Is BIGINT a Numeric Data Type?


Larry Thompson

Is BIGINT a Numeric Data Type?

When working with databases, it’s essential to understand the different data types available for storing and manipulating data. One common data type used in many database systems is BIGINT.

But is BIGINT considered a numeric data type? Let’s explore this question in detail.

What is a Numeric Data Type?

A numeric data type is used to store numerical values, such as integers or decimal numbers. These types of data are crucial for performing mathematical calculations and representing quantitative information accurately.

The Purpose of BIGINT

BIGINT is a commonly used data type in databases, particularly when dealing with large numbers. It allows you to store whole numbers that are typically larger than the range supported by other integer-based data types, such as INT or SMALLINT.

While BIGINT can store very large values, it’s important to note that it does have limitations. The exact range of values that can be stored in a BIGINT column depends on the specific database system being used.

Is BIGINT Considered a Numeric Data Type?

The answer to this question may vary depending on how you define “numeric” data types. In some database systems, BIGINT is considered a numeric type because it stores whole numbers without any fractional component.

However, other database systems classify BIGINT as an exact numeric type since it can represent integers accurately. On the other hand, they consider decimal or floating-point types as approximate numeric types due to their potential for rounding errors.

Examples of Numeric Data Types

  • INTEGER: This data type represents whole numbers within a specific range.
  • DECIMAL: Also known as NUMERIC, this type is used to store numbers with a fixed number of digits before and after the decimal point.
  • FLOAT: This type allows for the storage of approximate numeric values with a floating-point representation.

As you can see, BIGINT fits the definition of a numeric data type in many ways. It represents whole numbers and does not have any fractional component. However, it’s worth noting that BIGINT is not suitable for storing decimal or floating-point values.


In summary, BIGINT is generally considered a numeric data type in most database systems. It allows for the storage of large whole numbers without any fractional component. However, it’s important to understand its limitations and consider other numeric data types if you need to store decimal or floating-point values.

By having a clear understanding of different data types like BIGINT, you can make informed decisions when designing databases and selecting the appropriate types for your specific needs.

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