I have a collection with several fields, and I'd like to get the minimum value from one. I know a command for getting the max value:

collection.find_one(sort=[("myfield", -1)])["myfield"]

but not one for getting the min. Is there a way to do this?

1 Answer 1


You can reverse the sort direction to get the minimum instead of the maximum value:

 # Sort by myfield (ascending value) and return first document
 collection.find_one(sort=[("myfield", 1)])["myfield"]

This example assumes that:

  • myfield is a numeric value (so the sort order makes sense to determine a minimum or maximum)
  • myfield exists in the matching document returned (otherwise Python will report a KeyError when trying to reference a non-existent field).
  • all documents in the collection have a myfield value (documents that have do not have a myfield value will sorted before the minimum numeric values)

To ensure your sort is based on documents that actually have a myfield value you can add $exists to the query criteria:

 collection.find_one({"myfield": {"$exists": True}}, sort=[("myfield", 1)])["myfield"]

For more information on sorting see:


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