What Is a Static Data Structure?


Heather Bennett

What Is a Static Data Structure?

A data structure is a way of organizing and storing data in a computer’s memory. There are two main types of data structures: static and dynamic. In this article, we will focus on understanding what a static data structure is.


A static data structure is one in which the size of the structure is fixed at compile time and does not change during runtime. This means that once the structure is created, it cannot be resized or modified.


Some common examples of static data structures include arrays, structs, and enums.


An array is a collection of elements of the same type stored in contiguous memory locations. The size of an array must be specified at the time of declaration and cannot be changed later on. For example:

int numbers[5];


A struct is a user-defined data type that allows you to combine different types of variables under a single name. Like arrays, the size of a struct is fixed at compile time. For example:

struct Person {
    char name[20];
    int age;


An enum, short for enumeration, is a user-defined type that consists of a set of named values. Each value in an enum has an associated integer constant, but the size of the enum itself remains fixed. For example:

enum Color {


Static data structures offer several advantages:

  • Efficiency: Static data structures are efficient in terms of memory usage as they do not require additional memory allocation or deallocation operations.
  • Predictability: Since the size of a static data structure is fixed, it is easier to determine the amount of memory required and plan accordingly.
  • Simplicity: Static data structures are relatively simpler to implement and use compared to dynamic data structures.


However, static data structures also have some limitations:

  • Limited Flexibility: Static data structures do not allow for resizing or modification once they are created, which can be a disadvantage in certain scenarios where the size of the data may change frequently.
  • Waste of Memory: If a static data structure is declared with a large size but only partially filled, it can lead to wastage of memory.

In conclusion, a static data structure is fixed in size and cannot be resized or modified once created. While they offer efficiency and simplicity, their lack of flexibility and potential memory wastage should be considered when choosing the appropriate data structure for your application.

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