What Is a Simple Data Type in C++?


Larry Thompson

What Is a Simple Data Type in C++?

In C++, a data type represents the type of data that can be stored and manipulated in a program. A simple data type, also known as a built-in or primitive data type, is one that is provided by the programming language itself. These data types are essential for storing and performing operations on basic values such as numbers and characters.

Integer Types

Integers are whole numbers without any fractional part. In C++, there are several integer types:

  • int: This is the most commonly used integer type, capable of storing both positive and negative whole numbers.
  • short: A smaller version of an int, it uses less memory but has a smaller range of values.
  • long: A larger version of an int, it uses more memory but has a larger range of values.

Floating-Point Types

Floating-point types represent numbers with fractional parts. They can store both small and large values with decimal places. The two main floating-point types in C++ are:

  • float: Represents single-precision floating-point numbers with approximately 7 decimal digits of precision.
  • double: Represents double-precision floating-point numbers with approximately 15 decimal digits of precision.

Character Types

C++ provides two primary character types for representing individual characters:

  • char: Stores a single character such as ‘a’, ‘B’, or ‘$’.
  • wchar_t: Stores a wide character, which can represent characters from different character sets or special symbols.

Boolean Type

The boolean type, named after mathematician George Boole, represents a logical value that can be either true or false. It is commonly used in conditional statements and logical operations.


In this article, we explored the concept of simple data types in C++. We learned about integer types such as int, short, and long, floating-point types like float and double, character types such as char and wchar_t, and the boolean type.

Understanding these simple data types is crucial for writing efficient and effective C++ programs. With this knowledge, you can now start working with basic values and perform various operations on them.

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