aggregate() vs annotate() in Django

In Django, the aggregate() and annotate() functions serve distinct purposes when working with querysets and performing aggregations. It’s essential to grasp their differences and use cases to leverage their functionalities effectively. In this blog, we will explore the disparities between aggregate() and annotate() in Django, along with examples to illustrate their specific applications.

Introduction to aggregate() and annotate()

In Django’s ORM, aggregate() and annotate() functions play a crucial role in performing complex database operations and aggregations. Let’s delve into the differences and use cases for both functions:

1. aggregate(): Perform Global Aggregations

The aggregate() function computes aggregate values over an entire queryset, returning a dictionary of results. It is typically used for operations such as calculating sums, averages, counts, and other aggregate functions across the entire queryset.

2. annotate(): Add Per-Object Annotations

The annotate() function adds computed fields to each object in the queryset, providing additional information without altering the original queryset. It is often used to add calculated fields or perform per-object annotations based on related objects or custom logic.

Differences Between aggregate() and annotate()

Use Cases:

  • aggregate() is suitable for obtaining global aggregate values, such as total counts or sums.
  • annotate() is ideal for adding per-object annotations, custom fields, or calculated values.


  • aggregate() returns a single dictionary with aggregated values.
  • annotate() adds new attributes to each object in the queryset without modifying the original queryset.



from django.db.models import Avg
average_rating = MyModel.objects.aggregate(avg_rating=Avg('rating'))


from django.db.models import F
annotated_data = MyModel.objects.annotate(discounted_price=F('price') * 0.9)


Understanding the distinctions between aggregate() and annotate() is vital for effectively leveraging their functionalities in Django. By comprehending their specific use cases and implementing them appropriately, you can perform complex database operations and aggregations with ease, enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of your Django applications.