# Sorting Your DataFrame on a Single Column

For more information on concepts covered in this lesson, you can check out Introduction to Sorting Algorithms in Python.

**00:00**
Sorting Your DataFrame on a Single Column. To sort the DataFrame based on the values in a single column, you’ll use `.sort_values()`

. By default, this will return a new DataFrame sorted in ascending order.

**00:14**
It doesn’t modify the original DataFrame. To use `.sort_values()`

, you pass a single argument to the method containing the name of the column you want to sort by. In this example, you sort the DataFrame by the `city08`

column, which represents city miles per gallon for fuel-only cars.

**00:39**
This sorts your DataFrame using the column values from `city08`

, showing the vehicles with the lowest miles per gallon first. By default, `.sort_values()`

sorts your data in ascending order.

**00:53**
Although you didn’t specify a name for the argument you passed to `.sort_values()`

, you actually used the `by`

parameter, which you’ll see in the next example.

**01:03**
Another parameter of `.sort_values()`

is `ascending`

, which by default is set to `True`

. If you want the DataFrame sorted in descending order, then you can pass `False`

to this parameter, as seen on-screen.

**01:24**
By passing `False`

to `ascending`

, you reverse the sort order. Now your DataFrame is sorted in descending order by the average miles per gallon measured in city conditions.

**01:34**
The vehicles with the highest miles-per-gallon values are in the first rows.

**01:40**
It’s good to note that pandas allows you to choose different sorting algorithms to use with both `.sort_values()`

and `.sort_index()`

.

**01:47**
The available algorithms are `quicksort`

, `mergesort`

, and `heapsort`

. For more information on these different sorting algorithms, check out this Real Python course.

**02:01**
The algorithm used by default when sorting on a single column is `quicksort`

. To change this to a stable sorting algorithm, use `mergesort`

.

**02:11**
You can do that with the `kind`

parameter in `.sort_values()`

or `.sort_index()`

, as seen on-screen.

**02:26**
Using `kind`

, you set the sorting algorithm to `mergesort`

. The previous output used the default `quicksort`

algorithm.

**02:35**
Looking at the highlighted indices, you can see the rows are in a different order. This is because `quicksort`

is not a stable sorting algorithm, but `mergesort`

is. Note that in pandas, `kind`

is ignored when you sort on more than one column or label.

**02:52**
When you’re sorting multiple records that have the same key, a stable sorting algorithm will maintain the original order of those records after sorting. For that reason, using a stable sorting algorithm is necessary if you plan to perform multiple sorts.

**03:08**
Now that you’re familiar with sorting a DataFrame on a single column, you’re ready to see how to sort one on multiple columns. And that’s what will be covered in the next section of the course.

Become a Member to join the conversation.