Collections class in Java consists only from static methods, as stated in the specs

This class consists exclusively of static methods that operate on or return collections. It contains polymorphic algorithms that operate on collections, "wrappers", which return a new collection backed by a specified collection, and a few other odds and ends.

The class has private constructor, however it is not marked as final. Aren't there any performance benefits if the class would be final itself? What's the reason behind this?

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    You wouldn't declare a class final for performance reasons. It's used to indicate the class is not meant to be extended. This class is obviously not meant to be extended, but who knows why it wasn't declared final? Maybe ask Josh Bloch? :)
    – Andres F.
    Sep 28, 2016 at 18:16

2 Answers 2


Aren't there any performance benefits if the class would be final itself?

For instance methods, potentially. For static methods, no. Knowing that a non-overridden instance method is in a final class would potentially allow the method to be statically bound when called, rather than going through virtual dispatch, but static methods are already statically bound. It doesn't matter whether the class defining the static method is final or not, the call must be bound statically for all static methods.

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    That's a nice way to remember it, but it is not the actual reason for the name. Sep 28, 2016 at 17:05
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    @SebastianRedl, Servy is not claiming anything about the actual reason for the name. However, feel free to enlighten us, since you've broached the subject: what is the actual reason for the name?
    – Erik Eidt
    Sep 28, 2016 at 19:20
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    I interpret "hence the name" as "that's that reason for the name". Anyway, the name derives from C's static local variables (same as in Java), which have static existence (as opposed to the dynamic existence of normal variables). The keyword was reused by C++ to denote member variables that are not bound to one instance, and then by Java for the same purpose. Sep 28, 2016 at 20:34
  • @SebastianRedl Yep exactly. Under the covers, C++ static data is just like C static data, and "static" acquired the association of representing class-scoped members.
    – SusanW
    Oct 18, 2016 at 18:06

The constructor for Collections is private so there is no way to extend it. And as noted in the answer by Servy, these methods are not polymorphic so whether it is final is not relevant to performance. Marking it final has no impact so adding that is superfluous. Whether it was left of for that reason or just not considered is unclear.

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