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Size Maps When Possible

A Map stores entries into buckets of singly linked lists or buckets. Resizing a Map is an expensive operation, as existing buckets may have to be re-shuffled.

Some key terms

  • Capacity: The number of buckets (length of the array of nodes) in the hash table. The initial capacity is set to 16 (24) and doubled each time it is reached.
  • Load factor: The measure that decides when to increase the capacity of the Map. By default, this is set to 0.75 ( 75%) of capacity.


Map indexes in Java are initialised and extended in powers of 2 - and the load factor decides how many elements can be inserted before the map must be resized. Given a load factor of 0.75, for an initial capacity of 16, up to 12 values can be inserted before a resize occurs.

If you know that you will be inserting at least 40 values, it will be better to select an initial capacity (of 64) that won't require a resize:

Exponent (n)Capacity (2n)Resize at



After running the following benchmark:

@Warmup(iterations = 5, time = 1, timeUnit = TimeUnit.MILLISECONDS)
@Measurement(iterations = 200, time = 1, timeUnit = TimeUnit.MILLISECONDS)
public class HashMapBenchmark {

private Map<Integer, Integer> map;

@Param({"8", "16", "32", "64"})
public int capacity;

@Param({"8", "16", "32"})
public int numberOfInserts;

public void setup() {
map = new HashMap<>(capacity);

public Map<Integer, Integer> insert_to_hash_map() {
for (int i = 0; i < numberOfInserts; i++) {
map.put(i, i);
return map;


As can be seen from the results below - for an initial map capacity of 8, inserting 32 keys takes 11.5% longer than the same amount of inserts to a 32 capacity map.

BenchmarkCapacityNo. of InsertsModeCountScoreErrorUnits
HashMapBenchmark.insert_to_hash_map88avgt20099.360± 3.490ns/op
HashMapBenchmark.insert_to_hash_map816avgt200198.932± 9.344ns/op
HashMapBenchmark.insert_to_hash_map832avgt200400.597± 15.615ns/op
HashMapBenchmark.insert_to_hash_map168avgt20093.933± 3.532ns/op
HashMapBenchmark.insert_to_hash_map1616avgt200198.945± 7.892ns/op
HashMapBenchmark.insert_to_hash_map1632avgt200378.605± 15.225ns/op
HashMapBenchmark.insert_to_hash_map328avgt20094.030± 3.626ns/op
HashMapBenchmark.insert_to_hash_map3216avgt200190.595± 7.072ns/op
HashMapBenchmark.insert_to_hash_map3232avgt200358.341± 15.057ns/op
HashMapBenchmark.insert_to_hash_map648avgt20092.010± 4.958ns/op
HashMapBenchmark.insert_to_hash_map6416avgt200187.479± 8.061ns/op
HashMapBenchmark.insert_to_hash_map6432avgt200359.244± 13.924ns/op