Sort a Map<Key, Value> by values

2021-6-3 anglehua

I am relatively new to Java, and often find that I need to sort a Map<Key, Value> on the values.

Since the values are not unique, I find myself converting the keySet into an array, and sorting that array through array sort with a custom comparator that sorts on the value associated with the key.

Is there an easier way?

Here's a generic-friendly version:

public class MapUtil {
    public static <K, V extends Comparable<? super V>> Map<K, V> sortByValue(Map<K, V> map) {
        List<Entry<K, V>> list = new ArrayList<>(map.entrySet());

        Map<K, V> result = new LinkedHashMap<>();
        for (Entry<K, V> entry : list) {
            result.put(entry.getKey(), entry.getValue());

        return result;

Important note:

This code can break in multiple ways. If you intend to use the code provided, be sure to read the comments as well to be aware of the implications. For example, values can no longer be retrieved by their key. (get always returns null.)

It seems much easier than all of the foregoing. Use a TreeMap as follows:

public class Testing {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        HashMap<String, Double> map = new HashMap<String, Double>();
        ValueComparator bvc = new ValueComparator(map);
        TreeMap<String, Double> sorted_map = new TreeMap<String, Double>(bvc);

        map.put("A", 99.5);
        map.put("B", 67.4);
        map.put("C", 67.4);
        map.put("D", 67.3);

        System.out.println("unsorted map: " + map);
        System.out.println("results: " + sorted_map);

class ValueComparator implements Comparator<String> {
    Map<String, Double> base;

    public ValueComparator(Map<String, Double> base) {
        this.base = base;

    // Note: this comparator imposes orderings that are inconsistent with
    // equals.
    public int compare(String a, String b) {
        if (base.get(a) >= base.get(b)) {
            return -1;
        } else {
            return 1;
        } // returning 0 would merge keys


unsorted map: {D=67.3, A=99.5, B=67.4, C=67.4}
results: {D=67.3, B=67.4, C=67.4, A=99.5}


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