# What Data Type Is Float?

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Scott Campbell

What Data Type Is Float?

A float is a data type in programming that represents a decimal number. It is commonly used to store values with fractional parts, such as 3.14 or -0.5.

## Float in Programming Languages

The float data type is supported by many programming languages, including:

• C
• C++
• Java
• Python
• JavaScript

In these languages, the float data type is typically represented using a fixed number of bits, known as single precision or double precision floating-point formats.

## Floating-Point Precision

The precision of floating-point numbers varies depending on the programming language and the underlying hardware architecture. Typically, single precision floats have a precision of about 7 digits, while double precision floats have a precision of about 15 digits.

### Example:

In Python, you can declare a variable as a float by assigning it a value with a decimal point:

``````pi = 3.14159
negative_number = -0.5
``````

You can perform various mathematical operations on float values, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

## Float vs Integer

A float differs from an integer data type in that it can represent fractional numbers while an integer can only represent whole numbers.

If you need to perform calculations involving decimal numbers or require more precise results, then using the float data type is appropriate. However, if you are working solely with whole numbers and do not require decimal precision, using integers is more efficient.

## Summary

In summary, a float is a data type commonly used to represent decimal numbers in programming. It has a variable precision depending on the programming language and hardware architecture.

Floats are distinct from integers as they can store fractional parts. When working with decimal numbers or requiring precise results, floats are the preferred data type.