How Do You Use Decimal Data Type?


Heather Bennett

When it comes to handling numbers in programming, there are various data types available. One of the most commonly used data types for decimal numbers is the Decimal Data Type. In this tutorial, we will explore how to use the Decimal Data Type effectively in your code.

What is the Decimal Data Type?

The Decimal Data Type is a built-in data type in many programming languages that allows for precise representation and manipulation of decimal numbers. Unlike other data types like float or double, which are prone to rounding errors, the Decimal Data Type provides accurate calculations for financial and monetary operations.

Using the Decimal Data Type

To use the Decimal Data Type in your code, you first need to declare a variable with the appropriate data type. Here’s an example:

decimal_value = 10.25

In this example, we have declared a variable named decimal_value and assigned it a value of 10.25. The variable has automatically been assigned the Decimal Data Type based on the nature of the value assigned to it.

Performing Arithmetic Operations

The Decimal Data Type allows you to perform various arithmetic operations just like any other numerical data type. Let’s say we have two decimal values:

value1 = 8.5
value2 = 4.75

You can now perform addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division operations on these values using standard arithmetic operators (+,-,*,/). Here’s an example:

result_addition = value1 + value2
result_subtraction = value1 - value2
result_multiplication = value1 * value2
result_division = value1 / value2

The result_addition variable will store the result of adding value1 and value2, while the result_subtraction, result_multiplication, and result_division variables will store the results of their respective operations.

Rounding Decimal Values

In some cases, you might need to round a decimal value to a specific number of decimal places. The Decimal Data Type provides built-in functions for rounding values. Here’s an example:

rounded_value = round(decimal_value, 2)

In this example, the round() function is used to round the decimal_value variable to 2 decimal places. The result will be stored in the rounded_value variable.

Comparison Operations

You can also perform comparison operations on decimal values using standard comparison operators (<, >, ==, !=, <=, >=). Here’s an example:

compare_result = value1 > value2

In this example, the > (greater than) operator is used to compare if value1 (8.5) is greater than value2 (4.75). The result of the comparison will be stored in the compare_result variable.


The Decimal Data Type is a powerful tool for handling decimal numbers accurately in programming. By using this data type, you can avoid common rounding errors and perform precise calculations for financial and monetary operations. Remember to declare your variables with the Decimal Data Type and utilize the available arithmetic, rounding, and comparison operations to make the most out of this data type.

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