# Is Decimal a Data Type in SQL?

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Angela Bailey

In SQL, a decimal is indeed a data type that allows you to store numbers with decimal places. It is commonly used when precision and accuracy are required for numerical values. Let’s delve deeper into the decimal data type in SQL and explore its characteristics and usage.

## What is the Decimal Data Type?

The decimal data type, also known as numeric or fixed-point, is used to store numbers with decimal places in SQL. It provides precise storage for numeric values by allowing you to specify the total number of digits and the number of digits after the decimal point.

The syntax for declaring a decimal column in SQL is as follows:

``````CREATE TABLE table_name (
column_name DECIMAL(precision, scale)
);
``````

Here, precision represents the total number of digits that can be stored (both before and after the decimal point), while scale represents the number of digits after the decimal point.

### Example:

``````CREATE TABLE products (
product_id INT,
product_name VARCHAR(50),
price DECIMAL(10, 2)
);
``````

In this example, we have created a table called “products” with three columns: “product_id” of type integer, “product_name” of type varchar (variable-length character string), and “price” of type decimal with a precision of 10 and a scale of 2. The scale of 2 means that we can store up to two digits after the decimal point.

## Benefits of Using Decimal Data Type

• Precision: Unlike floating-point data types, the decimal data type provides precise storage for numeric values. This is particularly important when dealing with financial or monetary data where accuracy is paramount.
• Fixed-Point: The decimal data type represents fixed-point numbers, which means that the decimal point is fixed at a specific position. This makes it suitable for storing currency values or any other value that requires a fixed number of decimal places.
• Arithmetic Operations: Decimal data types support arithmetic operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division without any loss of precision.

## Using Decimal Data Type in SQL Queries

Once you have created a table with a decimal column, you can use it in your SQL queries to store and retrieve numeric values with decimal places. Here are some examples:

### Inserting Values:

``````INSERT INTO products (product_id, product_name, price)
VALUES (1, 'Product A', 19.99);
INSERT INTO products (product_id, product_name, price)
VALUES (2, 'Product B', 49.95);
INSERT INTO products (product_id, product_name, price)
VALUES(3,'Product C',99.9999);
``````

In the above examples, we are inserting three rows into the “products” table. The “price” column accepts decimal values with two digits after the decimal point.

### Selecting Values:

``````SELECT product_name, price
FROM products;
``````

This query selects the “product_name” and “price” columns from the “products” table.

### Performing Arithmetic Operations:

``````SELECT product_name, price * 0.9 AS discounted_price
FROM products;
``````

In this example, we are calculating a discounted price by multiplying the “price” column by 0.9. The result is displayed as “discounted_price” in the output.

## Conclusion

The decimal data type in SQL allows for precise storage of numeric values with decimal places. Its fixed-point nature, support for arithmetic operations, and suitability for financial calculations make it a valuable data type in SQL databases. By understanding how to declare and use decimal columns, you can effectively handle decimal-based data in your SQL queries.

Note: It’s important to consult the specific SQL dialect’s documentation for precise details on how to declare and use the decimal data type as there may be slight variations between different database systems.