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Count Documents


If you specify a callback method, countDocuments() and estimatedDocumentCount() return nothing. If you do not specify one, this method returns a Promise that resolves to the result object when it completes. See our guide on Promises and Callbacks for more information, or the API documentation for information on the result object.

The Node.js driver provides two methods for counting documents in a collection:

  • collection.countDocuments() returns the number of documents in the collection that match the specified query. If you specify an empty query document, countDocuments() returns the total number of documents in the collection.

  • collection.estimatedDocumentCount() returns an estimation of the number of documents in the collection based on collection metadata.

estimatedDocumentCount() is faster than countDocuments() because the estimation uses the collection's metadata rather than scanning the collection. In contrast, countDocuments() takes longer to return, but provides an accurate count of the number of documents and supports specifying a filter. Choose the appropriate method for your workload.

To specify which documents you wish to count, countDocuments() accepts a query parameter. countDocuments() counts the documents that match the specified query.

countDocuments() and estimatedDocumentCount() support optional settings that affect the method's execution. Refer to the reference documentation for each method for more information.


You can improve performance when using countDocuments() to return the total number of documents in a collection by avoiding a collection scan. To do this, use a hint to take advantage of the built-in index on the _id field. Use this technique only when calling countDocuments() with an empty query parameter.

collection.countDocuments({}, { hint: "_id_" });

The following example estimates the number of documents in the movies collection in the sample_mflix database, and then returns an accurate count of the number of documents in the movies collection with Canada in the countries field.


You can use this example to connect to an instance of MongoDB and interact with a database that contains sample data. To learn more about connecting to your MongoDB instance and loading a sample dataset, see the Usage Examples guide.


Identical Code Snippets

The JavaScript and TypeScript code snippets above are identical. There are no TypeScript specific features of the driver relevant to this use case.

If you run the preceding sample code, you should see the following output:

Estimated number of documents in the movies collection: 23541
Number of movies from Canada: 1349
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