What Is Primitive and Non-Primitive Data Type Give Examples?


Heather Bennett

Primitive and non-primitive data types are an essential concept in programming. They are used to define variables and store different types of data in a program. In this tutorial, we will explore what primitive and non-primitive data types are and provide examples of each.

Primitive Data Types:

Primitive data types are the basic building blocks of any programming language. They are predefined by the language and have fixed sizes. Here are some commonly used primitive data types:

  • Integer: Used to store whole numbers, both positive and negative. For example, 10, -5, 0.
  • Float: Used to store decimal numbers.

    For example, 3.14, -0.5, 2.0.

  • Boolean: Used to store either true or false values.
  • Character: Used to store individual characters like ‘a’, ‘B’, or ‘$’.

In most programming languages, these primitive data types have specific keywords associated with them. For example, in Java, the keyword ‘int’ is used for integers, ‘float’ for floating-point numbers, ‘boolean’ for boolean values, and ‘char’ for characters.

Non-Primitive Data Types:

Unlike primitive data types, non-primitive data types are not built-in to the language but are created by the programmer using the primitive data types or other non-primitive data types provided by the language. Here are some examples of non-primitive data types:

  • Array:A collection of elements of the same type stored in contiguous memory locations.
  • String:A sequence of characters.
  • Class:A user-defined data type that combines variables of different types and functions.
  • Interface:A reference type similar to a class, but it only contains method signatures.

Non-primitive data types are more complex and can be manipulated using various methods and operations defined for them. They provide flexibility in storing and organizing data.


Let’s take an example to understand the difference between primitive and non-primitive data types:

Primitive Data Type Example:

int age = 25;
float salary = 5000.50;
boolean isStudent = true;
char grade = 'A';

Non-Primitive Data Type Example:

int[] numbers = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5};
String name = "John Doe";

In the above examples, ‘age’, ‘salary’, ‘isStudent’, and ‘grade’ are primitive data type variables. On the other hand, ‘numbers’ is an array of integers, and ‘name’ is a string variable.

In conclusion, primitive data types are the fundamental building blocks of a programming language. They have fixed sizes and predefined behavior.

Non-primitive data types are created by combining primitive or other non-primitive data types to store more complex structures of data. Understanding these concepts is crucial for writing efficient code.

I hope this article has provided you with a clear understanding of what primitive and non-primitive data types are, along with some examples. Happy coding!

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