Is Null a Data Type in SQLite?


Angela Bailey

Have you ever wondered if Null is a data type in SQLite? Let’s explore this topic to gain a better understanding.

What is Null?

Null represents the absence of any value in a database. It is not the same as zero or an empty string. Instead, it signifies the lack of a value for a particular field or column.

Nullability in SQLite

In SQLite, nullability refers to whether a column can contain null values or not. By default, all columns are nullable, meaning they can hold null values. However, you can specify that a column should not allow null values by using the NOT NULL constraint when creating the table.

The NULL Data Type

SQLite does not have a specific data type called “Null”. Instead, it uses the data types defined for other values to represent null values. For example:

  • A null value for an INTEGER column is represented as an integer with no value assigned.
  • A null value for a REAL column is represented as a floating-point number with no value assigned.
  • A null value for TEXT and BLOB columns is represented as an empty string.

Note: The behavior described above applies to SQLite specifically and may differ in other database systems.

Working with Null Values

To check if a column contains a null value, you can use the comparison operator IS NULL. For example:

SELECT * FROM my_table WHERE my_column IS NULL;

This query will return all rows where the my_column is null.

You can also use the IS NOT NULL operator to find all rows where a column has a value assigned.

Null Values in Expressions

In expressions, any operation involving a null value results in a null value. For example:

SELECT 10 + NULL; -- Returns NULL

To handle null values in expressions, you can use the COALESCE function, which returns the first non-null argument:

SELECT COALESCE(my_column, 'N/A') FROM my_table;

In this example, if my_column is null, the result will be ‘N/A’ instead of null.


In SQLite, there is no specific data type for representing null values. Instead, it uses the data types defined for other values to represent nulls. Understanding how nulls are handled in SQLite is essential for working with databases effectively.

I hope this article clarified any confusion you had regarding the Null data type in SQLite. Happy coding!

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