IS LONG Data Type in Java?


Larry Thompson

The long data type in Java is used to store whole numbers that can be larger than the range of the int data type. It is a 64-bit signed two’s complement integer, which means it can hold values from -9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to 9,223,372,036,854,775,807.

Declaration and Initialization

To declare a variable of type long, you can use the following syntax:

long number;

You can also initialize the variable at the time of declaration:

long number = 1000000L;

Note that you need to suffix the value with an ‘L’ to indicate it as a long.

Usage and Limitations

The long data type is often used when dealing with large numbers or when the range of values exceeds that of an int. For example, it can be used to represent timestamps in milliseconds or store very large quantities.

  • Numeric operations:
    • You can perform arithmetic operations on variables of type long, just like with any other numerical data types.
    • If you mix a long with smaller data types like int, they will be automatically promoted to a wider data type (in this case, long) before any operation is performed.
  • Casting:
    • If you need to assign a long value to an int variable, you will need to explicitly cast it:
    • int smallerNumber = (int) number;
    • Keep in mind that if the value of the long exceeds the range of an int, it may result in data loss.
  • Increasing readability:
    • To improve code readability, you can use underscores as separators in long numbers:
    • long bigNumber = 1_000_000_000L;
    • This makes it easier to read and understand large numbers at a glance.


    The long data type in Java is useful when working with large numbers that exceed the range of an int. It allows you to store and manipulate whole numbers within a wider range.

    Remember to suffix long values with ‘L’ and use explicit casting if necessary. By using proper naming conventions and making your code readable, you can effectively utilize the long data type in your Java programs.

    I hope this article has provided you with a comprehensive understanding of the long data type in Java. Happy coding!

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