize.QueryTypes.SELECT
  return results[0].count;

Pros: Highly customizable and can be efficient for complex queries or large datasets.

Cons: Requires knowledge of SQL. Less maintainable due to potential SQL injection vulnerabilities.


Counting associated entries in Sequelize can be achieved in various ways, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Using findAndCountAll provides a quick and simple way within the ORM’s framework. Association count methods offer convenience and efficiency when working with model instances. Raw SQL queries grant the most flexibility and control over the counting process at the cost of SQL complexity and potential issues with maintainability and security. Choosing the best method depends on the specific requirements of the project, such as the complexity of the query and the performance considerations for large datasets.