# What Is Numeric Data Type SQL?

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Heather Bennett

The Numeric data type in SQL is used to store numbers with a specified precision and scale. It is commonly used to represent numerical data such as integers, decimals, and floating-point numbers in a database. In this article, we will explore the Numeric data type in SQL and its various uses.

## Defining the Numeric Data Type

To define a column with the Numeric data type in SQL, you need to specify the precision and scale. The precision represents the total number of digits that can be stored, while the scale determines the number of digits that can be stored after the decimal point. For example:

``````CREATE TABLE employees (
employee_id INT,
salary NUMERIC(10, 2)
);``````

In this example, we have defined a column named “salary” with a Numeric data type that can store up to 10 digits, with 2 digits after the decimal point.

## Working with Numeric Data Type

The Numeric data type allows you to perform various mathematical operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division on numerical values stored in the database.

For example:

``````SELECT salary + bonus AS total_pay
FROM employees
WHERE employee_id = 123;``````

In this query, we are retrieving the “salary” column from the “employees” table and adding it to the “bonus” column. The result is then displayed as “total_pay”.

### Precision and Scale Considerations

When choosing the precision and scale for a Numeric data type column, you need to consider the range of values that will be stored and the level of precision required.

• Precision: The precision determines how many digits can be stored in the column. It includes both the digits before and after the decimal point.
• Scale: The scale determines the number of digits that can be stored after the decimal point.

For example, if you have a column that stores currency values, you might choose a precision of 10 and a scale of 2 to represent values up to 1 million with 2 decimal places.

### Performance Considerations

Using the Numeric data type with high precision and scale can impact performance and storage requirements. Storing unnecessary digits can consume additional disk space and memory.

It is important to choose an appropriate precision and scale based on your specific requirements. If high precision is not necessary, you may opt for a smaller precision to optimize performance and storage.

## Summary

The Numeric data type in SQL is used to store numerical data with a specified precision and scale. It allows for performing mathematical operations on numerical values stored in the database.

When choosing the precision and scale, it is important to consider the range of values, required level of precision, and performance considerations. By selecting an appropriate precision and scale, you can efficiently store and process numerical data in your SQL database.