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Robert Johns | 15 Jan, 2024
Fact checked by Jim Markus

Want To Level Up Your Python? Use These Python Libraries!

In this article, I'll cover the 24 best Python libraries in 2024.

Whether you’re using Python for data science, web development, or game prototyping, one thing's for sure: Python libraries can make a huge difference in speeding up development.

But what are Python libraries anyway?

In a hurry, here's the TL-DR: Python libraries are a collection of pre-written functions, classes, or modules that you can integrate into your own Python projects without coding from scratch.

Put simply, they're kind of awesome and ideal for Python developers!

Plus, when you consider that the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an average salary of more than $100K for programmers, learning to use Python libraries can be lucrative.

Now, if you're ready, let's dive in to explore the best Python libraries!

What Is A Python Library?

So, you've heard about Python libraries, but what are they exactly? Well, let's dive in!

First things first, let's talk about what a library means in the programming world.

Picture a library as a toolbox where each tool is a piece of code - like classes, utility methods, and modules. Now, imagine you're building a digital masterpiece. Instead of crafting every tool from scratch, you reach into this toolbox and pick what you need.

That's what libraries do for programmers. They save you time, effort, and the headache of reinventing the wheel.

Plus, they make your code reusable and keep it in line with industry standards. Pretty handy, right?

Now, onto the Python programming language and Python libraries. Why are they such a big deal?

Python is often compared to a multi-tool in the programming world, offering a range of versatile functions suitable for nearly any task and an extensive range of applications.

A big chunk of this versatility comes from its vast range of open-source libraries.

Each Python library is a collection of modules, functions, and classes – all ready to be used. They're the secret sauce that helps developers speed up their coding process.

Imagine not having to build every single part of your application from the ground up.

That's the magic of Python libraries for your Python projects. They let you focus on the unique and innovative parts of your project, leaving the routine stuff to the library.

And the best part? No matter what industry you're in, there's probably a Python library for it.

Data science, web development, machine learning, you name it – there's a library ready to help you out.

Python's versatility, powered by these libraries, is why it's a favorite among programmers worldwide.

So, in a nutshell, Python libraries are the unsung heroes in the programming universe, making life easier and more efficient for coders everywhere.

Now you know what they are, let's look at the best Python libraries available in 2024, shall we?

How To Choose A Python Library To Use

Choosing the right Python library can sometimes feel like finding a needle in a haystack, especially considering the vast array of options available!

With thousands upon thousands of Python libraries out there, picking the perfect one for your project can seem daunting, but fear not!

Here are some key factors you can consider to help you make a wise choice:

  • Project Needs: First and foremost, what’s the main goal of your project? Understanding this is crucial. But don’t stop there. Delve deeper into any specific requirements or functionalities you need. For example, if you’re working on a data analytics project, you’ll want libraries that excel in data processing and visualization.
  • Python Version Compatibility: The world of Python is always evolving, so make sure the library you're eyeing is compatible with the Python version you’re using. This compatibility is key to ensuring that your project runs smoothly.
  • Interoperability: If your project involves many different libraries, harmony is key. Check if a new library plays well with the others you’re using. Mismatched libraries can lead to conflicts, which are more trouble than they're worth.
  • Budget Considerations: While many Python libraries are open-source and free, some might come with a price tag, especially specialized ones. Assess if the benefits of a paid library justify the cost, especially when free alternatives might suffice.
  • Community & Support: A strong community and active development are signs of a healthy library. Look for libraries with good documentation, regular updates, and an active community.
  • Performance & Scalability: Consider how the library will perform under your expected workload and how it scales. Performance can be a deal-breaker, especially in applications where speed and efficiency are paramount.
  • License & Usage Rights: Always check the licensing terms. Some libraries may have restrictions on commercial use or distribution, which could affect your project.

By keeping these factors in mind, you’ll be well-equipped to sift through the Python library treasure trove and find the gem that perfectly fits your project's needs.

Remember, the right Python library can be a game-changer, boosting efficiency and enabling you to focus on the unique aspects of your project.

Plus, if you have any designs on landing a Python job, there's a great chance you'll encounter questions on common libraries at your Python interview.

Top Python Libraries in 2024

1. Requests

Requests

Primary Benefit: Streamlines HTTP requests for easy and efficient web communication in Python.

Why I Chose This Python Library:

Taking the first spot on my list is the Python Requests library.

This is one of my absolute favorites, as it's a powerful yet user-friendly tool for handling HTTP requests.

To me, it stands out for its simplicity and human-friendly approach, enabling developers to interact with web services or fetch data without getting entangled in the complexities of HTTP protocols.

These are standard topics for any good Python course, and often, they'll do it all with Requests.

Written in Python and licensed under the Apache2 license, Requests is recognized as the standard choice for HTTP requests in the Python community, particularly valued for its clean and simple API. 

In essence, if you're working with web APIs or need to manage HTTP requests in your Python projects, the Requests library is an indispensable tool.

I've lost count of the number of times I've used requests when dealing with HTTP requests!

Trust me when I say that it brings ease and efficiency to web communication, allowing developers like you and me to focus on the core functionality of their applications rather than the intricacies of network programming.

Highlights:

  • Effortless HTTP Requests: Simplifies the process of sending HTTP requests, removing the need for manual query string manipulation or form-encoding.
  • Advanced Features: Supports multipart file uploads, streaming downloads, and browser-style SSL verification, catering to a wide range of web communication needs.
  • Automatic Handling: Capable of automatic content decoding and decompression, making the handling of response data more straightforward.
  • Connection Management: Efficiently manages connections with features like Keep-Alive and Connection Pooling, enhancing performance and resource usage.
  • Customization and Flexibility: Offers the ability to customize and optimize its features according to specific project requirements.
  • Global Reach: Fully supports international domains and URLs, making it ideal for modern, globally connected applications.

2. FastAPI

FastAPI

Primary Benefit: Offers a modern, fast (high-performance) web framework for building APIs with Python based on standard Python type hints.

Why I Chose This Python Library:

FastAPI has rapidly become a go-to in my toolkit for developing APIs in Python. It's a modern, fast web framework that's designed for building APIs with minimal effort while achieving high performance.

