What Is the Data Type in MySQL?


Scott Campbell

In MySQL, a data type is an attribute that specifies the type of data that can be stored in a column or variable. It determines the kind of values that can be stored and the operations that can be performed on those values. MySQL supports a wide range of data types to cater to different needs and requirements.

Text Data Types

MySQL provides several data types for storing text-based information:

  • CHAR: Used for fixed-length character strings.
  • VARCHAR: Used for variable-length character strings.
  • TEXT: Used for larger text values with a maximum length of 65,535 characters.

Numeric Data Types

Numeric data types are used to store numeric values. Some commonly used numeric data types in MySQL include:

  • INT: Used for storing whole numbers (integers) ranging from -2147483648 to 2147483647.
  • FLOAT: Used for storing single-precision floating-point numbers.
  • DOUBLE: Used for storing double-precision floating-point numbers.

Date and Time Data Types

Date and time data types are used to store date and time information. MySQL provides various options, such as:

  • DATE: Used for storing dates in the format YYYY-MM-DD.
  • DATETIME: Used for storing dates and times in the format YYYY-MM-DD HH:MI:SS.
  • TIMESTAMP: Used for storing timestamps, typically used for recording the date and time of row modification.

Other Data Types

MySQL also offers some additional data types to handle specific types of data:

  • ENUM: Used for defining a list of permitted values that can be assigned to a column.
  • SET: Similar to ENUM, but allows multiple values to be selected.
  • BLOB: Used for storing binary large objects, such as images or files.


In summary, MySQL provides a wide range of data types to cater to various needs. Whether you need to store text-based information, numeric values, or date and time information, MySQL has appropriate data types available. Understanding the different data types and their characteristics is crucial in designing efficient and effective database structures.

Remember: Choosing the right data type for each column ensures optimal storage utilization and efficient query execution!

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