What Is NumPy Data Type?


Larry Thompson

What Is NumPy Data Type?

NumPy, short for Numerical Python, is a powerful library in Python used for scientific computing. It provides support for large, multi-dimensional arrays and matrices, along with a collection of mathematical functions to operate on these arrays. One of the key aspects of NumPy is its efficient handling of data types.

Data Types in NumPy

NumPy offers a wide range of data types that can be used to represent different types of data efficiently. Each data type specifies the size in memory and the way the data is represented internally. Let’s explore some commonly used NumPy data types:

Numeric Data Types

NumPy provides various numeric data types to represent integers and floating-point numbers:

  • int8: 8-bit integer (-128 to 127)
  • int16: 16-bit integer (-32768 to 32767)
  • int32: 32-bit integer (-2147483648 to 2147483647)
  • int64: 64-bit integer (-9223372036854775808 to 9223372036854775807)
  • float16: Half-precision floating-point number (16 bits)
  • float32: Single-precision floating-point number (32 bits)
  • float64: Double-precision floating-point number (64 bits)

Data Types for Non-Numeric Values

In addition to numeric data types, NumPy also supports data types for representing non-numeric values:

  • bool: Boolean value (True or False)
  • str: String
  • object: Python object type

Determining the Data Type of an Array

To determine the data type of a NumPy array, you can use the dtype attribute. Let’s see an example:

import numpy as np

arr = np.array([1, 2, 3, 4])

This will output: int64, indicating that the array contains elements of the integer data type with a size of 64 bits.

Specifying Data Types in NumPy Arrays

You can explicitly specify the data type when creating a NumPy array using the dtype parameter. Here’s an example:

arr = np.array([1, 2, 3, 4], dtype=’float32′)

The output will be: float32, indicating that the array contains elements of the single-precision floating-point data type with a size of 32 bits.

Casting Data Types in NumPy Arrays

If you want to convert the data type of an existing NumPy array, you can use the astype() function.array([1.5, 2.8, -3.2])
new_arr = arr.astype(‘int32’)

The output will be: int32, indicating that the data type of new_arr has been cast to 32-bit integer.


In this tutorial, we have explored the concept of data types in NumPy. Understanding and effectively utilizing data types is crucial for efficient computation and memory management in scientific computing. By leveraging the various data types offered by NumPy, you can optimize your code and perform complex mathematical operations with ease.

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