Is Structure a Primitive Data Type?


Scott Campbell

Is Structure a Primitive Data Type?

When it comes to programming languages, understanding data types is crucial. Data types determine the kind of values that can be stored and manipulated in a program. In most programming languages, there are two main categories of data types: primitive and composite.

Primitive data types

Primitive data types are the basic building blocks of any programming language. They represent simple values and have predefined characteristics such as size and range. Common examples of primitive data types include integers, floats, characters, and booleans.

But what about structures? Are structures considered primitive data types?

The Nature of Structures

In some programming languages like C or C++, structures provide a way to combine different data types into a single entity. A structure allows you to define your own custom data type by grouping related variables together.

Defining a Structure

To define a structure in C or C++, you use the struct keyword followed by a name for the structure. Inside the structure definition, you specify the variables that make up the structure.

struct Person {
    char name[50];
    int age;

Using Structures

Once you have defined a structure, you can create variables of that type and access its members using the dot operator:

struct Person person1;
person1.age = 25;
strcpy(, "John");

Structure as a Composite Data Type

In most programming languages, including C and C++, structures are considered composite data types rather than primitive ones. Composite data types are made up of multiple primitive or composite data types.

Unlike primitive data types, structures are not built-in and need to be defined by the programmer. They allow for more complex data modeling and can represent entities with multiple attributes.


In summary, structures are not considered primitive data types but rather composite ones. They provide a way to combine different variables into a single entity. Understanding the distinction between primitive and composite data types is essential for effective programming and data modeling.

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