Is Number a Valid Data Type in SQL?


Heather Bennett

In SQL, a number is indeed a valid data type. It allows us to store numeric values such as integers and decimals in our database tables. This data type is essential for performing mathematical calculations, comparisons, and aggregations within SQL queries.

Understanding the Number Data Type

The number data type in SQL represents both whole numbers (integers) and fractional numbers (decimals). It allows us to store values that can be used in mathematical operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Depending on the specific database system being used, there may be different variations of the number data type with varying precision and scale.

Integer Data Type

An integer is a whole number without any fractional or decimal part. In SQL, we can use the integer data type to store positive or negative whole numbers. The range of values that can be stored as an integer varies depending on the specific database system being used.

Decimal Data Type

A decimal number is a real number with both an integer part and a fractional part. In SQL, we can use the decimal or numeric data types to store decimal values with a specified precision and scale. The precision refers to the total number of digits that can be stored (including both the integer and fractional parts), while the scale represents the maximum number of digits allowed after the decimal point.

Using Number Data Type in SQL Tables

To use the number data type in SQL tables, we need to specify it when creating or altering a table’s columns. Let’s consider an example where we have a table named “employees” with columns for employee ID, name, age, and salary:

CREATE TABLE employees (
  name VARCHAR(50),
  age INTEGER,
  salary DECIMAL(10, 2)

In the above example, the “id” column uses the integer data type to store employee IDs, while the “name” column uses the VARCHAR data type to store employee names. The “age” column also uses the integer data type to store employee ages. Lastly, the “salary” column uses the decimal data type with a precision of 10 and a scale of 2, allowing us to store salaries up to 10 digits long with two decimal places.

Performing Operations on Number Data Type

Once we have stored numeric values in our SQL tables, we can perform various operations on them using SQL queries. Here are some common operations:

  • Mathematical Calculations: We can use arithmetic operators like + (addition), – (subtraction), * (multiplication), and / (division) to perform calculations on numeric values stored in columns.
  • Comparisons: We can compare numeric values using comparison operators like = (equals), > (greater than), < (less than), >= (greater than or equal to), and <= (less than or equal to). This allows us to filter and retrieve specific records based on their numeric values.
  • Aggregations: We can use SQL aggregate functions like SUM, AVG, MAX, MIN, and COUNT to calculate totals, averages, maximums, minimums, and counts of numeric values across multiple records.


The number data type is an essential component of SQL for storing and manipulating numeric values in database tables. Whether it’s integers or decimals, SQL provides us with the necessary data types and operations to work with numbers effectively. By incorporating the number data type into our SQL queries, we can perform calculations, comparisons, and aggregations that provide valuable insights from our data.

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