What is the difference between state and props in React?

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In React, both state and props are used to manage data and control how components behave, but they serve different purposes and have different characteristics:

Props (short for properties)

Props are read-only and passed from parent components to child components.

They are used to pass data from a parent component to a child component.

Props are immutable, meaning that they cannot be modified by the child component.

They are defined by attributes on the JSX elements when the child component is rendered.

Props help to make components reusable and modular by allowing them to accept input data from their parent components.


State is used to manage data that can change over time within a component.

It is owned and managed by the component itself.

Unlike props, state is mutable and can be updated using the setState() method provided by React.

Changes to state trigger re-renders of the component, updating the UI to reflect the new state.

State is typically initialized in the constructor of a class component or by using the useState hook in a functional component.

In summary, props are used to pass data from parent to child components, while state is used to manage data that can change within a component. Understanding the difference between props and state is essential for building robust and maintainable React applications.

By John Au-Yeung

Web developer specializing in React, Vue, and front end development.

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