Is Number a Data Type in PostgreSQL?


Larry Thompson

Is Number a Data Type in PostgreSQL?

PostgreSQL is a powerful open-source relational database management system that offers various data types to store and manipulate different types of data. While PostgreSQL provides a wide range of data types, the concept of a “number” as a standalone data type does not exist.

Number Data Types in PostgreSQL

In PostgreSQL, numbers are represented using specific data types that cater to different numeric requirements. These data types include:

  • Smallint: This data type allows you to store small integer values ranging from -32,768 to 32,767.
  • Integer: The integer data type supports larger integer values from -2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647.
  • Bigint: If you need to store even larger integers, the bigint data type can handle values ranging from -9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to 9,223,372,036,854,775,807.
  • Numeric: The numeric data type is suitable for storing arbitrary precision numbers with user-defined precision and scale.
  • Real: For single-precision floating-point numbers (32-bit), you can use the real data type.
  • Double Precision: The double precision data type represents double-precision floating-point numbers (64-bit).

Distinguishing Numeric Data Types

The choice of numeric data type depends on the specific requirements of your application. If you need to perform precise calculations with fixed decimal places or significant digits count (e.g., financial calculations), the numeric data type is the most suitable option. On the other hand, if you are working with scientific calculations or need to represent large or small numbers with a wide range of values, real and double precision data types are more appropriate.

Example Usage

Let’s demonstrate the usage of some of these numeric data types in PostgreSQL:

CREATE TABLE employee (
  id serial PRIMARY KEY,
  name varchar(100) NOT NULL,
  age smallint,
  salary numeric(10,2)

In this example, we have a table called “employee” with columns for ID, name, age (stored as smallint), and salary (stored as numeric with a precision of 10 and a scale of 2).

Now that you understand the different numeric data types available in PostgreSQL, you can make informed decisions when designing your database schema and selecting appropriate data types for storing numbers.

Remember to always consider the specific requirements of your application to ensure accurate and efficient storage and manipulation of numeric values.

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