Currency formatting in Python


I am looking to format a number like 188518982.18 to £188,518,982.18 using Python.

How can I do this?

Asked By: RailsSon



See the locale module.

This does currency (and date) formatting.

>>> import locale
>>> locale.setlocale( locale.LC_ALL, '' )
'English_United States.1252'
>>> locale.currency( 188518982.18 )
>>> locale.currency( 188518982.18, grouping=True )
Answered By: S.Lott

Oh, that’s an interesting beast.

I’ve spent considerable time of getting that right, there are three main issues that differs from locale to locale:
– currency symbol and direction
– thousand separator
– decimal point

I’ve written my own rather extensive implementation of this which is part of the kiwi python framework, check out the LGPL:ed source here:

The code is slightly Linux/Glibc specific, but shouldn’t be too difficult to adopt to windows or other unixes.

Once you have that installed you can do the following:

>>> from kiwi.datatypes import currency
>>> v = currency('10.5').format()

Which will then give you:



'10,50 kr'

Depending on the currently selected locale.

The main point this post has over the other is that it will work with older versions of python. locale.currency was introduced in python 2.5.

Answered By: Johan Dahlin

My locale settings seemed incomplete, so I had too look beyond this SO answer and found:


Just wanted to share here.

Answered By: user37986

New in 2.7

>>> '{:20,.2f}'.format(18446744073709551616.0)

Answered By: nate c

If you are using OSX and have yet to set your locale module setting this first answer will not work you will receive the following error:

Traceback (most recent call last):File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module> File "/System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.6/lib/python2.6/", line 221, in currency
raise ValueError("Currency formatting is not possible using "ValueError: Currency formatting is not possible using the 'C' locale.

To remedy this you will have to do use the following:

locale.setlocale(locale.LC_ALL, 'en_US')
Answered By: simoes

Not quite sure why it’s not mentioned more online (or on this thread), but the Babel package (and Django utilities) from the Edgewall guys is awesome for currency formatting (and lots of other i18n tasks). It’s nice because it doesn’t suffer from the need to do everything globally like the core Python locale module.

The example the OP gave would simply be:

>>> import babel.numbers
>>> import decimal
>>> babel.numbers.format_currency( decimal.Decimal( "188518982.18" ), "GBP" )
Answered By: glenc

A lambda for calculating it inside a function, with help from @Nate’s answer

converter = lambda amount, currency: "%s%s%s" %(
    "-" if amount < 0 else "", 

and then,

>>> converter(123132132.13, "$")

>>> converter(-123132132.13, "$")
Answered By: Anshul Goyal

#printing the variable ‘Total:’ in a format that looks like this ‘9,348.237’

print ('Total:',   '{:7,.3f}'.format(zum1))

where the ‘{:7,.3f}’ es the number of spaces for formatting the number in this case is a million with 3 decimal points.
Then you add the ‘.format(zum1). The zum1 is tha variable that has the big number for the sum of all number in my particular program. Variable can be anything that you decide to use.

Answered By: Marie

This is an ancient post, but I just implemented the following solution which:

  • Doesn’t require external modules
  • Doesn’t require creating a new function
  • Can be done in-line
  • Handles multiple variables
  • Handles negative dollar amounts


num1 = 4153.53
num2 = -23159.398598

print 'This: ${:0,.0f} and this: ${:0,.2f}'.format(num1, num2).replace('$-','-$')


This: $4,154 and this: -$23,159.40

And for the original poster, obviously, just switch $ for £

Answered By: elPastor

If I were you, I would use BABEL:

from babel.numbers import format_decimal

format_decimal(188518982.18, locale='en_US')
Answered By: Carlos

Simple python code!

def format_us_currency(value):
    if value.count(',')==0:
        for i in value[::-1]:
            b=','+i+b if n==3 else i+b
            n=1 if n==3 else n+1
        b=b[1:] if b[0]==',' else b
    return '$'+(value.rstrip('0').rstrip('.') if '.' in value else value)
Answered By: Vanjith

"{:0,.2f}".format(float(your_numeric_value)) in Python 3 does the job; it gives out something like one of the following lines:


Inspired by the code above 😀

def money_format(value):
    value = str(value).split('.')
    money = ''
    count = 1

    for digit in value[0][::-1]:
        if count != 3:
            money += digit
            count += 1
            money += f'{digit},'
            count = 1

    if len(value) == 1:
        money = ('$' + money[::-1]).replace('$-','-$')
        money = ('$' + money[::-1] + '.' + value[1]).replace('$-','-$')

    return money
Answered By: Elmer Gonzalez

There are already a dozen solutions here, but I believe the one below is the best, because:

  • it is simple
  • obeys the OS locale
  • no external lib is needed
  • you can make it concise

Use locale.currency() method:

import locale
# this sets locale to the current Operating System value
locale.setlocale(locale.LC_ALL, '') 
print(locale.currency(1346896.67444, grouping=True, symbol=True)

will output in my Windows 10 configured to Brazilian Portuguese:

R$ 1.346.896,67

It is somewhat verbose, so if you will use it a lot, maybe it is better to predefine some parameters and have a shorter name and use it inside a f-string:

fmt = lambda x: locale.currency(x, grouping=True, symbol=True)
print(f"Value: {fmt(1346896.67444)}"

You can pass a locale value for the setlocale method, but its value is OS dependent, so beware. If you are in a *nix server, you also need to check if the locale is correctly installed in the OS.

You also can turn off the symbol passing symbol=False.

Answered By: neves
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