What I found most attractive about FastAPI is its emphasis on speed, ease of use, and automatic generation of interactive documentation.

Another big plus in my book is its intuitive design, which significantly speeds up the coding process.

If, like me, you've come to love Python type hints, you'll appreciate how it relies on these to not only ensure better editor support but also to simplify request validation and serialization. Overall, this makes development more efficient and less error-prone.

It's also really nice that FastAPI offers automatic generation of interactive API documentation using Swagger UI and ReDoc. This makes testing and documenting APIs much simpler and more interactive.

Additionally, its compatibility with asynchronous Python frameworks allows for handling high levels of concurrency, making FastAPI an excellent choice for high-traffic applications.

In my API development projects, FastAPI has proven to be a robust, efficient, and enjoyable framework to work with, so I'd highly recommend it for any developer venturing into modern web API development in Python.

Highlights:

  • High Performance: Comparable to NodeJS and Go, thanks to Starlette and Pydantic for high-speed data processing.
  • Easy to Use and Learn: Offers a user-friendly interface and detailed documentation, making it accessible for developers at all levels.
  • Automatic Interactive Documentation: Generates interactive API documentation (Swagger UI and ReDoc) automatically.
  • Strong Validation and Serialization: Leverages modern Python type hints for request validation and serialization, enhancing code quality and robustness.
  • Asynchronous Support: Provides support for asynchronous request handling, improving performance and efficiency.
  • Extensibility: Easily integrates with other Python libraries and databases, offering flexibility in development.
  • Modern Python Features: Utilizes and encourages modern Python features and practices, ensuring up-to-date development standards.

3. Asyncio

Asyncio

Primary Benefit: Enhances asynchronous programming capabilities in Python, making it easier to write concurrent code.

Why I Chose This Python Library:

Asyncio has been a game changer in the way I handle asynchronous programming in Python.

It's a Python library that offers an elegant way of writing concurrent code with the async/await syntax. For anyone dealing with asynchronous operations, especially in the context of IO-bound and high-level structured network code, asyncio is awesome.

What sets asyncio apart for me is its ability to simplify complex asynchronous operations.

It helps manage thousands of connections simultaneously without the overhead of creating new threads. Whether it's for web servers, client connections, or managing numerous IO operations, asyncio makes the task more manageable and efficient.

Asyncio's integration into the Python standard library (as of Python 3.5) also means it's well-supported and consistently updated, which is essential for any long-term project.

My experience with asyncio has been very positive. It's an essential tool for modern Python programming, especially when dealing with the complexities of asynchronous operations.

If your project involves handling numerous network connections or IO-bound tasks, asyncio is definitely worth considering. It's also a great way to level up your skills when trying to earn a Python certification.

Highlights:

  • Asynchronous and Concurrent Programming: Facilitates writing asynchronous code using the async/await syntax.
  • Efficient IO Operations: Optimized for handling large numbers of IO-bound operations concurrently.
  • Scalable: Capable of managing numerous simultaneous connections or tasks without heavy thread usage.
  • Standard Library Integration: Being part of the Python standard library ensures reliability and consistent updates.
  • Framework Compatibility: Works well with existing frameworks and libraries designed for asynchronous programming.
  • Improved Performance: Particularly useful in improving performance for IO-bound and network-driven applications.
  • Ease of Use: Despite the complexities of asynchronous programming, asyncio keeps the syntax and usage relatively simple.

4. aiohttp

aiohttp

Primary Benefit: Enables asynchronous HTTP Client/Server functionalities in Python.

Why I Chose This Python Library:

When it comes to handling HTTP client and server operations asynchronously in Python, aiohttp has been my library of choice.

It's a powerful tool that leverages asyncio to provide a framework for both client and server web functionalities. aiohttp shines in situations where you need to make numerous HTTP requests or handle multiple client connections simultaneously, all while maintaining high performance.

What really stands out to me about aiohttp is its ability to handle asynchronous operations with ease.

In the world of modern web development, where efficient handling of network connections is key, aiohttp offers a robust solution. Its support for both client-side and server-side operations under the same framework is a big plus.

The library's integration with asyncio means that it fits seamlessly into the ecosystem of asynchronous Python programming.

This compatibility is crucial for me, as it makes it simple to develop high-performance applications, especially when they involve network and IO-bound operations.

Put simply, aiohttp has been a game-changer for my web development projects, especially when dealing with real-time data and high-concurrency situations.

I think you'll really appreciate its combination of performance, ease of use, and integration with the asyncio library for asynchronous web applications in Python.

Highlights:

  • Asynchronous Client/Server Framework: Provides tools for both HTTP client and server programming, all in an asynchronous manner.
  • Integration with asyncio: Seamlessly works with Python's asyncio library, ensuring efficient asynchronous operations.
  • High Performance: Optimized for performance, particularly in scenarios with multiple simultaneous HTTP connections.
  • WebSockets Support: Includes support for WebSockets, allowing for real-time client-server communication.
  • Session Management: Offers efficient session management for client requests, which is crucial for maintaining state over multiple requests.
  • Streaming Data: Capable of streaming data both to and from the server, which is useful for handling large files or real-time data feeds.
  • Extensibility: Allows for extensions and middleware, providing flexibility to customize and enhance its functionalities.

5. Tkinter

Tkinter

Primary Benefit: Provides a simple way to create GUI applications in Python.

Why I Chose This Python Library:

TKinter is definitely one of those Python libraries I like to have on hand for building graphical user interfaces (GUI) in Python.

It's also the standard GUI toolkit for Python, offering a straightforward way to create desktop applications, which is why it's often featured in Python books and other tutorials.

For beginners and those new to GUI programming, TKinter serves as an excellent starting point due to its simplicity and ease of use.

What I appreciate about TKinter is its directness and accessibility. You don't need to be a GUI expert to start building applications with it.

The library allows me to create windows, buttons, text fields, and other standard GUI elements with just a few lines of code. 

The fact that TKinter is included with most Python installations is a significant advantage. There's no need for additional downloads or installations, making it readily accessible for quick projects or for those learning Python.

