What Are the Limits of Int Data Type?


Scott Campbell

When working with programming languages, understanding the limits of data types is essential. In this article, we will explore the limits of the int data type and how it impacts the way we work with numerical values in our programs.

What is the int data type?

The int data type, short for integer, is a fundamental data type in many programming languages. It is used to represent whole numbers without any decimal or fractional parts. In most programming languages, the int data type has a fixed size and range of values it can hold.

Size and range of int

The size and range of the int data type can vary depending on the programming language and platform you are working with. However, there are some general guidelines we can follow.

32-bit integers

In many programming languages, including C++, Java, and Python (on most platforms), the int data type has a size of 32 bits. This means that it can store values from -2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647.

  • Minimum value: -2,147,483,648
  • Maximum value: 2,147,483,647

This range allows us to work with a wide variety of whole numbers in our programs.

64-bit integers

In some programming languages like C++ (with long long int), Java (with long), and Python (on certain platforms), there is support for 64-bit integers. These larger integers provide an extended range for storing whole numbers.

  • Minimum value: -9,223,372,036,854,775,808
  • Maximum value: 9,223,372,036,854,775,807

64-bit integers are particularly useful when working with extremely large numbers or when dealing with computations that require a higher level of precision.

Working with int data type

When working with int data type in our programs, it is important to keep the limits in mind. If a value goes beyond the range of the int data type, it may result in unexpected behavior or errors.

In situations where we need to work with numbers that exceed the limits of the int data type, we can make use of other data types such as long (for larger integers) or float/double (for decimal or fractional numbers).


The int data type is a fundamental part of programming languages and is used to represent whole numbers. Understanding its size and range is crucial for writing robust and error-free code. By keeping the limits of the int data type in mind and utilizing appropriate alternatives when necessary, we can effectively handle numerical values in our programs.

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