Does Postgres Support JSON Data Type?


Heather Bennett

Does Postgres Support JSON Data Type?

PostgreSQL, often referred to as Postgres, is a powerful and versatile open-source relational database management system. In addition to its robust support for traditional data types, Postgres also offers extensive support for JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) data type. JSON is a lightweight data interchange format widely used for representing structured data.

JSON in Postgres

What is JSON?

JSON is a human-readable text format that allows for representing structured data using key-value pairs and arrays. It is widely used in web development and other domains due to its simplicity and flexibility. JSON can represent various types of data, including numbers, strings, booleans, objects, and arrays.

The JSON Data Type

In Postgres, the JSON data type allows you to store and manipulate JSON documents within the database. The JSON data type provides built-in functions and operators that enable efficient querying and manipulation of JSON data.

Working with JSON in Postgres

Storing JSON Data

To store JSON data in a column, you can define the column as having the JSON data type:

CREATE TABLE my_table (
    json_data json

You can then insert JSON values into this column using the appropriate syntax:

INSERT INTO my_table (json_data) VALUES ('{"name": "John", "age": 30}');

Querying JSON Data

Postgres provides a rich set of functions and operators for querying JSON data stored in columns of type json. You can use operators like -> (get value by key) and ->> (get value as text) to extract values from JSON documents:

SELECT json_data->'name' AS name, json_data->>'age' AS age FROM my_table;

Manipulating JSON Data

In addition to querying, Postgres allows you to modify JSON data using various functions. You can use functions like jsonb_set, jsonb_insert, and jsonb_delete to add, update, or remove elements in a JSON document.

JSONB Data Type

Postgres also offers an alternative JSON data type called JSONB. The JSONB data type provides all the functionality of the regular JSON data type but with additional storage optimizations.

Differences between JSON and JSONB

  • Storage Format: The regular JSON data type stores the textual representation of the input value, while the JSONB data type uses a binary representation that offers faster processing and more efficient storage.
  • Indexing: The JSONB data type supports indexing, allowing for efficient querying of specific keys or elements within a document.
  • Data Integrity: The regular JSON data type allows storing any valid JSON document, while the JSONB data type enforces stricter validation rules and discards duplicate object keys during insertion.


In conclusion, Postgres provides robust support for working with JSON data. Whether you choose to use the regular JSON or the optimized JSONB data type depends on your specific requirements for storage efficiency and querying performance. With its extensive set of functions and operators for manipulating and querying JSON documents, Postgres is a powerful choice for applications that need to work with structured semi-structured data.

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