What Data Type Is 2 Bytes in C?


Heather Bennett

What Data Type Is 2 Bytes in C?

In the C programming language, a byte is the basic unit of data storage. It represents a small amount of memory that can hold a single character. A byte consists of 8 bits, and each bit can have a value of either 0 or 1.

But what about when we need to store larger values? In some cases, we may want to use a data type that occupies more than one byte.

In C, there are several data types to choose from, depending on our specific needs. One such data type is the short int.

Short Int Data Type

The short int data type is used to store integers that range from -32,768 to 32,767. It occupies 2 bytes of memory space (or 16 bits).

The short int data type is commonly used when we need to save memory by sacrificing the range of values that can be stored.

Declaration and Initialization

To declare a variable as a short int, we use the following syntax:

short int myVariable;

We can also initialize the variable at the time of declaration:

short int myVariable = 500;


Let’s consider an example where we want to store the age of a person using a short int. Since people generally don’t live beyond 100 years old, using a short int will be sufficient for this purpose.

#include <stdio.h>

int main() {
   short int age = 25;

   printf("My age is %hd\n", age);

   return 0;

In the above example, we have declared a short int variable called age and assigned it a value of 25. The %hd format specifier is used to print the value of a short int.


In C, when we need to store values that fall within the range of -32,768 to 32,767 and want to save memory, the short int data type is a suitable choice. It occupies 2 bytes (or 16 bits) of memory space.

By understanding different data types in C and their memory requirements, we can make informed decisions when choosing the appropriate data type for our variables. This allows us to optimize memory usage and improve program efficiency.

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