Return N Top or Bottom Rows of Data Frame in R (2 Examples)

In this article you’ll learn how to print the first or last n rows of a data frame in the R programming language.

Creating Example Data

data(iris)                         # Loading example data

Example 1: Applying head & tail Functions to Print First or Last Six Rows of Data Frame

head(iris)                         # Six rows at the top
#   Sepal.Length Sepal.Width Petal.Length Petal.Width Species
# 1          5.1         3.5          1.4         0.2  setosa
# 2          4.9         3.0          1.4         0.2  setosa
# 3          4.7         3.2          1.3         0.2  setosa
# 4          4.6         3.1          1.5         0.2  setosa
# 5          5.0         3.6          1.4         0.2  setosa
# 6          5.4         3.9          1.7         0.4  setosa
tail(iris)                         # Six rows at the bottom
#     Sepal.Length Sepal.Width Petal.Length Petal.Width   Species
# 145          6.7         3.3          5.7         2.5 virginica
# 146          6.7         3.0          5.2         2.3 virginica
# 147          6.3         2.5          5.0         1.9 virginica
# 148          6.5         3.0          5.2         2.0 virginica
# 149          6.2         3.4          5.4         2.3 virginica
# 150          5.9         3.0          5.1         1.8 virginica

Example 2: Applying head & tail Functions to Print Any Number of Rows at Top or Bottom of Data Frame

head(iris, 10)                     # Ten rows at the top
#    Sepal.Length Sepal.Width Petal.Length Petal.Width Species
# 1           5.1         3.5          1.4         0.2  setosa
# 2           4.9         3.0          1.4         0.2  setosa
# 3           4.7         3.2          1.3         0.2  setosa
# 4           4.6         3.1          1.5         0.2  setosa
# 5           5.0         3.6          1.4         0.2  setosa
# 6           5.4         3.9          1.7         0.4  setosa
# 7           4.6         3.4          1.4         0.3  setosa
# 8           5.0         3.4          1.5         0.2  setosa
# 9           4.4         2.9          1.4         0.2  setosa
# 10          4.9         3.1          1.5         0.1  setosa
tail(iris, 10)                     # Ten rows at the bottom
#     Sepal.Length Sepal.Width Petal.Length Petal.Width   Species
# 141          6.7         3.1          5.6         2.4 virginica
# 142          6.9         3.1          5.1         2.3 virginica
# 143          5.8         2.7          5.1         1.9 virginica
# 144          6.8         3.2          5.9         2.3 virginica
# 145          6.7         3.3          5.7         2.5 virginica
# 146          6.7         3.0          5.2         2.3 virginica
# 147          6.3         2.5          5.0         1.9 virginica
# 148          6.5         3.0          5.2         2.0 virginica
# 149          6.2         3.4          5.4         2.3 virginica
# 150          5.9         3.0          5.1         1.8 virginica

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