Does SQL Have Float Data Type?


Heather Bennett

SQL is a powerful database management language that allows users to manipulate and retrieve data from relational databases. When working with SQL, it’s important to understand the different data types available. One commonly used data type in SQL is the float data type.

What is a Float Data Type?

A float data type is a numeric data type that stores approximate values. It is used to represent numbers with decimal places and can hold a wide range of values. Floats are often used when precision is not critical, such as in scientific calculations or financial applications where slight variations in the decimal places are acceptable.

Using Float Data Type in SQL

In SQL, you can use the float data type to define columns in database tables or variables in procedural code. When defining a column with the float data type, you need to specify the precision and scale.

The precision determines the total number of digits that can be stored in the column, including both the digits before and after the decimal point. The scale specifies the maximum number of digits allowed after the decimal point.

To create a table with a float column, you can use the following syntax:

CREATE TABLE example (
  id INT,
  value FLOAT(precision, scale)

For example, if you want to create a table called “example” with an “amount” column that can store up to 10 digits, including 3 decimal places, you can use:

CREATE TABLE example (
  id INT,
  amount FLOAT(10, 3)

Performing Operations on Floats

SQL provides various mathematical and comparison operators that can be used with floats. You can perform addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division operations on float values just like you would with other numeric data types.

However, it’s important to note that due to the approximate nature of floats, there may be some rounding errors when performing calculations. These errors can accumulate over time, so it’s recommended to use decimal data types for precise calculations involving monetary values or other scenarios where accuracy is crucial.


In summary, SQL does have a float data type that allows you to store approximate numeric values. Floats are useful when precision is not critical and a wide range of values is required. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential for rounding errors when performing calculations with floats and consider using decimal data types for more precise calculations.

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