My use of TKinter has been primarily for educational purposes and smaller-scale applications. But it's also a great library for those just stepping into the world of GUI development in Python.

While it might not have the advanced features of some other GUI frameworks, its simplicity and ease of use make it a valuable tool for many projects.

Highlights:

  • Simplicity in GUI Creation: Ideal for building basic GUI applications with ease.
  • Included with Python: Generally comes pre-installed with Python, providing immediate access to GUI development tools.
  • Widely Used: As a standard Python GUI toolkit, it has a large user base and community support.
  • Great for Learning: An excellent choice for beginners looking to understand GUI programming.
  • Customizable Widgets: Offers a range of widgets like buttons, labels, text boxes, etc., which can be customized to suit the needs of your application.
  • Cross-Platform: Works on multiple operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  • Event-Driven: Supports an event-driven programming model, which is a staple for modern GUI applications.

6. Pygame

Pygame

Primary Benefit: Facilitates the development of video games and multimedia applications in Python.

Why I Chose This Python Library:

Pygame has been an integral part of my journey into game development and multimedia applications in Python.

It's a set of Python modules designed for writing video games, but its use extends to other multimedia projects as well. What I love about Pygame is how it simplifies the process of game development, making it accessible even to those who are new to programming.

Pygame stands out for its ability to handle graphics, sound, and other game-centric elements effectively.

It also provides a framework that's both powerful and simple to use, which is crucial when you're trying to bring your creative ideas to life without getting bogged down in complex code.

Another aspect of Pygame that I find incredibly useful is its active community and wealth of learning resources. Whether it's tutorials, sample code, or forum discussions, there's always support available, which is incredibly valuable when you're learning or troubleshooting.

In my experience, Pygame is not just a library; it's a gateway to the world of game development in Python, offering a nice blend of simplicity and functionality.

Whether you're a seasoned developer or just starting out, Pygame provides an excellent platform to leverage this versatile language for game development and to bring your creative ideas to life.

Highlights:

  • Simplified Game Development: Offers a straightforward framework for developing games and multimedia applications.
  • Graphics and Sound Handling: Equipped with tools to manage graphics, sound, and other key game elements.
  • Active Community: Supported by a vibrant community and extensive learning resources.
  • Cross-Platform: Works across multiple operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  • Customizable and Extensible: Allows for the customization and extension of game elements to suit different project needs.
  • Event Handling: Efficient event handling system, crucial for interactive game development.
  • Wide Range of Libraries: Comes with various built-in libraries for graphics, sound, and game mechanics, making it versatile for different types of game development.

7. Pillow

Pillow

Primary Benefit: A powerful, user-friendly library for image processing in Python.

Why I Chose This Python Library:

Pillow has a well-deserved place in my toolkit for image processing in Python, and it's become my go-to for any image manipulation task.

It's the friendly fork of the Python Imaging Library (PIL), and in my experience, it is ideal for simplifying complex image operations, from basic editing to more advanced manipulations, making it perfect for a wide range of applications.

Its extensive file format support and efficient image processing capabilities are very impressive. So whether I'm creating filters, enhancing images, or handling different file formats, Pillow has never let me down.

What really makes Pillow stand out for me is how it balances powerful functionality with ease of use. It's a testament to how a well-designed library can make complex tasks accessible and manageable.

In short, Pillow is a powerhouse for image processing inside of your Python IDE. I've used it countless times in my projects, and it's always been a reliable and efficient tool.

If you're diving into anything that requires image processing, be it web development, data visualization, or automation, Pillow is a library you'll definitely want to have in your arsenal.

Highlights:

  • Wide Format Support: Handles a variety of image file formats effortlessly, making it incredibly versatile.
  • Powerful Image Processing: Whether it's resizing, cropping, or color manipulation, Pillow has got all the tools you need.
  • User-Friendly Drawing Interface: Adding text, shapes, or graphics to images is a breeze with its intuitive drawing capabilities.
  • Image Enhancement and Filters: It's my go-to for applying filters and enhancing the quality of images.
  • Efficiency and Speed: Pillow is optimized for performance, making it ideal for handling large and complex images without a hitch.
  • Extensible: The ability to extend its functionality with additional formats and filters is a major plus, especially for specialized tasks.

8. OpenCV

OpenCV

Primary Benefit: Facilitates robust image processing and computer vision tasks for a wide range of applications in Python.

Why I Chose This Python Library:

OpenCV (Open Source Computer Vision Library) has been a fundamental part of my Python projects involving image processing.

It's a vast library that provides a comprehensive set of tools for image processing, video capture, and analysis.

What made OpenCV stand out for me is its blend of robustness and versatility, offering functionalities that range from basic image manipulation to complex computer vision tasks.

One of the key strengths of OpenCV for me is its ability to handle real-time image and video processing. Whether it's object detection, facial recognition, or motion tracking, OpenCV provides the tools to execute these tasks efficiently. Its performance, especially when working with real-time applications, is impressive.

Another big plus for OpenCV is its integration with other libraries and platforms, as it works seamlessly with Numpy for mathematical operations and can be integrated with PyTorch and TensorFlow for machine learning and deep learning applications.

Whether you're an enthusiast, researcher, or professional in fields like robotics, AI, or multimedia, OpenCV is a tool that can elevate your projects.

Highlights:

  • Comprehensive Image Processing: Offers a wide range of functions for image processing and manipulation.
  • Advanced Computer Vision: Includes tools for complex tasks like object detection, facial recognition, and motion analysis.
  • Real-Time Capabilities: Excellently suited for real-time applications, a critical feature for interactive systems and robotics.
  • Integration with Machine Learning Libraries: Seamlessly integrates with ML and DL libraries, enhancing its capabilities in AI-driven projects.
  • Wide Range of Algorithms: Provides a vast collection of algorithms for computer vision, making it a one-stop-shop for such tasks.
  • Cross-Platform Functionality: Compatible with various operating systems and platforms, offering versatility in deployment.
  • Strong Community and Support: Backed by a large community, ensuring continuous development and extensive resources.

9. Kivy

Kivy

Primary Benefit: Enables the creation of innovative, multi-touch applications for a wide range of devices.

