What Is a BIGINT Data Type?


Larry Thompson

What Is a BIGINT Data Type?

In the realm of databases, the BIGINT data type holds a significant role. It is designed to store large integer values that may exceed the range of regular integer data types like INT or SMALLINT.

By utilizing the BIGINT data type, developers can ensure that their applications are capable of handling massive numerical values without any loss of precision.

The Importance of BIGINT

When working with databases, it’s essential to choose an appropriate data type for each column based on the nature and size of the data it will hold. While INT is commonly used for most scenarios, there are instances where it falls short.

The BIGINT data type comes to the rescue when dealing with situations that require storage for extremely large integers. It allows you to store numbers ranging from -9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to 9,223,372,036,854,775,807.

This extensive range accommodates various use cases such as financial transactions involving large sums of money or tracking population statistics in highly populated regions.

Using BIGINT in Database Systems

To implement a column with the BIGINT data type in a database table using SQL syntax:

  • Create a table using the CREATE TABLE statement.
  • Specify the column name and its data type as BIGINT.

CREATE TABLE my_table (
  id BIGINT,

Once you have defined a column with this data type in your table schema, you can insert or update rows with large integer values accordingly.

Considerations When Using BIGINT

While the BIGINT data type provides a vast range for storing large integers, it’s important to be mindful of the potential drawbacks and considerations when using it.

  • Storage Space: Due to its size, each BIGINT value consumes more storage space compared to smaller integer data types. This can impact database performance and disk space usage.
  • Data Transfer: When transferring data between databases or applications, ensure that the destination system can handle BIGINT values as expected.

    Compatibility issues may arise if the Target system has different data type limitations.

  • Indexing: Indexing columns with BIGINT data types can affect query performance. It’s essential to carefully consider indexing strategies based on the specific requirements of your application.

In Conclusion

The BIGINT data type is a powerful tool for storing and manipulating large integer values in database systems. Its extensive range allows for precise storage of numbers that exceed the capacity of regular integer types.

By understanding its capabilities and considerations, developers can leverage this datatype effectively in their applications.

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