What Is Real Data Type Range?


Heather Bennett

When working with programming languages, it’s essential to understand the different data types available. One common data type is the real data type, which represents numbers with decimal points. The real data type range refers to the range of values that can be stored in a variable of this type.

The Real Data Type

The real data type, also known as a floating-point or decimal data type, is used to store numbers with fractional parts. It is particularly useful when dealing with values that require high precision, such as scientific calculations or financial transactions.

In most programming languages, the real data type is represented by keywords like float, double, or decimal. Each keyword represents a different level of precision and range.

Range of Real Data Types

The range of real data types refers to the minimum and maximum values that can be stored in a variable of this type.


The float keyword is commonly used to represent single-precision floating-point numbers. It typically occupies 4 bytes and provides a range from approximately -3.4 × 10^38 to 3.4 × 10^38. However, it sacrifices precision for a broader range, making it suitable for many general-purpose applications.


The double keyword represents double-precision floating-point numbers. It usually occupies 8 bytes and offers a wider range than float, from approximately -1.7 × 10^308 to 1.7 × 10^308. The double data type provides increased precision but uses more memory compared to float.


The decimal keyword is specifically designed for financial and monetary calculations where precision is crucial. It typically occupies 16 bytes and provides a range from approximately -7.9 × 10^28 to 7.9 × 10^28. The decimal data type allows for high precision at the expense of a smaller range and increased memory consumption.

Choosing the Right Data Type

When working with real numbers, it’s important to select the appropriate data type based on your specific requirements.

If you need a broader range and can tolerate a lower level of precision, the float data type may be sufficient. However, if precision is crucial, especially in scientific or financial calculations, it’s better to opt for double or decimal data types.

Keep in mind that using a higher precision data type may consume more memory, so you should also consider the memory constraints of your application.


The real data type range is an important factor to consider when dealing with numbers that have decimal points. Understanding the different ranges provided by float, double, and decimal data types allows you to select the most suitable option for your programming needs.

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