What Is Numeric Data Type in Mssql?


Heather Bennett

The numeric data type in MSSQL is a fundamental concept that every developer should understand. It plays a crucial role in storing and manipulating numeric values in a database. In this article, we will explore what the numeric data type is, how it works, and why it is essential in MSSQL.

What is the Numeric Data Type?

The numeric data type in MSSQL represents numbers with decimal places or without decimal places. It allows us to store various types of numerical values, such as integers and floating-point numbers, with different precision and scale.

Precision and Scale

Precision refers to the total number of digits that can be stored in a numeric value, including both the digits before and after the decimal point. Scale represents the number of digits that can be stored after the decimal point.

To define a numeric data type in MSSQL, we specify both the precision and scale. For example, if we define a numeric field with precision 5 and scale 2, it means that we can store up to 5 digits in total, with 2 digits after the decimal point.

Types of Numeric Data

MSSQL provides several types of numeric data types that cater to different needs:

1. INT

The INT data type is used for storing whole numbers (integers) within a specified range. It has a precision of 10 digits with no decimal places. INT can store values from -2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647.


CREATE TABLE employees (
employee_id INT,
employee_name VARCHAR(50),
age INT


DECIMAL/NUMERIC data types are used for storing fixed-point numbers. They allow precise representation of numbers with decimals by specifying the precision and scale.

The DECIMAL/NUMERIC data type supports a precision of up to 38 digits, and the scale can be up to 38 as well.


CREATE TABLE products (
product_id INT,
product_name VARCHAR(50),
price DECIMAL(10, 2)

In this example, the price column can store values with a total of 10 digits, including 2 digits after the decimal point.


FLOAT and REAL data types are used for storing approximate numeric values. They are typically used when precision is not critical or when dealing with scientific or very large/small numbers.

FLOAT has a precision of 15 digits, while REAL has a precision of 7 digits.


CREATE TABLE measurements (
measurement_id INT,
measurement_name VARCHAR(50),
value FLOAT

In this example, the value column can store approximate numeric values with up to 15 digits.


Understanding the numeric data type in MSSQL is essential for effective database design and data manipulation. By using the appropriate numeric data type and defining precision and scale correctly, we can ensure accurate storage and manipulation of numerical values in our database tables.

Now that you have a solid understanding of the numeric data type in MSSQL, you can confidently utilize it in your database projects. Remember to choose the appropriate numeric type based on your requirements and consider precision and scale carefully to maintain data integrity. Happy coding!

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