Is Interval SQL Data Type?


Larry Thompson

Is Interval SQL Data Type?

When working with databases, it is important to understand the different data types that are available. One such data type is the Interval type in SQL. In this article, we will explore what the Interval data type is and how it can be used in your database queries.

What is Interval?

The Interval data type in SQL represents a duration or a time span. It allows you to store and manipulate intervals of time, such as hours, minutes, or days. This can be useful when dealing with tasks that require tracking time intervals or calculating durations.


The syntax for declaring an Interval data type in SQL varies depending on the database management system you are using. However, a common way to declare an Interval data type is as follows:

column_name INTERVAL

For example, if you want to create a table named “Tasks” with an interval column named “Duration”, you would use the following syntax:

    Duration INTERVAL

Working with Intervals

Once you have declared an Interval column in your table, you can perform various operations on it.

Addition and Subtraction

You can add or subtract intervals from one another using simple arithmetic operations. For example:

SELECT Duration + INTERVAL '1 hour' AS NewDuration
FROM Tasks;

This query adds 1 hour to each duration in the “Tasks” table and returns the updated duration as “NewDuration”. Similarly, subtraction can be performed by using the minus sign (-).

Interval Functions

SQL provides several built-in functions that can be used with Interval data types. These functions allow you to perform calculations and manipulations on intervals.

  • EXTRACT: Returns a specific part of an interval, such as the number of days or hours.
  • AGE: Calculates the difference between two dates or timestamps and returns an interval.
  • DATE_TRUNC: Truncates a date or timestamp to a specified precision and returns an interval.


The Interval data type in SQL is a powerful tool for working with durations or time spans. It allows you to store and manipulate intervals of time, perform arithmetic operations, and use built-in functions for calculations. By understanding how Interval works, you can effectively manage time-related data in your database.

In this article, we explored what the Interval data type is, its syntax for declaration, how to work with intervals through arithmetic operations, and the available interval functions in SQL. Now you have a solid foundation to start using Interval data types in your own database queries!

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