Why I Chose This Python Library:

Kivy is my go-to when I need to develop multi-touch applications, as it's an open-source Python library for creating natural user interfaces.

What really drew me to Kivy is its ability to run on multiple platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. This cross-platform capability is a game-changer for developing apps that need to work seamlessly across different devices.

The standout feature of Kivy, for me, has been its support for multi-touch functionality. In a world where interactive and touch-based applications are becoming the norm, Kivy offers the tools to create responsive and engaging user experiences.

Its novel approach to handling inputs and gestures makes it ideal for developing modern, touch-enabled applications.

Additionally, Kivy's graphic engine, built over OpenGL ES 2, allows me to create stunning, high-performance graphics. This is particularly important for applications where visual appeal and smooth performance are key.

Put simply, Kivy is an invaluable resource if you need a blend of performance and versatility when creating innovative and interactive applications.

Highlights:

  • Cross-Platform Compatibility: Runs on various operating systems, ensuring wide-reaching application deployment.
  • Multi-Touch Support: Excels in creating touch-enabled applications, making it ideal for modern user interfaces.
  • OpenGL ES 2 Graphics: Delivers high-quality, smooth graphics, enhancing the visual aspect of applications.
  • Highly Extensible: Offers flexibility to use and integrate with other Python libraries, expanding its capabilities.
  • Customizable Widgets: Comes with a range of customizable widgets, which can be tailored to fit the specific needs of an application.
  • Active Community: Supported by an active community and comprehensive documentation, aiding in development and troubleshooting.
  • Pythonic Nature: Maintains a Pythonic feel, making it intuitive for Python developers to pick up and use effectively.

10. NumPy

NumPy

Primary Benefit: Offers powerful array operations and numerical computations for Python.

Why I Chose This Python Library:

It's no understatement to say that NumPy is a cornerstone in my toolkit for any project that involves numerical computing in Python.

But what sets Numpy apart for me is its array object. Numpy arrays are more efficient and powerful than traditional Python lists, especially when it comes to mathematical operations.

One of the things I particularly appreciate about Numpy is its versatility. Whether I'm working on linear algebra, Fourier transforms, or random number capabilities, Numpy has the tools to handle it.

It's truly an indispensable library for anyone delving into data analysis, scientific computing, or any form of heavy numerical computations.

Numpy also integrates well with a wide array of scientific computing libraries, making it the foundation for higher-level tools like Pandas, Matplotlib, and Scikit-learn. This interoperability is crucial for creating a comprehensive data science and machine learning workflow.

In my experience, it's one of those libraries that, once you start using, you can't imagine living without, and I'm always adding new techniques for NumPy to my Python cheat sheet.

For anyone involved in data science, engineering, or any field that relies on numerical computation, Numpy is an invaluable addition to your Python toolkit.

Highlights:

  • Efficient Array Processing: Provides a powerful N-dimensional array object that is fast and versatile.
  • Numerical Capabilities: Offers comprehensive tools for mathematical, algebraic, and statistical operations.
  • Integration with Other Libraries: Forms the foundational base for many other scientific and analytical Python libraries.
  • Broad Applicability: Ideal for a wide range of scientific computing needs.
  • Vectorization: Allows for vectorized operations, making code not only more readable but also faster.
  • Extensive Community Support: Backed by a large community, ensuring robust development and extensive resources for learning.
  • Cross-Disciplinary Use: Widely used across various fields such as finance, engineering, and scientific research.

11. Pandas

Pandas

Primary Benefit: Provides fast and flexible data structures that it easy and intuitive to work with structured and time series data.

Why I Chose This Python Library:

I have a major soft spot for pandas, and I honestly don't think a day goes by without me using it at least once!

But what is it? Well, Pandas is an indispensable tool for data manipulation and analysis.

Trust me, it's a game-changer for anyone working with data in Python, thanks to its powerful data structures like DataFrames and Series.

What drew me to Pandas was its ability to handle and process various types of data efficiently, whether it's tabular, time-series, or any other form of structured data.

One of the aspects I value most about Pandas is its versatility in data manipulation.

From cleaning and transforming data with simple Python operators to performing complex aggregations and merges, Pandas makes these tasks straightforward and efficient.

Its functionality for reading and writing between in-memory data structures and different file formats is another feature that I also rely on.

Pandas' integration with other data science and statistical libraries like NumPy and SciPy, as well as its compatibility with data visualization tools like Matplotlib, makes it a cornerstone in the Python data science ecosystem.

In my data analysis and manipulation tasks, Pandas has been essential, so whether you're a data scientist, analyst, researcher, or student who's learning to search text for substrings, Pandas is a tool that will significantly enhance your data handling capabilities.

Highlights:

  • Efficient Data Structures: The DataFrame and Series data structures are central to its utility, enabling efficient data manipulation.
  • Comprehensive Data Manipulation Tools: Provides extensive capabilities for data cleaning, transformation, and aggregation.
  • File Format Compatibility: Supports a wide range of file formats for data import and export, enhancing its versatility.
  • Integration with Data Science Libraries: Seamlessly works with libraries like NumPy and SciPy for numerical computations.
  • Robust Data Analysis Features: Offers powerful tools for descriptive statistics and data analysis.
  • Time Series Functionality: Exceptional tools for handling and analyzing time series data.
  • Active Community and Development: Benefits from a vibrant community and continuous development, ensuring a wealth of resources and up-to-date features.

12. SciPy

SciPy

Primary Benefit: Enhances scientific computing by providing advanced mathematical functions and algorithms in Python.

Why I Chose This Python Library:

SciPy is an integral part of my projects that delve into scientific computing.

It's built on Numpy and extends it by adding a range of helpful algorithms and commands that we can use for data analysis and manipulation.

What I find most useful about SciPy is its comprehensive set of modules for optimization, linear algebra, integration, interpolation, special functions, FFT, signal and image processing, ODE solvers, and more.

Another thing I appreciate about SciPy is how it simplifies complex mathematical computations and makes them accessible to Python users.

Whether I'm working on signal processing, statistical analysis, or any other advanced computational task, SciPy has become my go-to.

