What Is Short Data Type in Java?


Larry Thompson

The short data type in Java is used to store integer values. It is a 16-bit signed two’s complement integer, which means it can hold values from -32,768 to 32,767. In terms of memory usage, the short data type takes up half the space of an int data type.

Declaring a short variable:

To declare a variable of type short, you can use the following syntax:

short myVariable;

By default, the variable will be assigned a value of 0.

Assigning a value to a short variable:

You can assign a value to a short variable using the assignment operator (=). The assigned value must be within the range of -32,768 to 32,767.

For example:

short myVariable = 100;

In this case, the variable “myVariable” is assigned a value of 100.


Here’s an example that demonstrates the use of short variables in Java:

public class ShortExample {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        short temperature = -10;
        System.out.println("The temperature is: " + temperature);

In this example, we declare a short variable called “temperature” and assign it a value of -10. We then print out the value of the temperature using the System.println() method.

  • Advantages of using short data type:

Using the short data type has its advantages. Since it takes up less memory compared to int or long data types, using shorts can help conserve memory in situations where memory usage is critical. This can be particularly useful in embedded systems or when dealing with large arrays where memory optimization is important.

However, it’s important to note that most modern systems have sufficient memory, and the difference in memory usage between short and int data types is not significant in most cases. Therefore, the use of short data types should be based on specific requirements rather than solely for memory optimization purposes.


In this article, we have discussed the short data type in Java. We learned that it is a 16-bit signed two’s complement integer that can hold values from -32,768 to 32,767.

We also saw how to declare and assign values to short variables, along with an example to demonstrate its usage. Additionally, we discussed the advantages of using the short data type.

The short data type provides a convenient way to store integer values within a limited range while conserving memory. However, it’s important to consider whether the use of shorts is necessary for your specific requirements before incorporating them into your code.

Remember to consider factors such as range limitations and potential loss of precision when using shorts instead of larger integer data types like int or long.

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