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Understanding and Implementing State Management in React Applications

Understanding and Implementing React State Management

State management is one of the essential and indispensable elements of every dynamic application. The simple and flexible React API supports state management in a React component. In this article, we will learn how to keep state in a React application. React js apps can use component state, context API, react & custom hooks, render props, high-order components, and React State Management Libraries as effective state management techniques.

Importance of state management

The most important and difficult decision is how to construct their web application so that it is simple to maintain, reusable, gives a great performance, and most importantly, the app must be scalable. Let's examine how state management is important in the web development world.


It becomes challenging to maintain the states as the applications grow in size and complexity since a subpar state management strategy results in performance degradation and errors. React offers a carefully thought-out state management approach to guarantee that you can scale your React applications smoothly.


Due to the re-renders, React applications could have trouble loading the front end. You can streamline your state updates with React state management, improving the effectiveness and performance of your project.


React state management tools like Redux and MobX make it simple to share states across all the components in your application, even if it might be challenging to reuse states across different components of a React application.

Concept of state in React

React developers can handle data and adapt the user interface in response to user interactions, thanks to the fundamental concept of state. It enables the efficient and effective building of dynamic and interactive web applications. Let's see in detail, what is state and how it works.

What is state?

The value of one of a React component's dynamic properties corresponds to its state at a specific instance. For each component, React provides a dynamic data store. This provides access to the internal data, which depicts the state of a React component. A component will automatically re-render itself as its state changes by calling the render() method.

How does state work?

The current data of a component are represented by an object called a state. React re-renders the component as the state changes, updating the user interface with the new information. State is managed internally by React and can only be modified using the setState() method, which triggers a re-render of the component. State is frequently used to store data that can change throughout a component's lifetime, such as user input, API responses, or computation results. By leveraging state, developers can build highly responsive and interactive web applications.

Types of state

In React, there are two main types of state that can be used in a component:

1. Local component state: This is state that is managed within a component itself and can be accessed and modified through the setState() method. Local state is used when data is only needed within a specific component and does not need to be shared with other components.

2. Global state: This is a state that is shared between multiple components, and can be managed using a state management library like Redux or MobX. Global state is useful when data needs to be shared between multiple components or when multiple components need to be updated when a certain piece of data changes.

Aside from these two major types of states, there are other states that can be classified as either local or global, such as:

  • UI state
  • Mutable state
  • Complex state
  • Fetch state

These other states are not typically classified as types of React state because they are not specific to React but rather general concepts in software development.

Implementing state management in React applications

In React, state management involves storing and updating application data in a central location, making it easier to share and modify data between components. We’re going to create a toggle button that reveals content when clicked on.

import React, { useState } from 'react';

function Content() {
  const [isVisible, setIsVisible] = useState(true);

  const handleToggle = () => {

  return (
      <button onClick={handleToggle}>Toggle Content</button>
      {isVisible && <p>This content is visible</p>}

In this example, we're using the useState hook to declare a state variable called isVisible and initialize it to true. The state is updated when the button is clicked by utilizing the setIsVisible function as well.

Finally, we're using the value of isVisible to conditionally render some content using the ternary operator. When isVisible is true, the <p> element is rendered, otherwise, it's not visible.

React state management libraries provide cutting-edge methods for properly tackling state management, assisting programmers in creating scalable and highly interactive React applications. In React, many state management libraries employ various strategies to arrive at the same result. Also, they vary from one another in terms of library size, language support, documentation, API support, and other areas. Below are a few choices of state management libraries on React.


This is the most accepted state management library for React. It is a predictable state container that enables centralized management of your application's state. Redux provides a store to hold the state of your application and dispatches actions to update that state.


  • Predictable state management: Redux follows a strict pattern for how state should be managed, which can make it easier to reason about and predict how state will change in response to user actions or other events.
  • Centralized state: Redux stores all state in a single store, which can make it easier to manage state across multiple components and avoid prop drilling.


  • Overkill for small apps: For small applications, the overhead of using Redux might not be worth it, and simpler state management techniques like local state or context might be sufficient.


Zustand is a small state management module for React that makes use of React Hooks to offer a declarative and straightforward method of managing state. It is intended to be quick and adaptable, with a simple API that is simple to use and comprehend.