The integration with Numpy and compatibility with other scientific libraries like Matplotlib and Pandas make SciPy a crucial component in the Python ecosystem for data science and scientific computing.

It's also well-established in the scientific Python community, which means there's a wealth of knowledge and resources available.

In my scientific and data analysis projects, SciPy is indispensable for sophisticated and efficient computation, so it really is a must-have for scientific research or implementing data science concepts in Python.

Whether you're a researcher, engineer, or data scientist, you need to have SciPy installed!

Highlights:

  • Advanced Mathematical Functions: Offers a broad spectrum of mathematical functions and algorithms for various scientific computing needs.
  • Modules for Different Scientific Domains: Includes specialized modules for tasks like optimization, linear algebra, and signal processing.
  • Built on Numpy: Extends Numpy's capabilities, providing a cohesive and powerful environment for scientific computations.
  • Compatibility with Other Libraries: Works seamlessly with other Python libraries in the scientific computing ecosystem.
  • Active Development and Community Support: Benefits from active development and a large community, providing reliability and extensive resources.
  • Cross-Disciplinary Application: Widely used in diverse scientific and engineering fields for advanced data analysis and computational tasks.

13. Matplotlib

Matplotlib

Primary Benefit: Provides a comprehensive library for creating static, animated, and interactive visualizations in Python.

Why I Chose This Python Library:

Matplotlib is probably the most well-used tool in my Python toolkit for data visualization.

It's a versatile library that allows for the creation of a wide range of static, animated, and interactive plots and charts.

What I find most appealing about Matplotlib is its ability to generate high-quality figures in a variety of hardcopy formats and across interactive environments, making it a go-to for data visualization tasks.

One of the key strengths of Matplotlib for me is its flexibility and customizability. Whether I need to produce simple bar charts, complex scatter plots, or advanced 3D visualizations, Matplotlib provides the tools to do so.

Its comprehensive API and the vast array of available plotting functions mean that almost any visualization idea can be brought to life.

Another significant aspect of Matplotlib is its compatibility with a wide range of platforms and backends, as well as its seamless integration with other data science and machine learning libraries like NumPy, Pandas, and SciPy.

In my experience, Matplotlib is invaluable for data visualization, whether for exploratory data analysis, creating informative plots for reports, or developing visualizations for presentations.

Highlights:

  • Versatile Plotting Capabilities: Capable of creating a wide variety of 2D and 3D plots and charts.
  • High-Quality Output: Produces high-quality figures in a variety of formats suitable for publication.
  • Customizable and Extensible: Offers extensive customization options for creating tailored visualizations.
  • Integration with Data Science Tools: Works seamlessly with other Python libraries, enhancing its utility in data analysis workflows.
  • Comprehensive API: Provides a broad and deep API, catering to a variety of visualization needs.
  • Interactive Features: Supports the creation of interactive plots, ideal for exploratory data analysis.
  • Strong Community and Documentation: Benefits from robust community support and extensive documentation.

14. Seaborn

Seaborn

Primary Benefit: Enhances data visualization in Python with a high-level interface for drawing attractive and informative statistical graphics.

Why I Chose This Python Library:

If you've spent any time working with Matplotlib, you've probably seen that many of us make the leap over to Seaborn when we want to level-up our data visualizations in Python.

That's because it's a library that builds on Matplotlib and provides a high-level interface for creating visually appealing and informative statistical graphics.

What I love about Seaborn is its ability to simplify the creation of complex visualizations with just a few lines of code, making sophisticated data exploration accessible and effortless.

The thing that stands out to me the most about Seaborn is its focus on statistical plotting. It offers a variety of plot types that are specifically designed to convey complex data insights, such as heatmaps, time series, and violin plots.

This makes Seaborn exceptionally useful for data analysis, where understanding patterns, relationships, and anomalies is key.

Another significant benefit of Seaborn is its integration with Pandas DataFrames, which simplifies the process of working with complex datasets.

Overall, its aesthetically pleasing and well-designed plots are not only informative but also appealing, which is essential for communicating results effectively. For anyone involved in data analysis and visualization in Python, Seaborn can significantly enhance the clarity and impact of your visualizations.

Highlights:

  • Simplified Statistical Plotting: Offers an intuitive interface for creating a wide range of statistical visualizations.
  • Integrated with Pandas: Seamlessly works with Pandas DataFrames, making it easier to plot data directly from data structures commonly used in data analysis.
  • Aesthetic Plot Styles: Provides a variety of attractive and informative plot styles and color palettes to enhance the visual appeal of graphs.
  • Advanced Visualization Types: Supports complex visualization types like heatmaps, pair plots, and facet grids, which are essential for in-depth data analysis.
  • Easy to Use: Simplifies the creation of sophisticated plots, reducing the complexity typically associated with Matplotlib.
  • Customizable: While it provides good defaults, it also offers extensive customization options for fine-tuning visualizations.
  • Strong Community Support: Benefits from a robust community, ensuring continuous development and a wealth of resources.

15. Bokeh

Bokeh

Primary Benefit: Enables the creation of interactive and visually appealing data visualizations in Python.

Why I Chose This Python Library:

Bokeh has been one of my favorite libraries for data visualization projects.

It's a Python interactive data visualization library that targets modern web browsers for presentation, and what I really like about Bokeh is its ability to create complex, interactive plots with ease.

If you want to build elegant and interactive visualizations that bring your data to life, Bokeh is perfect!

The standout aspect of Bokeh for me is its interactivity.

Unlike many other visualization tools, Bokeh provides functionalities to create dynamic and interactive graphics that can engage users on a deeper level. Whether it's dashboards, data analysis tools, or complex visual data applications, Bokeh handles it with finesse.

Another major plus is its ability to handle large datasets efficiently and its seamless integration with other data-centric Python libraries like NumPy and Pandas.

This makes it a perfect fit for projects that involve a significant amount of data processing and visualization.

Whether you're a data scientist, analyst, or simply someone interested in data visualization, Bokeh is a library that can elevate your data visualization work.

