What Is Integer Data Type in MySQL?


Scott Campbell

What Is Integer Data Type in MySQL?

When working with databases, you often need to store numerical values. MySQL provides various data types for this purpose, and one of the most commonly used ones is the integer data type.

Understanding the Integer Data Type

The integer data type allows you to store whole numbers without decimal places. It is particularly useful when dealing with quantities, counts, or identifiers that do not require fractional values.

In MySQL, there are several variations of the integer data type:

  • TINYINT: This is a very small integer that can hold values from -128 to 127 (signed) or 0 to 255 (unsigned).
  • SMALLINT: This integer type can store values from -32768 to 32767 (signed) or 0 to 65535 (unsigned).
  • MEDIUMINT: With a larger storage capacity, mediumint can hold values from -8388608 to 8388607 (signed) or 0 to 16777215 (unsigned).
  • INT: Often referred to as “integer” or “int,” this data type can store values from -2147483648 to 2147483647 (signed) or 0 to 4294967295 (unsigned).
  • BIGINT: The largest integer type available in MySQL, bigint can hold values from -9223372036854775808 to 9223372036854775807 (signed) or 0 to 18446744073709551615 (unsigned).

Selecting the Appropriate Integer Data Type

Choosing the right integer data type depends on the range of values you expect your column to hold.

If you know that your column will only contain positive values, using unsigned integers can effectively double the maximum value you can store. However, be cautious when using unsigned integers as they do not support negative numbers.

On the other hand, if you anticipate storing larger numbers or need to ensure compatibility with other database systems, consider using bigint instead of int.

Example Usage

Let’s say we have a table called “products” that stores information about different products. One of the columns in this table is “quantity,” which represents the number of items available for each product.

To define this column as an integer, we can use the following syntax:

CREATE TABLE products (
  name VARCHAR(255),
  quantity INT

We can now insert and retrieve integer values from this column:

INSERT INTO products (id, name, quantity) VALUES (1, 'Product A', 10);
SELECT quantity FROM products WHERE id = 1;


The integer data type in MySQL allows you to store whole numbers without decimal places. By choosing the appropriate variation of this data type, you can efficiently store and manipulate numerical values in your database tables.

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