Understanding JavaScript Scope and Hoisting

Scope and hoisting are fundamental concepts in JavaScript that determine where variables and functions are accessible within your code. In this guide, we'll explore scope, hoisting, and their implications.


Scope defines the context in which variables and functions are declared and accessed. There are two main types of scope in JavaScript:

  1. Global Scope: Variables declared outside of any function have global scope and are accessible from anywhere in the code.
  2. Local Scope: Variables declared within a function have local scope and are only accessible within that function.

// Global scope
let globalVar = "I'm global";
function exampleFunction() {
// Local scope
let localVar = "I'm local";
console.log(globalVar); // Accessible
console.log(localVar); // Not accessible (generates an error)


Hoisting is a behavior in JavaScript where variable and function declarations are moved to the top of their containing scope during compilation, even before they are declared in the code. However, only the declarations are hoisted, not the initializations.

console.log(myVar); // Outputs: undefined
var myVar = "I'm hoisted!";
console.log(myVar); // Outputs: "I'm hoisted!"
function hoistingExample() {
console.log(myFunction()); // Outputs: "Hello from hoisted function!" function myFunction() {
return "Hello from hoisted function!";

It's important to note that variable initializations are not hoisted, so trying to access the value of an uninitialized variable before its declaration will result in undefined.

Block Scope (ES6)

In JavaScript, before the introduction of ES6 (ECMAScript 2015), variables were function-scoped. ES6 introduced block-scoped variables using let and const:

if (true) {
let blockVar = "I'm block-scoped";
const blockConst = "I'm also block-scoped";
console.log(blockVar); // Not accessible (generates an error)
console.log(blockConst); // Not accessible (generates an error)


Understanding scope and hoisting is crucial for writing predictable and maintainable JavaScript code. Scope determines where variables and functions are accessible, while hoisting explains the behavior of declarations during code execution. Be mindful of scope and hoisting when writing JavaScript programs.

Happy coding!