Snippets, Tutorials

Dropdown menu population using JSON and jQuery

This example shows how to populate dropdown menus automatically with values from a JSON object using jQuery. Among other things, it demonstrates:

  • How to define a JSON object in Javascript
  • How to write a custom function in jQuery using $.fn
  • How to traverse a JSON object using jQuery
  • How to populate a dropdown menu dynamically using jQuery


<script type="text/javascript">
/* <![CDATA[ */

(function($) {

$.fn.changeType = function(){

	var data = [
		"department": "IT",
		"jobs": [
		        {"title":"Solutions Architect"},
		        {"title":"Database Developer"}
		{"department": "Accounting",
		"jobs": [
			    {"title":"Payroll Officer"},
			    {"title":"Accounts Clerk"},
			    {"title":"Financial Controller"}
		"department": "HR",
		"jobs": [
			    {"title":"Recruitment Consultant"},
			    {"title":"Change Management"},
			    {"title":"Industrial Relations"}
		"department": "Marketing",
		"jobs": [
			    {"title":"Market Researcher"},
			    {"title":"Marketing Manager"},
			    {"title":"Marketing Co-ordinator"}

		var options_departments = '<option>Select<\/option>';
		$.each(data, function(i,d){
			options_departments += '<option value="' + d.department + '">' + d.department + '<\/option>';
		$("select#departments", this).html(options_departments);
		$("select#departments", this).change(function(){
			var index = $(this).get(0).selectedIndex;
			var d = data[index-1];  // -1 because index 0 is for empty 'Select' option
			var options = '';
			if (index > 0) {
				$.each(, function(i,j){
		                    options += '<option value="' + j.title + '">' + j.title + '<\/option>';
			} else {
				options += '<option>Select<\/option>';

$(document).ready(function() {

/* ]]> */


<form id="search" action="" name="search">
	<select name="departments" id="departments">
	<select name="jobs" id="jobs">

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4 thoughts on “Dropdown menu population using JSON and jQuery

  1. i required fetch data from database not from xml file or defined data ……………………….

    how we r do this ?????????

    please reply……………….

  2. arjun: There are quite a few ways to achieve that, one of them is to load the data required for the dropdown from a page and then process that data. The page will be in php, perl, ruby, .net or whatever back-end language you are using that gets data from your database. Then you can use jQuery.get method to load data via HTTP GET and populate the dropdown after the data is loaded. More on jQuery.get() method can be found here:

  3. Hi, Ma Sabai.
    Thanks for the post.
    It really help me.

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