State

The state object holds data in a component that is expected to change over time. It is created and maintained by the component itself, and when it changes, the component re-renders.

Props are passed down by parent components, whereas state is created and maintained by the component itself.

Class and functional components handle state differently. Functional components use hooks to manage state. The following will address how class components manage state.

Syntax

class ComponentName extends React.Component {
  // With constructor
  constructor(props) {
    super(props);
    this.state = {
      property: value,
    };
  }

  // With property initializer
  state = {
    property: value,
  };

  render() {
    return (
      /* Value of property is rendered */
      <div>{this.state.property}</div>
    );
  }
}

The snippet above features two common ways of initializing state in a class component:

  • The constructor() method assigns a new object to this.state.
  • A state object is directly assigned with property initializers.

Only one of these two ways can be applied when making a class component.

Example

The following example initializes the state object in the component’s constructor() and returns its value in the render() method:

class Car extends React.Component {
constructor(props) {
super(props);
this.state = {
brand: 'Chevrolet',
model: 'Malibu',
color: 'white',
year: 1998,
};
}
render() {
return (
<div>
<h1>My First Car</h1>
<p>
It is a {this.state.color}
{this.state.brand}
{this.state.model}
made in {this.state.year}. 🚙
</p>
</div>
);
}
}

With property initializers, it is not necessary to set state or bind methods in the constructor:

class Car extends React.Component {
// No need to use constructor
state = {
brand: 'Chevrolet',
model: 'Malibu',
color: 'white',
year: 1998,
};
// Same renderd JSX
}

It will appear like this:

React State Example

Note: When the state is updated, the component will automatically re-render. This means that the state should never be updated in a render() method because it will cause an infinite loop.

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