How can I initialize a static Map in Java?

The instance initialiser is just syntactic sugar in this case, right? I don’t see why you need an extra anonymous class just to initialize. And it won’t work if the class being created is final.

You can create an immutable map using a static initialiser too:

public class Test {
    private static final Map<Integer, String> myMap;
    static {
        Map<Integer, String> aMap = ....;
        aMap.put(1, "one");
        aMap.put(2, "two");
        myMap = Collections.unmodifiableMap(aMap);

How can I initialize a static Map in Java?

I would use:

public class Test {
    private static final Map<Integer, String> MY_MAP = createMap();

    private static Map<Integer, String> createMap() {
        Map<Integer, String> result = new HashMap<>();
        result.put(1, "one");
        result.put(2, "two");
        return Collections.unmodifiableMap(result);
  1. it avoids an anonymous class, which I personally consider to be a bad style, and avoid
  2. it makes the creation of map more explicit
  3. it makes map unmodifiable
  4. as MY_MAP is constant, I would name it like constant

Answer #3:

I like the Guava way of initialising a static, immutable map:

static final Map<Integer, String> MY_MAP = ImmutableMap.of(
    1, "one",
    2, "two"

As you can see, it’s very concise (because of the convenient factory methods in ImmutableMap).

If you want the map to have more than 5 entries, you can no longer use ImmutableMap.of(). Instead, try ImmutableMap.builder() along these lines:

static final Map<Integer, String> MY_MAP = ImmutableMap.<Integer, String>builder()
    .put(1, "one")
    .put(2, "two")
    // ... 
    .put(15, "fifteen")

To learn more about the benefits of Guava’s immutable collection utilities, see Immutable Collections Explained in Guava User Guide.

(A subset of) Guava used to be called Google Collections. If you aren’t using this library in your Java project yet, I strongly recommend trying it out! Guava has quickly become one of the most popular and useful free 3rd party libs for Java, as fellow SO users agree. (If you are new to it, there are some excellent learning resources behind that link.)

Update (2015): As for Java 8, well, I would still use the Guava approach because it is way cleaner than anything else. If you don’t want Guava dependency, consider a plain old init method. The hack with two-dimensional array and Stream API is pretty ugly if you ask me, and gets uglier if you need to create a Map whose keys and values are not the same type (like Map<Integer, String> in the question).

As for future of Guava in general, with regards to Java 8, Louis Wasserman said this back in 2014, and [update] in 2016 it was announced that Guava 21 will require and properly support Java 8.

Update (2016): Java 9 will finally make this clean to do using nothing but pure JDK, by adding convenience factory methods for collections:

static final Map<Integer, String> MY_MAP = Map.of(
    1, "one", 
    2, "two"

Answer #4:

One advantage to the second method is that you can wrap it with Collections.unmodifiableMap() to guarantee that nothing is going to update the collection later:

private static final Map<Integer, String> CONSTANT_MAP = 
    Collections.unmodifiableMap(new HashMap<Integer, String>() {{ 
        put(1, "one");
        put(2, "two");

 // later on...

 CONSTANT_MAP.put(3, "three"); // going to throw an exception!

Answer #5:

Here’s a Java 8 one-line static map initializer:

private static final Map<String, String> EXTENSION_TO_MIMETYPE = String[][] {
        { "txt", "text/plain" }, 
        { "html", "text/html" }, 
        { "js", "application/javascript" },
        { "css", "text/css" },
        { "xml", "application/xml" },
        { "png", "image/png" }, 
        { "gif", "image/gif" }, 
        { "jpg", "image/jpeg" },
        { "jpeg", "image/jpeg" }, 
        { "svg", "image/svg+xml" },
    }).collect(Collectors.toMap(kv -> kv[0], kv -> kv[1]));

Edit: to initialize a Map<Integer, String> as in the question, you’d need something like this:

static final Map<Integer, String> MY_MAP = Object[][]{
        {1, "one"},
        {2, "two"},
}).collect(Collectors.toMap(kv -> (Integer) kv[0], kv -> (String) kv[1]));

Hope you learned something from this post.

Follow Programming Articles for more!

About ᴾᴿᴼᵍʳᵃᵐᵐᵉʳ

Linux and Python enthusiast, in love with open source since 2014, Writer at, India.

View all posts by ᴾᴿᴼᵍʳᵃᵐᵐᵉʳ →