What Is a Concrete Data Type?


Heather Bennett

A concrete data type is a data type that is defined by its structure and behavior. It is also known as a built-in or primitive data type. In programming languages, concrete data types are used to represent basic values such as numbers, characters, and boolean values.

Characteristics of Concrete Data Types

Concrete data types have the following characteristics:

  • Fixed Size: Concrete data types have a fixed size in memory. For example, an integer typically takes up 4 bytes of memory.
  • Direct Access: Each element of a concrete data type can be directly accessed using its index or key.
  • Efficient Operations: Concrete data types support efficient operations such as arithmetic operations on numbers or comparison operations on boolean values.

Examples of Concrete Data Types

Here are some examples of commonly used concrete data types:

1. Integer

An integer is a whole number without any fractional part. It can be either positive or negative. In most programming languages, integers are represented using the int or integer keyword.

2. Float

A float is a floating-point number that represents real numbers with decimal points. It can store both integer and fractional parts. In many programming languages, floats are represented using the float keyword.

3. Character

A character represents a single character such as ‘a’, ‘B’, ‘$’, etc. In programming languages, characters are usually enclosed in single quotes (”). They can be used to represent letters, digits, symbols, and other special characters.

4. Boolean

A boolean represents a logical value that can be either true or false. It is often used in conditional statements and logical operations. In most programming languages, booleans are represented using the keywords true and false.


Concrete data types are fundamental building blocks in programming languages. They provide a way to represent basic values such as numbers, characters, and boolean values. Understanding these data types is essential for writing efficient and effective code.

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