Is Array a Data Type in Hive?


Angela Bailey

Is Array a Data Type in Hive?

When working with Hive, a popular data warehouse infrastructure built on top of Hadoop, it’s important to understand the various data types supported by the platform. One question that often arises is whether Hive supports arrays as a data type. Let’s delve into this topic and find out.

Understanding Data Types in Hive

Hive provides a wide range of data types to handle different kinds of data efficiently. These include primitive types like int, string, boolean, etc., as well as complex types like structs, maps, and arrays.

The Array Data Type in Hive

An array is an ordered collection of elements of the same type.

Hive supports arrays through its array<type> syntax, where <type> represents the type of elements contained within the array. For example, to define an array of integers, you would use:


Creating Arrays in Hive Tables

You can create tables in Hive that include columns with array data types. Here’s an example:

CREATE TABLE my_table (
    id int,
    names array<string>

In this example, we have created a table called my_table. The table has two columns: id, which is an integer, and names, which is an array of strings.

Querying Arrays in Hive

Once you have data stored in a table with an array column, you can query and manipulate the arrays using Hive’s built-in functions. For instance, you can use the explode function to unnest the array elements into separate rows:

SELECT id, explode(names) AS name FROM my_table;

This query will generate multiple rows for each element in the names array column, with each row containing the corresponding id and an individual name.


Hive does indeed support arrays as a data type. With arrays, you can efficiently store and manipulate ordered collections of elements within Hive tables. Understanding how to create tables with array columns and query them using Hive’s functions opens up new possibilities for analyzing and processing complex data structures.

To summarize, arrays are a valuable addition to Hive’s data type arsenal, enabling developers to handle structured data more effectively.

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