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Streaming csv parser inspired by binary-csv that aims to be faster than everyone else


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Streaming CSV parser that aims for maximum speed as well as compatibility with the csv-spectrum CSV acid test suite.

csv-parser can convert CSV into JSON at at rate of around 90,000 rows per second. Performance varies with the data used; try bin/bench.js <your file> to benchmark your data.

csv-parser can be used in the browser with browserify.

neat-csv can be used if a Promise based interface to csv-parser is needed.

Note: This module requires Node v8.16.0 or higher.


⚡️ csv-parser is greased-lightning fast

→ npm run bench

  Filename                 Rows Parsed  Duration
  backtick.csv                       2     3.5ms
  bad-data.csv                       3    0.55ms
  basic.csv                          1    0.26ms
  comma-in-quote.csv                 1    0.29ms
  comment.csv                        2    0.40ms
  empty-columns.csv                  1    0.40ms
  escape-quotes.csv                  3    0.38ms
  geojson.csv                        3    0.46ms
  large-dataset.csv               7268      73ms
  newlines.csv                       3    0.35ms
  no-headers.csv                     3    0.26ms
  option-comment.csv                 2    0.24ms
  option-escape.csv                  3    0.25ms
  option-maxRowBytes.csv          4577      39ms
  option-newline.csv                 0    0.47ms
  option-quote-escape.csv            3    0.33ms
  option-quote-many.csv              3    0.38ms
  option-quote.csv                   2    0.22ms
  quotes+newlines.csv                3    0.20ms
  strict.csv                         3    0.22ms
  latin.csv                          2    0.38ms
  mac-newlines.csv                   2    0.28ms
  utf16-big.csv                      2    0.33ms
  utf16.csv                          2    0.26ms
  utf8.csv                           2    0.24ms


Using npm:

$ npm install csv-parser

Using yarn:

$ yarn add csv-parser


To use the module, create a readable stream to a desired CSV file, instantiate csv, and pipe the stream to csv.

Suppose you have a CSV file data.csv which contains the data:

Daffy Duck,24
Bugs Bunny,22

It could then be parsed, and results shown like so:

const csv = require('csv-parser')
const fs = require('fs')
const results = [];

  .on('data', (data) => results.push(data))
  .on('end', () => {
    // [
    //   { NAME: 'Daffy Duck', AGE: '24' },
    //   { NAME: 'Bugs Bunny', AGE: '22' }
    // ]

To specify options for csv, pass an object argument to the function. For example:

csv({ separator: '\t' });


csv([options | headers])

Returns: Array[Object]


Type: Object

As an alternative to passing an options object, you may pass an Array[String] which specifies the headers to use. For example:

csv(['Name', 'Age']);

If you need to specify options and headers, please use the the object notation with the headers property as shown below.


Type: String
Default: "

A single-character string used to specify the character used to escape strings in a CSV row.


Type: Array[String] | Boolean

Specifies the headers to use. Headers define the property key for each value in a CSV row. If no headers option is provided, csv-parser will use the first line in a CSV file as the header specification.

If false, specifies that the first row in a data file does not contain headers, and instructs the parser to use the column index as the key for each column. Using headers: false with the same data.csv example from above would yield:

  { '0': 'Daffy Duck', '1': 24 },
  { '0': 'Bugs Bunny', '1': 22 }

Note: If using the headers for an operation on a file which contains headers on the first line, specify skipLines: 1 to skip over the row, or the headers row will appear as normal row data. Alternatively, use the mapHeaders option to manipulate existing headers in that scenario.


Type: Function

A function that can be used to modify the values of each header. Return a String to modify the header. Return null to remove the header, and it's column, from the results.

  mapHeaders: ({ header, index }) => header.toLowerCase()

header String The current column header.
index Number The current column index.


Type: Function

A function that can be used to modify the content of each column. The return value will replace the current column content.

  mapValues: ({ header, index, value }) => value.toLowerCase()

header String The current column header.
index Number The current column index.
value String The current column value (or content).


Type: String
Default: \n

Specifies a single-character string to denote the end of a line in a CSV file.


Type: String
Default: "

Specifies a single-character string to denote a quoted string.


Type: Boolean

If true, instructs the parser not to decode UTF-8 strings.


Type: String
Default: ,

Specifies a single-character string to use as the column separator for each row.


Type: Boolean | String
Default: false

Instructs the parser to ignore lines which represent comments in a CSV file. Since there is no specification that dictates what a CSV comment looks like, comments should be considered non-standard. The "most common" character used to signify a comment in a CSV file is "#". If this option is set to true, lines which begin with # will be skipped. If a custom character is needed to denote a commented line, this option may be set to a string which represents the leading character(s) signifying a comment line.


Type: Number
Default: 0

Specifies the number of lines at the beginning of a data file that the parser should skip over, prior to parsing headers.


Type: Number
Default: Number.MAX_SAFE_INTEGER

Maximum number of bytes per row. An error is thrown if a line exeeds this value. The default value is on 8 peta byte.


Type: Boolean
Default: false

If true, instructs the parser that the number of columns in each row must match the number of headers specified or throws an exception. if false: the headers are mapped to the column index less columns: any missing column in the middle will result in a wrong property mapping! more columns: the aditional columns will create a "_"+index properties - eg. "_10":"value"


The following events are emitted during parsing:


Emitted for each row of data parsed with the notable exception of the header row. Please see Usage for an example.


Emitted after the header row is parsed. The first parameter of the event callback is an Array[String] containing the header names.

  .on('headers', (headers) => {
    console.log(`First header: ${headers[0]}`)

Readable Stream Events

Events available on Node built-in Readable Streams are also emitted. The end event should be used to detect the end of parsing.


This module also provides a CLI which will convert CSV to newline-delimited JSON. The following CLI flags can be used to control how input is parsed:

Usage: csv-parser [filename?] [options]

  --escape,-e         Set the escape character (defaults to quote value)
  --headers,-h        Explicitly specify csv headers as a comma separated list
  --help              Show this help
  --output,-o         Set output file. Defaults to stdout
  --quote,-q          Set the quote character ('"' by default)
  --remove            Remove columns from output by header name
  --separator,-s      Set the separator character ("," by default)
  --skipComments,-c   Skip CSV comments that begin with '#'. Set a value to change the comment character.
  --skipLines,-l      Set the number of lines to skip to before parsing headers
  --strict            Require column length match headers length
  --version,-v        Print out the installed version

For example; to parse a TSV file:

cat data.tsv | csv-parser -s $'\t'


Users may encounter issues with the encoding of a CSV file. Transcoding the source stream can be done neatly with a modules such as:

Or native iconv if part of a pipeline.

Byte Order Marks

Some CSV files may be generated with, or contain a leading Byte Order Mark. This may cause issues parsing headers and/or data from your file. From Wikipedia:

The Unicode Standard permits the BOM in UTF-8, but does not require nor recommend its use. Byte order has no meaning in UTF-8.

To use this module with a file containing a BOM, please use a module like strip-bom-stream in your pipeline:

const fs = require('fs');

const csv = require('csv-parser');
const stripBom = require('strip-bom-stream');


When using the CLI, the BOM can be removed by first running:

$ sed $'s/\xEF\xBB\xBF//g' data.csv