You should use ArrayList over Vector because you should default to non-synchronized access. Vector synchronizes each individual method. That’s almost never what you want to do. Generally you want to synchronize a whole sequence of operations. Synchronizing individual operations is both less safe (if you iterate over a Vector, for instance, you still need to take out a lock to avoid anyone else changing the collection at the same time) but also slower (why take out a lock repeatedly when once will be enough)? Of course, it also has the overhead of locking even when you don’t need to. It’s a very flawed approach to have synchronized access as default. You can always decorate a collection using Collections.synchronizedList – the fact that Vector combines both the “resized array” collection implementation with the “synchronize every operation” bit is another example of poor design; the decoration approach gives cleaner separation of concerns. Vector also has a few legacy methods around enumeration and element retrieval which are different than the List interface, and developers (especially those who learned Java before 1.2) can tend to use them if they are in the code. Although Enumerations are faster, they don’t check if the collection was modified during iteration, which can cause issues, and given that Vector might be chosen for its syncronization – with the attendant access from multiple threads, this makes it a particularly pernicious problem. Usage of these methods also couples a lot of code to Vector, such that it won’t be easy to replace it with a different List implementation. Despite all above reasons Sun may never officially deprecate Vector class.