Highlights:

  • Interactive Visualizations: Specializes in creating dynamic, interactive plots and charts.
  • High-Level Elegance: Offers a high-level, easy-to-use interface for creating complex plots.
  • Web Browser Compatibility: Designed to present visualizations in modern web browsers, making data accessible and engaging.
  • Integration with Data Libraries: Works well with data processing libraries, enhancing its utility in data-centric applications.
  • Scalability: Capable of handling large datasets without compromising performance.
  • Customizable and Flexible: Allows for extensive customization to tailor visualizations to specific project needs.
  • Extensive Toolkit: Provides a variety of tools and widgets for creating interactive and customizable visualizations.

16. Sci-Kit Learn

Sci-Kit Learn

Primary Benefit: Offers a wide range of simple and efficient tools for data mining and data analysis in Python.

Why I Chose This Python Library:

Sci-kit learn, or as the cool kids call it, sklearn, is a staple for me when working in Python, especially in machine learning projects.

It's a library that provides a variety of efficient and accessible tools for data mining and data analysis, but what drew me to sklearn is its ability to make machine learning approachable without sacrificing the power and versatility needed for complex tasks.

Sklearn is also known for its consistency and comprehensiveness. Whether I'm implementing classification, regression, clustering, or dimensionality reduction, sklearn has a well-designed tool ready for me to use.

I also appreciate the focus on usability and an adherence to Pythonic conventions, which means it's not just powerful, but also intuitive to work with.

The integration with Numpy and SciPy, along with its compatibility with other major Python libraries, makes sklearn an essential part of the data science toolkit in Python.

I also find it really helpful for prototyping and experimenting due to its simplicity and the breadth of algorithms it offers.

Whether you're just starting out or are an experienced data scientist, sklearn is a library that will undoubtedly enrich your analytical capabilities.

Highlights:

  • Comprehensive Machine Learning Toolkit: Provides tools for numerous machine learning tasks, including classification, regression, and clustering.
  • User-Friendly API: Designed with a focus on usability and Pythonic conventions, making it accessible to beginners and experts alike.
  • Integration with Python Ecosystem: Works seamlessly with Numpy and SciPy, forming a powerful combination for data analysis and scientific computing.
  • Wide Range of Algorithms: Includes a variety of algorithms for different machine learning approaches, from support vector machines to random forests.
  • Tools for Model Evaluation: Offers extensive utilities for model evaluation, selection, and complex pipeline construction.
  • Active Community and Development: Backed by a strong community, ensuring continuous improvement and extensive documentation.
  • Versatility in Application: Suitable for a diverse range of applications, from academic research to commercial projects in various industries.

17. TensorFlow

TensorFlow

Primary Benefit: Facilitates building and training of machine learning models, especially deep learning, with a focus on scalability and performance.

Why I Chose This Python Library:

TensorFlow has been a firm favorite of mine for machine learning and deep learning projects for a good while now.

Developed by the Google Brain team, TensorFlow is renowned for its flexible ecosystem that supports a wide range of complex machine learning tasks.

If you're new to the field, don't worry because there are lots of great TensorFlow courses out there.

What attracted me to TensorFlow is its powerful and scalable nature, making it ideal for building and training sophisticated neural networks.

One of the key features of TensorFlow that stood out to me is its ability to handle large-scale machine learning tasks efficiently.

It also offers support for distributed computing, which means you can train models on multiple CPUs or GPUs, significantly speeding up the training process for projects that require handling large datasets or complex computations. Very cool!

TensorFlow also offers an extensive suite of tools and libraries like TensorFlow Lite for mobile and edge devices and TensorFlow Extended for end-to-end ML production pipelines.

Then there's the integration with Keras, a high-level neural networks API, which provides an easier entry point for beginners while still allowing experts to dive into lower-level APIs for more complex operations.

In my experience, TensorFlow has been instrumental in pushing the boundaries of what's possible in machine learning and deep learning. With a blend of power, flexibility, and scalability, it's an essential tool for anyone serious about machine learning, whether for academic, research, or commercial projects.

Highlights:

  • Scalable Machine Learning: Designed for large-scale and complex machine learning tasks, with support for distributed computing.
  • GPU and TPU Support: Optimizes performance with support for training on GPUs and TPUs.
  • Versatile Toolkit: Includes various tools for different aspects of machine learning, from training to deployment.
  • Integration with Keras: Offers a high-level API for neural networks, making it accessible for beginners while also catering to expert needs.
  • Extensive Community and Support: Benefits from a large community, comprehensive documentation, and ongoing development by Google.
  • Advanced Optimization: Provides advanced options for model optimization and performance tuning.
  • Cross-Platform and Deployment: Supports deployment across various platforms, including mobile and edge devices.

18. PyTorch

PyTorch

Primary Benefit: Provides a dynamic and intuitive framework for deep learning and tensor computations, with strong GPU acceleration support.

Why I Chose This Python Library:

Sticking to the theme of machine learning, PyTorch sits alongside TensorFlow as another essential part of my Python toolkit, especially for deep learning projects.

Developed by Facebook's AI Research lab, what I particularly appreciate about PyTorch is its user-friendly interface. This makes the process of building and training neural networks much more intuitive, especially with its dynamic computation graph.

This allows me to make changes on the fly during runtime, which is a significant advantage during model development and debugging.

PyTorch's strong GPU acceleration support is another key aspect that makes it a go-to choice for deep learning tasks. Whether for academic research or developing commercial models, PyTorch offers the performance and flexibility needed for cutting-edge machine learning.

Overall, I think it strikes an excellent balance between usability and power, making it an ideal choice for both newcomers and seasoned practitioners in the field of machine learning and deep learning.

Highlights:

  • Dynamic Computation Graph: Offers a dynamic environment that enables more flexible and intuitive model building.
  • Strong GPU Support: Efficiently utilizes GPU hardware for accelerated tensor computations and model training.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Known for its ease of use, making it accessible for beginners in deep learning.
  • Robust Ecosystem: Comes with a rich ecosystem of tools and libraries, enhancing its functionality for a variety of tasks.
  • Active Community and Development: Supported by a vibrant community and continuous development, providing a wealth of resources and up-to-date features.
  • Interoperability: Easily integrates with other Python libraries and tools, making it versatile for different projects.
  • Preferred in Research: Widely used in the research community due to its flexibility and ease of prototyping.

