What Is Smalldatetime Data Type?


Larry Thompson

What Is Smalldatetime Data Type?

The smalldatetime data type is a built-in data type in SQL Server that is used to store date and time values. It was introduced in SQL Server 2000 and is commonly used for storing dates and times with less precision than the datetime data type.


The smalldatetime data type stores a combination of date and time values. However, it has a smaller range and less precision compared to the datetime data type. The smalldatetime data type uses 4 bytes of storage and can represent dates from January 1, 1900, to June 6, 2079.

Difference between smalldatetime and datetime

The main difference between the smalldatetime and datetime data types is the range and precision they offer. While the datetime data type can represent dates from January 1, 1753, to December 31, 9999, with a precision of up to milliseconds, the smalldatetime data type has a smaller range and precision.

  • The datetime data type uses 8 bytes of storage compared to the smalldatetime’s 4 bytes.
  • The datetime data type can store values with millisecond precision, while smalldatetime only supports minute-level precision.
  • The smalldatetime data type can represent dates within a narrower range (1900-2079) compared to the wider range supported by datetime (1753-9999).


The smalldatetime data type is commonly used in scenarios where high precision or a wide date range is not required. Some common use cases include:

  • Storing birthdates or anniversaries
  • Recording timestamps with minute-level precision
  • Tracking historical events within a specific time period

When using the smalldatetime data type, it’s important to consider the limitations in range and precision. If you require a wider date range or higher precision, you may need to use the datetime or other appropriate data types.


To demonstrate the usage of the smalldatetime data type, consider the following example:

    EventName VARCHAR(100),

INSERT INTO Events (EventId, EventName, EventDateTime)
VALUES (1, 'Birthday Party', '2022-05-15 14:30');

In this example, we create a table named Events with columns for event id, event name, and event date/time. The column EventDateTime is defined as smalldatetime to store timestamp values with minute-level precision.


The smalldatetime data type is a useful tool in SQL Server for storing date and time values with minute-level precision. It offers a narrower range and lower storage requirements compared to the datetime data type. By understanding its limitations and appropriate usage scenarios, you can effectively utilize this data type in your database designs.

Discord Server - Web Server - Private Server - DNS Server - Object-Oriented Programming - Scripting - Data Types - Data Structures

Privacy Policy