reduce() method applies a function simultaneously against two values of the array (from left-to-right) as to reduce it to a single value.


array.reduce(callback[, initialValue]);

Parameter Details

  • callback − Function to execute on each value in the array.
  • initialValue − Object to use as the first argument to the first call of the callback.

Return Value

Returns the reduced single value of the array.

Just like .map().reduce() also runs a callback for each element of an array. What’s different here is that reduce passes the result of this callback (the accumulator) from one array element to the other.

The accumulator can be pretty much anything (integer, string, object, etc.) and must be instantiated or passed when calling .reduce().

Time for an example! Say you have an array with these pilots and their respective years of experience:

var pilots = [
id: 10,
name: "Poe Dameron",
years: 14,
id: 2,
name: "Temmin 'Snap' Wexley",
years: 30,
id: 41,
name: "Tallissan Lintra",
years: 16,
id: 99,
name: "Ello Asty",
years: 22,

We need to know the total years of experience of all of them. With .reduce(), it’s pretty straightforward:

var totalYears = pilots.reduce(function (accumulator, pilot) {
return accumulator + pilot.years;
}, 0);

Notice that I’ve set the starting value as 0. I could have also used an existing variable if necessary. After running the callback for each element of the array, reduce will return the final value of our accumulator (in our case: 82).

Let’s see how this can be shortened with ES6’s arrow functions:

const totalYears = pilots.reduce((acc, pilot) => acc + pilot.years, 0);

Now let’s say I want to find which pilot is the most experienced one. For that, I can use reduce as well:

var mostExpPilot = pilots.reduce(function (oldest, pilot) {
return (oldest.years || 0) > pilot.years ? oldest : pilot;
}, {});

I named my accumulator oldest. My callback compares the accumulator to each pilot. If a pilot has more years of experience than oldest, then that pilot becomes the new oldest so that’s the one I return.

As you can see, using .reduce() is an easy way to generate a single value or object from an array.