# How can I count the occurrences of each element in a vector in MATLAB?

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MathWorks Support Team on 11 Jan 2012
Commented: Walter Roberson on 26 Apr 2022
I would like to be able to return the count of occurences of each element in a vector.
For example if I have a vector:
x=[10 25 4 10 9 4 4]
I expect the result to be
y=[2 1 3 2 1 3 3].

MathWorks Support Team on 27 Feb 2020
Edited: MathWorks Support Team on 27 Feb 2020
As of MATLAB R2019a, you can use the “groupcounts” function to compute the number of times an element appears in a vector as a summary. In other words, the elements of the below output “GC” are the counts of the corresponding element values in “GR” (from the original input vector “x”):
x = [10 25 4 10 9 4 4]';
[GC,GR] = groupcounts(x)
GC =
3
1
2
1
GR =
4
9
10
25
---
As of MATLAB R2018b, you can use the “grouptransform” function if you want to compute the number of times an element appears in a vector and output that count for each corresponding element of the input vector. For example:
x = [10 25 4 10 9 4 4]';
y = grouptransform(x,x,@numel)
y =
2
1
3
2
1
3
3
---
Prior to MATLAB R2018b, while there is no single function to count occurrences of each element, there are a few ways to count elements in a vector:
1. Logical Indexing:
The following code snippet will give the desired output:
y = zeros(size(x));
for i = 1:length(x)
y(i) = sum(x==x(i));
end
For MATLAB R2016b and later, you can use implicit expansion to further simplify the code:
y = sum(x==x')
2. Binning:
You can use the "hist" and "unique" functions as shown here to do the same:
x = [10 25 4 10 9 4 4]
[a,b]=hist(x,unique(x))
3. Third-Party Tools:
For another workaround, see the following file, 'CountMember.m', that was contributed by a MATLAB user to do the same from a single function:
Note that MathWorks does not guarantee or warrant the use or content of submissions to the MATLAB Central File Exchange. Any questions, issues, or complaints should be directed to the contributing author.
##### 3 CommentsShow 1 older commentHide 1 older comment
Walter Roberson on 19 May 2020
S = 'aaabb'
nnz(triu((S'=='a') & S=='b'))
Walter Roberson on 26 Apr 2022
https://www.mathworks.com/help/matlab/ref/double.groupcounts.html#mw_92fbcf5a-2ab5-45d0-ac09-68c1986c269f
when you use groupcounts then the groups are in the order returned by unique('sorted')

Andrei Bobrov on 14 Aug 2014
[a,b] = histc(x,unique(x));
y = a(b);
Andrei Bobrov on 3 Aug 2015
y = accumarray(x(:),1)

Razvan Carbunescu on 9 May 2019
There is a simpler way of answering this now using groupcounts(R2019a) or grouptransform(R2018b):
>> x=[10 25 4 10 9 4 4]';
>> grouptransform(x,x,@numel)
ans =
2
1
3
2
1
3
3
>>[GC,GR]=groupcounts(x)
GC =
3
1
2
1
GR =
4
9
10
25
Razvan Carbunescu on 6 Jun 2019
For the example you gave above how does the solution look and what does 'similar number' for the first column mean?
Razvan Carbunescu on 7 Jun 2019
This seems like a very different type of problem so unlikely the functions in this topic will help you directly. I'd post this question as a separate thread with the example input/output

Julian Hapke on 1 Jun 2017
Edited: Julian Hapke on 1 Jun 2017
here is another one:
sum(bsxfun(@eq,x,x'),1)
or if you want the output to be the same orientation as input
sum(bsxfun(@eq,x,x'),(size(x,2)==1)+1)
Johannes Korsawe on 1 Jun 2017
the second solution exhibits pathological tendencies...

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