What Is the Default Data Type for a Numpy Ndarray?


Larry Thompson

In NumPy, the default data type for a ndarray (n-dimensional array) is float64. This means that if you don’t explicitly specify a data type when creating a new ndarray, it will be created with the default data type of float64.

What is an ndarray?

An ndarray is a multi-dimensional container for homogeneous data. It allows you to perform mathematical operations on entire arrays without the need for explicit loops. NumPy’s ndarray is more efficient than Python’s built-in lists when it comes to numerical computations.

The Default Data Type: float64

The default data type, float64, represents floating-point numbers with double precision. It uses 64 bits of memory to store each element of the array. This provides a high level of accuracy and allows for a wide range of values to be represented.

Other Available Data Types

While float64 is the default, NumPy offers several other data types that you can use when creating an ndarray:

  • int8, int16, int32, int64: signed integer types with different bit sizes.
  • uint8, uint16, uint32, uint64: unsigned integer types with different bit sizes.
  • float16, float32: floating-point types with lower precision than float64.
  • complex64, complex128: complex number types using float32 and float64 respectively.
  • bool: Boolean type storing True or False values.
  • object: Python object type, allowing arrays with elements of different types.
  • string_: fixed-length string type.

Specifying the Data Type

If you want to create an ndarray with a specific data type other than the default, you can pass the desired data type as an argument to the dtype parameter when creating the array. For example:

import numpy as np

my_array = np.array([1, 2, 3], dtype=np.int32)

In this example, we explicitly specify that the array should have elements of int32 data type.


The default data type for a NumPy ndarray is float64. However, NumPy provides a wide range of other data types that you can use based on your specific needs. By understanding and utilizing different data types in NumPy, you can optimize your code and perform efficient numerical computations.

I hope this article has provided you with a clear understanding of the default data type for a NumPy ndarray and how to specify different data types when creating arrays. Happy coding!

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