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Managing State with StatefulWidget and State in Flutter

Flutter, StatefulWidget, State Management1 min read

When developing mobile applications, managing state is essential to building responsive and reactive user interfaces. In Flutter, we can use the StatefulWidget and State objects to handle state changes and rebuild our UI accordingly.

What is StatefulWidget?

StatefulWidget is a widget that can change its appearance based on some properties called state. It has a mutable state object that holds data that can change over time.

Consider the following example:

1class MyWidget extends StatefulWidget {
2 const MyWidget({Key? key}) : super(key: key);
4 @override
5 _MyWidgetState createState() => _MyWidgetState();
8class _MyWidgetState extends State<MyWidget> {
9 int _counter = 0;
11 void _incrementCounter() {
12 setState(() {
13 _counter++;
14 });
15 }
17 @override
18 Widget build(BuildContext context) {
19 return Scaffold(
20 appBar: AppBar(
21 title: Text('My Widget'),
22 ),
23 body: Center(
24 child: Column(
25 mainAxisAlignment:,
26 children: <Widget>[
27 Text(
28 'You have pushed the button this many times:',
29 ),
30 Text(
31 '$_counter',
32 style: Theme.of(context).textTheme.headline4,
33 ),
34 ],
35 ),
36 ),
37 floatingActionButton: FloatingActionButton(
38 onPressed: _incrementCounter,
39 tooltip: 'Increment',
40 child: Icon(Icons.add),
41 ),
42 );
43 }

In this example, we create a StatefulWidget called MyWidget that displays a counter that increments when a button is pressed. The State object of the widget contains the _counter variable, which is updated using the setState() method when the button is pressed. This triggers a rebuild of the UI, and the new value of the counter is displayed.

Handling State Changes

When the state of a StatefulWidget changes, we need to update the UI to reflect those changes. We do this by calling the setState() method of the State object. This method takes a callback function that updates the state variables and triggers a rebuild of the widget.

For example, in the previous example, the _incrementCounter() method updates the _counter variable and calls setState(), which rebuilds the UI with the updated value.

Best Practices for State Management

Here are some best practices to keep in mind when managing state in Flutter:

  • Minimize the use of global state. Use local state as much as possible.
  • Split your app into smaller widgets that manage their own state. This makes it easier to reason about the state and allows for more efficient rebuilding of the UI.
  • Use immutable state objects when possible. This can make it easier to reason about the state and avoid unintended side effects.
  • Use state management libraries like Provider, Riverpod or GetX to simplify complex state management scenarios.


In conclusion, StatefulWidget and State objects provide a powerful way to manage state in Flutter and build reactive UIs. By following best practices and using state management libraries, you can create scalable and maintainable apps with ease.