19. Keras

Primary Benefit: Simplifies the creation and training of deep learning models with a high-level, user-friendly API.

Why I Chose This Python Library:

And here we are again, with another machine learning library! But hear me out, because Keras has been a vital part of my Python library set, particularly for deep learning tasks.

It's a high-level neural networks API that's capable of running on top of TensorFlow, Theano, and Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit (CNTK). That's a lot of compatibility!

But what made Keras stand out for me is its focus on being user-friendly, modular, and extensible, which greatly simplifies the process of building and experimenting with different neural network architectures.

Something else I appreciate about Keras is its ease of use. The API is designed for human beings, not machines, which means it's highly readable and approachable. This has made it one of my go-to libraries for quickly prototyping deep learning models.

Whether you're building a simple neural network or experimenting with more complex architectures, Keras provides the tools to do so with minimal hassle.

But Keras is not just about simplicity; it's also robust enough for research and production. This is because it strikes a balance between offering ease of use for beginners and flexibility for advanced users.

Whether you're a student, researcher, or industry professional, Keras is a tool that can significantly enhance your machine learning capabilities.

Highlights:

  • User-Friendly API: Designed to be simple and intuitive, making the development of deep learning models accessible.
  • Modular and Composable: Allows models to be quickly assembled with a minimal amount of code.
  • Runs on Top of Major Frameworks: Compatible with TensorFlow, Theano, and CNTK, leveraging their capabilities while providing a simpler interface.
  • Wide Range of Pre-built Layers: Offers a comprehensive set of pre-built layers and pre-trained models, facilitating rapid development and experimentation.
  • Flexibility for Research: While it's easy for beginners, it also offers the depth and flexibility needed for research purposes.
  • Strong Community Support: Backed by a large community, providing extensive resources, documentation, and support.
  • Suitable for Multiple Platforms: Efficient for developing models that can be deployed across various platforms and devices.

20. Theano

Theano

Primary Benefit: Optimizes and evaluates mathematical expressions efficiently, particularly for multi-dimensional arrays.

Why I Chose This Python Library:

Theano is another favorite of mine when I need to work on numerical computations and machine learning tasks.

It's a library that excels at optimizing and evaluating mathematical expressions, making it particularly useful for tasks involving multi-dimensional arrays.

What makes Theano stand out for me is its ability to integrate seamlessly with NumPy and its capability to use GPUs for computation, which drastically improves performance.

Another key strength of Theano is its efficiency in handling complex mathematical operations, especially those found in large-scale neural networks.

Its symbolic approach allows for more efficient computation, and it automatically optimizes your calculations for better performance. This makes it an excellent choice for deep learning applications where computational efficiency is critical.

Behind the scenes, Theano translates Python into C code, which helps to speed up the computation process. It also provides extensive support for various types of operations, including linear algebra and convolutions.

Whether you're experimenting with deep learning algorithms or working on data-intensive research, Theano provides a robust framework to support your work.

Highlights:

  • Efficient Computation: Optimizes mathematical operations, particularly for large-scale and complex computations.
  • GPU Acceleration: Capable of using GPUs for computation, providing significant performance boosts.
  • Integration with NumPy: Works well with NumPy arrays, making it a familiar tool for those used to NumPy.
  • Symbolic Approach: Uses a symbolic approach for computations, allowing for advanced optimization and flexibility.
  • Dynamic C Code Generation: Converts Python functions into C code for faster execution.
  • Comprehensive Mathematical Functions: Supports a wide range of mathematical operations, suitable for various machine learning and deep learning tasks.
  • Suitable for Research: Widely used in academic and research settings, particularly for developing complex machine learning models.

21. LightGBM

LightGBM

Primary Benefit: Provides a fast, distributed, and high-performance gradient boosting framework for large-scale machine learning.

Why I Chose This Python Library:

LightGBM, short for Light Gradient Boosting Machine is ideal for large-scale data projects.

Developed by Microsoft, this library is designed for efficiency, speed, and performance, especially on large datasets. What drew me to LightGBM is its ability to handle massive amounts of data with lower memory usage and faster training times compared to other gradient boosting frameworks.

I also really appreciate its support for parallel and GPU learning, as this is crucial for handling complex machine learning tasks and large datasets efficiently. It's also incredibly useful for high-dimensional data, providing accurate and fast results.

Another standout feature of LightGBM is its implementation of gradient-based one-side sampling and exclusive feature bundling, which contribute to its efficiency and effectiveness, especially in scenarios with large numbers of features or sparse data.

Overall, its efficiency, speed, and performance make it an ideal choice for data scientists and machine learning practitioners looking for a scalable and powerful gradient boosting framework.

Highlights:

  • Efficient Large-Scale Learning: Optimized for performance, making it suitable for large datasets and high-dimensional data.
  • Fast Training: Implements novel techniques like gradient-based one-side sampling and exclusive feature bundling, speeding up training times.
  • Lower Memory Usage: More memory-efficient than many other gradient-boosting libraries.
  • Parallel and GPU Learning: Supports parallel and GPU learning, enhancing its capability to handle complex tasks.
  • High-Performance: Delivers high performance, both in terms of speed and accuracy, for a variety of machine learning tasks.
  • Flexible and Versatile: Suitable for a range of applications, from regression to classification and ranking tasks.
  • Active Community and Development: Benefits from ongoing development and a growing community.

22. PyCaret

PyCaret

Primary Benefit: Streamlines the machine learning workflow, making it more accessible and efficient with an automated approach.

Why I Chose This Python Library:

PyCaret is a relatively new addition to my Python library list, but it's quickly become indispensable for my machine learning projects.

It's an open-source, low-code machine learning library that automates much of the machine learning workflow. This is great for significantly reducing the code required to build and deploy models.

What I particularly appreciate about PyCaret is its streamlined workflow. From data preprocessing, model training, hyperparameter tuning, to model deployment, PyCaret makes each step more accessible and less time-consuming.

It's especially helpful for data scientists and analysts who want to produce results quickly without getting bogged down in the complexity of traditional machine learning code.

Another great aspect of PyCaret is its wide range of functionalities that cover various machine learning tasks, such as classification, regression, clustering, anomaly detection, and natural language processing.

