In Go (Golang), a map is a built-in data structure that represents a collection of key-value pairs. Maps are also known as hash tables in other programming languages. They are widely used in Go for efficient data retrieval and storage. This guide will provide an in-depth understanding of maps and hash tables in Go, including how to create, manipulate, and use them, along with sample Go code for illustration.

Creating Maps in Go

To create a map in Go, you specify the key and value data types. Here's an example of creating a map that associates names with ages:

package main
import "fmt"
func main() {
// Create a map with string keys and int values
ages := make(map[string]int)
// Add key-value pairs to the map
ages["Alice"] = 25
ages["Bob"] = 30
ages["Charlie"] = 22
fmt.Println(ages["Alice"]) // Prints 25

In this example, we've created a map named "ages" with string keys and int values and added key-value pairs to it.

Manipulating Maps in Go

You can manipulate maps in various ways, including adding, updating, deleting, and checking for the existence of keys. Here are some common map operations:

  • **Adding Key-Value Pairs**:
                ages["David"] = 28
  • **Updating Values**:
                ages["Alice"] = 26
  • **Deleting Key-Value Pairs**:
                delete(ages, "Bob")
  • **Checking if a Key Exists**:
                age, exists := ages["Alice"]

Iterating Over Maps in Go

You can iterate over the keys and values in a map using a "for" loop. Here's an example:

for name, age := range ages {
fmt.Printf("%s is %d years old\n", name, age)

This code will print the names and ages of people stored in the map.

Map Usage in Go

Maps are frequently used in Go for various purposes, such as counting occurrences of elements, creating lookup tables, and efficiently managing key-value data. They provide fast access to values based on their keys, making them valuable in many programming scenarios.


Maps, also known as hash tables, are essential data structures in Go that allow efficient storage and retrieval of key-value pairs. Understanding how to create, manipulate, and iterate over maps is crucial for building effective Go programs. Maps are versatile and widely used in various applications, making them an essential tool in a Go developer's toolkit.

Further Resources

To dive deeper into maps and hash tables in Go, consider these resources: