Is Double a Data Type in R?


Heather Bennett

In R, double is a data type that represents numeric values with decimal points. It is commonly used to store floating-point numbers, which include both integers and numbers with fractional parts. In this article, we will explore the double data type in R and understand its characteristics and usage.

What is a Data Type?

A data type is an attribute of a variable that determines what kind of value it can hold. It specifies the size, format, and the range of values that can be stored in a variable. R has several built-in data types, including numeric, character, logical, integer, complex, and raw.

Double Data Type

The double data type in R is represented by the keyword double. It is used to store floating-point numbers with high precision. Double precision refers to the ability to represent decimal numbers with a greater number of significant digits compared to single precision.

Double precision allows for more accurate calculations involving decimal numbers but requires more memory to store each value compared to single precision. In R, double precision is the default for storing floating-point numbers.

Creating Double Variables

To create a variable of type double in R, you can simply assign a value with decimal points to it:

my_double <- 3.14
another_double <- -0.5

You can also explicitly specify the data type as double using the as.double() function:

my_double <- as.double(42)
another_double <- as.double("3.14")

Operations on Double Variables

The double data type supports various arithmetic operations such as addition (+), subtraction (-), multiplication (*), and division (/). For example:

x <- 5.0
y <- 2.0

sum <- x + y
difference <- x - y
product <- x * y
quotient <- x / y

Additionally, you can perform mathematical functions on double variables using built-in functions like sqrt(), sin(), cos(), and log(). For example:

sqrt_result <- sqrt(x)
sin_result <- sin(y)
cos_result <- cos(x)
log_result <- log(x)

Converting Double to Other Data Types

Sometimes, it may be necessary to convert a double variable to another data type in R. You can use various conversion functions for this purpose:

  • as.integer(): Converts a double to an integer by truncating the decimal part.
  • as.character(): Converts a double to a character string.logical(): Converts a non-zero double to TRUE and zero double to FALSE.

my_double <- 3.14

my_integer <- as.integer(my_double) # Converts to integer: 3
my_character <- as.character(my_double) # Converts to character: "3.14"
my_logical <- as.logical(my_double) # Converts to logical: TRUE


The double data type in R is used for storing floating-point numbers with decimal points. It provides high precision for accurate calculations involving decimal values.

You can create double variables by assigning values with decimal points or explicitly converting them using the as.double() function. The double data type supports arithmetic operations and mathematical functions. Additionally, you can convert a double variable to other data types using conversion functions such as as.integer(), as.character(), and as.logical().

Understanding the double data type is essential for working with decimal numbers in R and ensures accuracy in your computations.

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