Pandas Series.agg() and Series.aggregate() methods (with examples)

Updated: February 20, 2024 By: Guest Contributor Post a comment


Pandas is a fast, powerful, flexible, and easy-to-use open-source data analysis and manipulation tool built on top of the Python programming language. One of the reasons for its vast popularity among data scientists and analysts is its rich set of functions for data aggregation. Among these, the agg() and aggregate() methods on Pandas Series are particularly useful for summarizing data efficiently. This tutorial will guide you through these methods, their differences, and how to use them, accompanied by multiple examples ranging from basic to advanced.

Introduction to Pandas Series Aggregation

In pandas, a Series is a one-dimensional labeled array capable of holding any data type. The agg() and aggregate() methods are tools for running aggregations, which simplify your data analysis workflows by allowing you to compute summary statistics about your data.

Interestingly, agg() and aggregate() are essentially the same method; they’re just different aliases of each other. This means they can be used interchangeably without any difference in their functionality. The concept of aggregation involves applying a function across the Series and reducing it to a single numerical value, such as the sum, mean, or standard deviation.

Basic Examples

Let’s begin with some basic examples to understand how to use the agg() method.

Example 1: Calculating the Mean

import pandas as pd

# Creating a Pandas Series
s = pd.Series([2, 8, 3, 5])

# Using agg to calculate the mean
mean_value = s.agg('mean')
print("Mean Value:", mean_value)


Mean Value: 4.5

Example 2: Using Multiple Aggregation Functions

import pandas as pd

# Creating another Series
s = pd.Series([10, 20, 30, 40, 50])

# Using agg with multiple functions
results = s.agg(['sum', 'min', 'max'])


sum 150
 min 10
 max 50

These examples demonstrate the simplicity with which the agg() method can be used for basic data aggregation tasks. Now, let’s move on to more advanced use cases.

Advanced Examples

Example 3: Using Custom Functions

import pandas as pd

# Define a custom function that calculates the range
def data_range(series):
    return series.max() - series.min()

# Create a Series
s = pd.Series([5, 10, 15, 20])

# Use agg with a custom function
range_val = s.agg(data_range)
print("Data Range:", range_val)


Data Range: 15

Example 4: Aggregating with Lambdas and Functions

import pandas as pd

# Create a Series
s = pd.Series([1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6])

# Using a lambda function alongside a built-in function
results = s.agg(['mean', lambda x: x.max() - x.min()])
# Renaming columns to be more descriptive
results.rename({"": "range"}, inplace=True)


mean    3.5
range   5

In the above examples, you can see how easy it is to incorporate custom logic into your aggregation by using custom functions or lambda expressions. This ability significantly increases the power and flexibility of data summarization in Pandas.


Through this tutorial, you’ve learned how to use the Pandas agg() and aggregate() methods to perform both simple and complex data aggregations. We’ve explored these concepts through multiple examples, demonstrating that whether you’re computing basic statistics or integrating custom functions, these methods offer a concise, versatile approach to data summary and analysis. Remember, while they appear to be different methods, agg() and aggregate() are just two aliases for the same underlying functionality in Pandas, lending you flexibility in how you write your code.