What Data Type Is a TIMESTAMP?


Heather Bennett

Welcome to this tutorial on the data type TIMESTAMP in SQL!


In SQL, the TIMESTAMP data type is used to store date and time information. It represents a specific point in time, including both the date and the time of day.


The TIMESTAMP data type is represented by a combination of year, month, day, hour, minute, second, and fractional seconds (optional) values. It can store dates ranging from January 1, 1970 to December 31, 9999.


The format for TIMESTAMP values is: ‘YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS’. The date portion is represented by ‘YYYY-MM-DD’, followed by a space (‘ ‘), and then the time portion ‘HH:MM:SS’.


TIMESTAMP can have varying precision depending on its implementation. Some databases offer millisecond or microsecond precision for storing fractional seconds. However, it’s important to note that not all databases support sub-second precision.


As mentioned earlier, the TIMESTAMP data type has a wide range from January 1, 1970 to December 31, 9999. This makes it suitable for storing any point in time within this range.


TIMESTAMP data type is commonly used in databases for various purposes:

  • Date and Time Recording: It allows precise recording of when an event occurred or when a record was created or modified.
  • Data Comparison: Using TIMESTAMPs enables easy comparison of dates and times to perform queries based on temporal conditions.
  • Data Analysis: TIMESTAMPs can be used to analyze trends, patterns, or time-based relationships in large datasets.


Let’s see some examples to understand how TIMESTAMP works:

Example 1:

We can create a table called ‘events’ with a column named ‘event_time’ of data type TIMESTAMP:

    event_id INT,
    event_time TIMESTAMP

Example 2:

We can insert a new row into the ‘events’ table with the current timestamp using the CURRENT_TIMESTAMP function:

INSERT INTO events (event_id, event_time)

Example 3:

We can query the ‘events’ table to retrieve all events that occurred after a specific date and time:

FROM events
WHERE event_time > '2022-01-01 00:00:00';


The TIMESTAMP data type is a powerful tool for storing and manipulating date and time information in SQL. It allows precise recording, comparison, and analysis of temporal data. By understanding its format, precision, range, and usage examples, you now have a solid foundation to work with TIMESTAMPs in your SQL projects.

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

Privacy Policy