  • Lightweight: Zustand is a very lightweight library, with a small API and minimal boilerplate code needed to set up and use.
  • Simple API: Zustand has a simple and intuitive API, making it easy to get started with and use, especially if you are already familiar with React's component model.


  • Limited ecosystem: Zustand is a relatively new library, and its ecosystem of plugins and tools is not as developed as some other libraries like Redux or MobX.


An easy and expandable state management library for React, MobX allows you to define reactive state and automatically track dependencies between state and components so that updates to state automatically trigger updates to your user interface.


  • Simple API: MobX has a very simple and intuitive API, making it easy to get started with and use, especially if you are already familiar with React's component model.
  • Good performance: MobX uses a highly optimized reactive model that can make it very fast and efficient, especially for large or complex applications.


  • Less predictable: MobX's reactive model can make it more difficult to predict how state will change in response to user actions or other events.


Recoil is a state management library created by Facebook that offers a more user-friendly method of managing global state than conventional Redux-style stores. Recoil uses a simple, declarative API that allows you to define and manipulate state using pure functions.


  • Integrates with React: Recoil is built specifically to work well with React, and uses React's render cycle to efficiently manage state changes.
  • Good performance: Recoil uses a custom graph-based data model that can make it very fast and efficient, especially for large or complex applications.


  • More difficult to learn: Recoil has a steeper learning curve than some other libraries, especially if you are not already familiar with the concept of a graph-based data model.

Best practices for state management in React applications

With complexities surrounding state management and its libraries, when maintaining state in a React application, the following guidelines should be followed:

  • Keeping state immutable

By keeping state immutable, we ensure that the state values remain consistent and predictable throughout the application. It also helps prevent bugs that can occur when multiple components try to modify the same state object at the same time. Additionally, it allows for better performance optimizations in React, since it enables the use of shallow comparison techniques to determine when a component needs to be re-rendered. Overall, immutability is an important principle in React state management that helps ensure code stability, maintainability, and performance.

  • Deciding what should be in state

In React state management, deciding what should be in state means determining which data should be stored in the state of a component. The application's overall performance and maintainability may be impacted by this crucial choice.

As a general guideline, state should be reserved for data that is used by the component and its child components, and is subject to change over time. Data that is used across multiple components or is static in nature should be stored outside of state, such as in a parent component's props or in a separate data store.

  • Avoiding overuse of state management libraries

Overuse can lead to code bloat and make the application more difficult to reason about, especially for developers who are not familiar with the specific library being used. Additionally, state management libraries can add a lot of boilerplate code that may not be necessary for smaller applications.

In general, it's a good idea to start with simpler solutions for state management, such as using React's built-in state management tools like useState and useReducer, before considering third-party libraries. If the application becomes more complex and the built-in tools become difficult to manage, then a state management library may be a good option.


Developers that want to create scalable, effective, and reliable React applications must use React state management. By handling and managing the state of the React application, both built-in and third-party solutions keep the program in sync with the user interface. The reason being there are so many options, which one you choose will depend on the project's requirements and the size of your development team.


  • Author

    Ejiro ThankGod .U

    Ejiro ThankGod is a skilled web developer and technical writer with over 2 years of expertise in the field. He is passionate about building beautiful, intuitive websites and web applications. As a web developer, Ejiro is proficient in a number of Programming languages, including Python and JavaScript, as well as web development frameworks like React.

Frequently Asked Questions

State refers to the data that defines a component's behavior and output. In React, state is used to manage data that changes over time, and is often used to update a component's UI in response to user input or other events.

Local state manages state within a single component, while global state manages state shared between multiple components. Third-party libraries like Redux or MobX manage global state, offering a centralized store for managing state across an entire application.

State management in React can be accomplished through various approaches such as local state, context, and third-party libraries like Redux, Zustand, Recoil, and MobX. Local state manages state at the component level, context allows data to be passed down the component tree, while third-party libraries offer more advanced options such as a centralized store for managing global state.

To choose the best state management library for a React application, consider factors like application complexity, team size, and developer experience, and weigh the strengths and weaknesses of each library to align with the application's specific needs.

Local state manages state within a single component and is ideal for data that is not shared with other components. It should be used when the data being managed is specific to that component and does not need to be accessed or updated by other parts of the application.

Keep state simple and efficient by not overcomplicating the architecture, avoiding using global state for local data, and considering performance and scalability in the design process. Always consider the specific needs of the application before implementing state management.

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