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How To Import JSON In React?

Tim Mouskhelichvili
Tim Mouskhelichvili
2 minutes to read

When creating a React web application or library, often a developer needs to import JSON data. A typical example is having a JSON file with country names used by the React web application. Luckily, it is easy to achieve.

To import JSON in React, you can:

  • Use the json-loader plugin.
  • Create a JavaScript/TypeScript constant with the JSON data.

This article will analyze both solutions and show code examples for each.

Let's get to it 😎.

How To Import JSON In React?

Let's say we have a JSON file with some data:

data.json[{ "country": "US" }, { "country": "CA" }]

We want to import this file into our React application and use it.

We have two different methods of achieving it.

Method #1 - Use the json-loader plugin

The first method of importing JSON data into your React application involves using the json-loader plugin.

Here is how to use it for various use cases.

1. If you are using create-react-app

In that case, the json-loader plugin is installed by default.

The only thing to do is to import the JSON file like so:

javascriptimport data from "/data.json";

Then, you can use the JSON data in your code.

2. If you are NOT using create-react-app

Here are the steps to follow:

1. Install the json-loader plugin, like so:

bashnpm i json-loader --save-dev

2. Add this loader configuration to your webpack.config.js file:

javascriptloaders: [
  { 
     json: /\.json$/, 
     loader: 'json-loader' 
  }
]

3. In your application, import the JSON data, like so:

javascriptimport data from "/data.json";

Method #2 - Create a constant with the JSON data

Another option to import JSON in a React application is to transform the JSON file into a JS/TS file with a constant export.

This method is beneficial because you do not have to install external plugins.

Here is how to do it:

1. Let's say you have a JSON file, like so:

data.json[{ "country": "US" }, { "country": "CA" }]

2. You need to transform it into a JS file.

javascriptexport const data = [{ country: "US" }, { country: "CA" }];

3. Finally, import it into your React application, like so:

javascriptimport { data } from "/data";

Here is a small example:

javascriptimport React from "react";
import { createRoot } from "react-dom/client";
import { data } from "/data";

const App = () => {
  return (
    <div>
      {data.map((x) => (
        <div key={x.country}>{x.country}</div>
      ))}
    </div>
  );
};

const rootElement = document.getElementById("root");
const root = createRoot(rootElement);

root.render(<App />);

This code maps through an array of countries and outputs a div for each.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, importing a JSON file is simple in React.

If you have a small JSON object, I recommend changing it to a JS constant.

However, if the JSON file is large, I recommend using the json-loader plugin.

react import json

Here are some other React tutorials for you to enjoy:

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