Sodium, a chemical element with symbol Na, is one of the highlyreactive alkali metals of group 1 with atomic number 11 in the periodic table. Sodiumis not found in a free state in nature due to its high reactivity behavior so that it is abstracted from different compounds (mostly from salts).

You are watching: How many valence electrons in sodium

As we know how much sodium is being used in the world ofchemistry, so we must have very good proper information about its electronic properties to survive in the world of chemistry and that’s why you are here toknow what valence electrons and valency of sodium are, aren’t you? But for thisyou have to know what these two terms are, so without wasting your time let"s gofor it,

Difference between valence electrons and valency

Valence electrons are the total number of electrons presentin the outermost shell of an atom (i.e. in outermost orbital). The valenceelectrons for a neutral atom is always definite, it cannot be varied (more orless) in any condition for a particular atom and may or not be equal to itsvalency.


Valency is defined as the total number of electrons an atomcan lose, gain, or share at the time of bond formation to get astable electronic configuration i.e. to complete an octet. The valency of an atom canbe variable in different compounds or in chemical reactions due to different bondingmechanisms.

Sodium (Na) valence electrons

There are four simple steps to find out the valence electrons for sodium atom which are:

Step 1: Find the Atomic Number


To find out the atomic number of sodium, we can use the periodictable. With the help of the periodic table, we can easily see that the atomic number ofsodium is 11. As its atomic number is 11, it has a total of 11 protons and forneutral sodium, the number of protons is always equal to the number of electronsi.e. 11 electrons in the nucleus.

Step 2: Write Electron Configuration


Electron configuration is the arrangement of electrons on theorbitals. The sodium atom has a total of 11 electrons, so we have to put 11electrons in orbitals. The first two electrons will go in the 1s orbital as Sorbital can hold a maximum of two electrons only. The next two will go in 2sorbital and the next six electrons will go in 2p orbital as P orbital can onlyhold a maximum of 6 electrons. Now the extra one will go into the 3S orbital. Now wehave,

Sodium electron configuration Na (11) =1s22s22p63s1(completeconfiguration) or3s1(condensed configuration).

Step 3: Determine Valence Shell

As we know, the valence shell of an atom can be found from the highest number of principle quantum numbers which is expressed in the term of nand in1s22s22p63s1, the highest value of n is 3 so that the valence shell ofNa is3s1.

Step 4: Find Valence Electrons

The total number of electrons present in the valence shellof an atom is called valence electrons, and there is only one electron presentin the valence shell of sodium (3s1). Thus, sodium has only one valenceelectron.

Valency of Sodium (Na)

There are many different ways to find out the valency of anatom which reflects the ability of an atom to bond with other atoms. Valence describeshow easily an atom or a free radical can combine with other chemical species. Thevalency of an atom is determined based on the number of electrons lost, gained, or shared with another atom.

An atom is said to be stable when its outermost shells haveeight electrons (except H and He). If the total number of electrons inoutermost shells is between one to four, the atom has positive valency and ifelectrons are between four to eight, the valency is calculated by subtractingfrom eight and valency is negative. Atoms having four outermost electronspossess both positive and negative valency and atom having eight outermostelectrons have zero valencies (i.e. noble gases).

Alkali metals like sodium reached the stable (nearest inertgas configuration) by losing one outermost electron. So that the valency ofsodium (Na) is 1.

We can also find the valency of sodium with the help of a periodic table. as sodium is an element of group 1 which indicated alkalimetals group and valency of alkali metals are always 1.

Valence electrons and valency of Na+

Sodium-ion Na+ means it has lost one electron and has only10 electrons in the orbitals. The electron configuration of neutral Na is1s22s22p63s1but in Na+ it loses one electron, so it has a new electron configuration of1s22s22p6means Na+ has (2+6=8) outermost electrons which makes it stable. Thus, sodiumion (Na+) has eight valence electrons.

See more: What Does The Top Number Of A Time Signature Mean, Time Signature

Na+ valency is not zero like noble gas as their outermostshell has eight electrons. when a sodium atom loses one electron, Na+ ion is produced and that’s what valency is. So that Na+ valency is +1 not zero.

Chemical Properties

Sodium (Na) atom
Atomic number11
Number of protons11
Number of electrons11
Electron configuration1s22s22p63s1
Valence electrons1

Sodium-ion (Na+)
Number of electrons10
Electronic configuration1s22s22p6
Valence electrons8