What Data Type Are Dates in SQL?


Scott Campbell

What Data Type Are Dates in SQL?

When working with databases, it is important to understand the different data types for storing various kinds of information. One common data type that you will often encounter in SQL databases is the date data type. As the name suggests, this data type is used for storing dates.

Date Data Type

In SQL, the date data type is used to store dates. It allows you to store dates in a standard format and perform various operations on them. The format for storing dates may vary depending on the database system you are using, but most databases support a standard date format.

Storing Dates

To store a date value in a database table, you need to specify the column as a date data type. For example:

  order_id INT,
  order_date DATE

In the above example, the order_date column is defined as a date data type. This means that it can only store valid date values.

Date Formats

The specific format for storing dates may vary depending on your database system. However, there are some common formats that are widely supported.

  • YYYY-MM-DD: This is the ISO standard format for dates and is supported by most database systems. For example, ‘2022-01-01’ represents January 1st, 2022.
  • MM/DD/YYYY: This format is commonly used in North America.

    For example, ’01/01/2022′ represents January 1st, 2022.

  • DD/MM/YYYY: This format is commonly used in many countries outside of North America. For example, ’01/01/2022′ represents January 1st, 2022.

It is important to note that the date format you choose should be consistent throughout your database to avoid confusion.

Date Functions

SQL provides various functions for working with dates. These functions allow you to perform operations such as extracting parts of a date, calculating the difference between two dates, and formatting dates in different ways.

Some common date functions include:

  • DATEADD: Adds a specified number of intervals (days, months, years) to a date.
  • DATEDIFF: Calculates the difference between two dates in terms of the specified interval (days, months, years).
  • DATEPART: Extracts a specific part (year, month, day) from a date.
  • CONVERT: Converts a date from one format to another.

These functions can be extremely useful when working with dates in SQL queries and can help you manipulate and analyze your data effectively.


The date data type in SQL allows you to store and manipulate dates in a structured manner. Understanding how dates are stored and the various functions available for working with them is essential for managing and analyzing your database effectively. By using the appropriate data type and applying relevant date functions, you can ensure accurate representation and manipulation of date information in your SQL databases.

Discord Server - Web Server - Private Server - DNS Server - Object-Oriented Programming - Scripting - Data Types - Data Structures

Privacy Policy