Gnaniyar Zubair Gnaniyar Zubair - 1 month ago 6
Java Question

Accessing the last entry in a Map

How to move a particular HashMap entry to Last position?

For Example, I have HashMap values like this:

HashMap<String,Integer> map = new HashMap<String,Integer>();

map= {Not-Specified 1, test 2, testtest 3};

"Not-Specified" may come in any position. it may come first or in the middle of the map. But i want to move the "Not-Specified" to the last position.

How can I do that? thanks in advance.


To answer your question in one sentence:

Per default, Maps don't have a last entry, it's not part of their contract.

And a side note: it's good practice to code against interfaces, not the implementation classes (see Effective Java by Joshua Bloch, Chapter 8, Item 52: Refer to objects by their interfaces).

So your declaration should read:

Map<String,Integer> map = new HashMap<String,Integer>();

(All maps share a common contract, so the client need not know what kind of map it is, unless he specifies a sub interface with an extended contract).

Possible Solutions

Sorted Maps:

There is a sub interface SortedMap that extends the map interface with order-based lookup methods and it has a sub interface NavigableMap that extends it even further. The standard implementation of this interface, TreeMap, allows you to sort entries either by natural ordering (if they implement the Comparable interface) or by a supplied Comparator.

You can access the last entry through the lastEntry method:

NavigableMap<String,Integer> map = new TreeMap<String, Integer>();
// add some entries
Entry<String, Integer> lastEntry = map.lastEntry();

Linked maps:

There is also the special case of LinkedHashMap, a HashMap implementation that stores the order in which keys are inserted. There is however no interface to back up this functionality, nor is there a direct way to access the last key. You can only do it through tricks such as using a List in between:

Map<String,String> map = new LinkedHashMap<String, Integer>();
// add some entries
List<Entry<String,Integer>> entryList =
    new ArrayList<Map.Entry<String, Integer>>(map.entrySet());
Entry<String, Integer> lastEntry =

Proper Solution:

Since you don't control the insertion order, you should go with the NavigableMap interface, i.e. you would write a comparator that positions the Not-Specified entry last.

Here is an example:

final NavigableMap<String,Integer> map = 
        new TreeMap<String, Integer>(new Comparator<String>() {
    public int compare(final String o1, final String o2) {
        int result;
        if("Not-Specified".equals(o1)) {
        } else if("Not-Specified".equals(o2)) {
        } else {
            result =o1.compareTo(o2);
        return result;

map.put("test", Integer.valueOf(2));
map.put("Not-Specified", Integer.valueOf(1));
map.put("testtest", Integer.valueOf(3));
final Entry<String, Integer> lastEntry = map.lastEntry();
System.out.println("Last key: "+lastEntry.getKey()
         + ", last value: "+lastEntry.getValue());


Last key: Not-Specified, last value: 1

Solution using HashMap:

If you must rely on HashMaps, there is still a solution, using a) a modified version of the above comparator, b) a List initialized with the Map's entrySet and c) the Collections.sort() helper method:

    final Map<String, Integer> map = new HashMap<String, Integer>();
    map.put("test", Integer.valueOf(2));
    map.put("Not-Specified", Integer.valueOf(1));
    map.put("testtest", Integer.valueOf(3));

    final List<Entry<String, Integer>> entries =
        new ArrayList<Entry<String, Integer>>(map.entrySet());
    Collections.sort(entries, new Comparator<Entry<String, Integer>>(){

        public int compareKeys(final String o1, final String o2){
            int result;
                result = 1;
            } else if("Not-Specified".equals(o2)){
                result = -1;
            } else{
                result = o1.compareTo(o2);
            return result;

        public int compare(final Entry<String, Integer> o1,
            final Entry<String, Integer> o2){
            return this.compareKeys(o1.getKey(), o2.getKey());


    final Entry<String, Integer> lastEntry =
        entries.get(entries.size() - 1);
    System.out.println("Last key: " + lastEntry.getKey() + ", last value: "
        + lastEntry.getValue());



Last key: Not-Specified, last value: 1