Does MySQL Have a Currency Data Type?


Scott Campbell

MySQL is a popular relational database management system widely used for storing and managing data. When it comes to handling financial data, one might wonder if MySQL has a specific data type for storing currency values. In this article, we will explore whether MySQL provides a currency data type and how to work with currency values effectively.

MySQL Data Types

MySQL offers various data types to represent different types of information, such as numbers, strings, dates, and more. These data types determine the kind of values that can be stored in a particular column of a MySQL table.

Numeric Data Types

While MySQL provides several numeric data types like INT, FLOAT, DECIMAL, etc., it does not have a dedicated currency data type. However, this does not mean that we cannot store currency values in MySQL.

Storing Currency Values in MySQL

To store currency values in MySQL, we can use either the FLOAT or DECIMAL data types. The choice between them depends on our specific requirements.

  • FLOAT: The FLOAT data type is suitable for approximate numeric values where precision is not critical. However, it is important to note that FLOAT can sometimes introduce rounding errors due to its nature of representing numbers with an approximation.
  • DECIMAL: The DECIMAL data type is ideal for handling precise decimal numbers like currency values. It allows us to specify the total number of digits and the number of decimal places required for our currency value.

To define a column for storing currency values using the DECIMAL data type, we can use the following syntax:

CREATE TABLE transactions (
  amount DECIMAL(10, 2)

In this example, the column “amount” can store currency values with a maximum of 10 digits, out of which 2 digits are reserved for the decimal places. Adjust these values according to your specific needs.

Working with Currency Values

Once we have stored currency values in MySQL, we can perform various operations on them. We can use mathematical functions like ROUND(), CEILING(), FLOOR(), etc., to manipulate the currency values as required.

For example, if we want to round a currency value to two decimal places, we can use the ROUND() function like this:

SELECT ROUND(amount, 2) FROM transactions;

This query will return the rounded amount for each transaction in the “amount” column.

Formatting Currency Values

To format currency values for display purposes, we can use formatting functions or techniques available in our programming language or application layer. It is generally recommended to handle formatting at the presentation layer rather than within the database itself.


In conclusion, although MySQL does not have a specific currency data type, it provides suitable numeric data types such as FLOAT and DECIMAL that can be used effectively for storing and working with currency values. By choosing the appropriate data type and utilizing mathematical functions, we can handle financial data accurately within MySQL.

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