# What Is Numeric Data Type in SQL?

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Larry Thompson

In SQL, a numeric data type is used to store numerical values in a database table. This data type allows you to perform mathematical operations and calculations on the stored values. In this article, we will explore the different numeric data types available in SQL and how they can be used effectively.

## Integer Data Types

An integer is a whole number without any decimal places. SQL provides several integer data types that can be used based on the range of values you need to store.

### TINYINT

TINYINT is an 8-bit signed integer ranging from -128 to 127. It is commonly used when you have small numbers that do not require much storage space.

### SMALLINT

SMALLINT is a 16-bit signed integer ranging from -32,768 to 32,767. It is suitable for storing larger numbers than TINYINT but still within a relatively small range.

### INT

INT, or INTEGER, is a 32-bit signed integer ranging from -2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647. It is one of the most commonly used numeric data types in SQL due to its flexibility and range.

### BIGINT

BIGINT is a 64-bit signed integer ranging from -9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to 9,223,372,036,854,775,807. It can store extremely large numbers and is often used when dealing with significant numerical calculations or when precision matters.

## Floating-Point Data Types

In addition to integers, SQL also provides floating-point data types for storing numbers with decimal places.

### FLOAT

FLOAT is a floating-point number with single precision. It can store up to 7 significant digits and has a range of approximately -3.4E38 to 3.4E38.

### REAL

REAL is a synonym for FLOAT in most SQL database systems.

### DOUBLE PRECISION

DOUBLE PRECISION is a floating-point number with double precision. It can store up to 15 significant digits and has a range of approximately -1.7E308 to 1.7E308.

## Decimal Data Types

If you require precise decimal calculations, SQL offers decimal data types that allow you to specify the exact precision and scale of the numbers.

### DECIMAL/NUMERIC

DECIMAL or NUMERIC is used to store fixed-point numbers. You can specify the total number of digits (precision) and the number of digits after the decimal point (scale).

## Numeric Data Type Examples:

To better understand these numeric data types, let’s take some examples:

• A TINYINT can be used to store the age of a person.
• An INT can be used to store the quantity of items in stock.
• A BIGINT can be used to store unique identification numbers.
• A FLOAT or DOUBLE PRECISION can be used to store measurements or scientific values with decimal places.
• A DECIMAL/NUMERIC can be used to store financial values or precise calculations that require a specific decimal scale.

By choosing the appropriate numeric data type for each column in your database table, you can optimize storage space and ensure the accuracy of your calculations. It is important to consider the range and precision of the numbers you need to store when selecting a numeric data type.

Remember, understanding numeric data types in SQL is essential for designing efficient databases and performing accurate calculations.