What Is a Boolean Data Type in SQL?


Larry Thompson

A Boolean data type is a fundamental concept in SQL (Structured Query Language) that represents two states: true or false. It is commonly used to store and manipulate logical values in a database.

Understanding Boolean Data Type

In SQL, the boolean data type is typically represented by the keywords TRUE and FALSE, or sometimes as 1 for true and 0 for false. The boolean values can be used to make logical comparisons, perform conditional operations, and filter data.

Boolean Operators

SQL provides several boolean operators that allow you to evaluate conditions and combine them to create complex expressions. These operators include:

  • AND: Returns true if both conditions are true.
  • OR: Returns true if at least one condition is true.
  • NOT: Negates a condition, returning its opposite value.

The use of these operators allows you to construct powerful queries that can filter data based on multiple conditions simultaneously.


To illustrate the usage of boolean data types in SQL, let’s consider a simple table called “Employees”. This table contains information about employees in a company, such as their names, ages, and salaries.

We can write a query to select all employees who are older than 30 years and earn more than $50,000 per year:

FROM Employees 
WHERE age > 30 AND salary > 50000;

In this example, the conditions “age > 30” and “salary > 50000” evaluate to either true or false for each row in the table. The AND operator is used to combine these conditions, ensuring that both conditions must be true for a row to be included in the result set.

Boolean Functions

SQL also provides boolean functions that can be used to perform various operations on boolean values. Some commonly used boolean functions include:

  • COALESCE: Returns the first non-null value in a list of expressions.
  • NULLIF: Returns null if two expressions are equal; otherwise, it returns the first expression.
  • CASE: Allows conditional logic based on one or more conditions.

The use of these functions can enhance the flexibility and readability of your SQL queries.


The boolean data type in SQL is a powerful tool for working with logical values. It allows you to express and evaluate conditions, perform conditional operations, and filter data effectively. By understanding and utilizing boolean operators and functions, you can write more efficient and expressive SQL queries.

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