What Data Type Is Date in SQL?


Heather Bennett

In SQL, the DATE data type is used to store dates. It represents a specific date without any time information. The format for a DATE value in SQL is ‘YYYY-MM-DD’, where YYYY represents the four-digit year, MM represents the two-digit month, and DD represents the two-digit day.

Working with the DATE Data Type

The DATE data type in SQL allows you to perform various operations on dates. Some commonly used operations include:

  • Retrieving the Current Date: You can use the CURRENT_DATE() function to retrieve the current date in SQL.
  • Inserting a Date Value: To insert a date value into a table, you can use the INSERT INTO statement along with the proper date format.
  • Selecting Records Based on Dates: You can use comparison operators such as =, <, or > to select records based on specific dates.
  • Date Arithmetic: SQL provides various functions to perform arithmetic operations on dates. For example, you can add or subtract days from a date using the DATE_ADD() and DATE_SUB() functions respectively.

Date Functions in SQL

In addition to basic operations, SQL also provides several built-in functions that allow you to manipulate and format dates. Some commonly used date functions include:

  • NOW(): This function returns the current date and time.
  • DATE_FORMAT(): It allows you to format a date according to a specific pattern. For example, you can display the date in ‘MM/DD/YYYY’ format using this function.
  • DATE_DIFF(): This function calculates the difference between two dates in terms of days, months, or years.
  • DATE_PART(): It extracts a specific part (year, month, day) from a date.


Let’s consider an example where we have a table named Employees with the following columns:

  • ID: The unique identifier for each employee.
  • Name: The name of the employee.
  • Date_of_Birth: The date of birth of the employee stored as a DATE.

To retrieve all employees who were born before January 1st, 1990, we can use the following SQL query:

SELECT * FROM Employees
WHERE Date_of_Birth < '1990-01-01';

This query will fetch all the records from the Employees table where the Date_of_Birth is before January 1st, 1990.


The comparison is possible because the data type of the Date_of_Birth column is set to DATE, allowing SQL to compare dates in a meaningful way. It’s important to ensure that you use the correct data type when working with dates in SQL to avoid any unexpected results.

So, in conclusion, the DATE data type in SQL is used to store dates. It allows you to perform various operations on dates and provides built-in functions for manipulating and formatting date values. By using the appropriate data type and functions, you can effectively work with dates in SQL and retrieve the desired results.

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