This library also seamlessly integrates with several other Python libraries, enhancing its capabilities.

In my experience, PyCaret is great for rapidly prototyping models and testing different approaches, making it an excellent tool for novice and experienced machine learning practitioners.

Highlights:

  • Low-Code Solution: Simplifies the machine learning workflow with a minimal coding approach, making it accessible to a broader audience.
  • Automated Machine Learning: Automates key steps in the machine learning process, including model selection, hyperparameter tuning, and validation.
  • Versatile Functionality: Supports a wide range of machine learning tasks and algorithms.
  • Easy Model Deployment: Provides tools for easy deployment of models to production.
  • Integration with Major ML Libraries: Works seamlessly with major machine learning libraries in the Python ecosystem.
  • Comprehensive Data Preprocessing: Includes a variety of data preprocessing techniques to streamline the model building process.
  • Active Development and Community: Benefits from active development and a growing community, ensuring continuous improvement and support.

23. Scrapy

Scrapy

Primary Benefit: Streamlines web scraping and data extraction processes in Python.

Why I Chose This Python Library:

When it comes to data extraction and web scraping with Python, Scrapy has been a standout choice for me. It's more than just a library; it's a complete framework.

Scrapy impresses with its efficiency and flexibility. The speed and ease with which it can navigate and extract data from websites made a significant impact on my work. Handling requests, following links, and extracting data becomes almost intuitive with Scrapy.

What really sets Scrapy apart for me is its ability to manage complex scraping tasks gracefully. From straightforward websites to intricate web applications with JavaScript-loaded content, Scrapy is up to the task.

Its scalability is another major plus, especially for large-scale scraping projects. The built-in support for various data export formats like CSV, XML, or JSON is extremely convenient.

Overall, Scrapy is an essential part of my toolkit for projects that require efficient and effective data extraction from the web.

If you're venturing into web scraping, Scrapy is definitely a framework worth exploring.

Highlights:

  • Efficient Data Extraction: Scrapy makes scraping and extracting data from websites simple and fast.
  • Handling of JavaScript: Capable of managing dynamic content loaded through JavaScript.
  • Built-in Data Exporting: Offers options to export scraped data in formats like CSV, XML, and JSON.
  • Extensibility: Allows for customization with personal pipelines, middleware, or extensions.
  • Robust and Scalable: Suitable for both small and large-scale scraping operations.
  • Built-In Shell for Testing: Comes equipped with a shell for testing XPath or CSS expressions, which is great for debugging.
  • Strong Community and Documentation: The comprehensive documentation and active community support were invaluable, especially when I was learning the ropes.

24. BeautifulSoup

Beautiful Soup

Primary Benefit: Simplifies the process of scraping information from web pages, making it easier to parse and navigate HTML and XML documents.

Why I Chose This Python Library:

When I was first starting out with web scraping, Beautiful Soup was my go-to Python library.

If you need to parse HTML and XML documents, extract data, or transform it into a format that's easy to analyze and manipulate, Beautiful Soup is ideal.

I also love how it turns a webpage into a parse tree, allowing for easy extraction of data. This is one of my favorite aspects of Beautiful Soup, as I find it incredibly helpful to navigate and search the parse tree.

Whether I'm looking for tags, navigating the tree, or modifying it, Beautiful Soup provides the tools to do so with ease. Trust me, if you haven't used it before, it's so simple to extract data from HTML and XML, especially when dealing with irregular or poorly formatted web pages.

Another significant advantage of Beautiful Soup is its compatibility with various parsers like lxml and html5lib, offering flexibility depending on the user's requirements. Its integration with Python's standard libraries for web requests, like urllib or requests, makes it a comprehensive tool for web scraping.

Of course, as always, when using web scraping tools, you need to respect the rules and limitations of any website; we don't want to be black hat, after all!

But in my experience, Beautiful Soup is a reliable and efficient library for web scraping tasks, so whether you're a data analyst, web developer, or researcher, Beautiful Soup can significantly enhance your web scraping capabilities.

Highlights:

  • Easy HTML/XML Parsing: Excels at parsing and extracting data from HTML and XML documents.
  • Simplified Data Extraction: Allows for straightforward navigation, searching, and modification of the parse tree.
  • Compatible with Multiple Parsers: Works with different parsers like lxml and html5lib, offering flexibility.
  • Integration with Web Request Libraries: Seamlessly integrates with Python's web request libraries for complete web scraping solutions.
  • Handles Irregular HTML: Efficiently deals with messy or poorly formatted HTML.
  • User-Friendly: Its simplicity and ease of use make it accessible even to those new to web scraping.
  • Versatile: Suitable for a range of tasks, from simple data extraction to complex web scraping projects.

Wrapping Up

So there you have it, the 24 best Python libraries in 2024.

Whether you’re looking to land a Python job or you want to boost your skills, Python libraries are one of the best ways to stay ahead of the curve and level up your productivity.

Even if you're new to the world of Python libraries, I hope you now have a better idea of what they are and why they're so useful.

Which Python library is your favorite? And are there any others you'd like to see us include on our list of Python libraries? Let us know in the comments below.

Excited to use Python libraries in your Python projects but unsure where to begin? Check out:

Dr. Anglea Yu's 100 Days of Code: The Complete Python Bootcamp for 2024

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Are Python Libraries Used For?

Python libraries are used to extend the functionality of Python, allowing for more effortless execution of a wide range of tasks like data analysis, machine learning, web development, and more.

2. Are All Python Libraries Free?

Not all Python libraries are free; some require a license for commercial use, although many are open-source and free to use.

3. What Is The Standard Library In Python?

The Standard Library in Python is a collection of modules and packages that come pre-installed with Python, providing ready-to-use solutions for many common programming tasks.

 

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By Robert Johns

Technical Editor for Hackr.io | 15+ Years in Python, Java, SQL, C++, C#, JavaScript, Ruby, PHP, .NET, MATLAB, HTML & CSS, and more... 10+ Years in Networking, Cloud, APIs, Linux | 5+ Years in Data Science | 2x PhDs in Structural & Blast Engineering

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