What Is the Primitive Data Type in Java?


Scott Campbell

In Java, data types are used to define the type of data that a variable can store. Java provides two categories of data types: primitive and non-primitive. This article will focus on primitive data types in Java.

Primitive Data Types

Java has eight primitive data types:

  • byte: This data type is used to store whole numbers from -128 to 127.
  • short: The ‘short’ data type stores whole numbers from -32,768 to 32,767.
  • int: The ‘int’ data type stores whole numbers from -2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647.
  • long: The ‘long’ data type is used to store larger whole numbers ranging from -9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to 9,223,372,036,854,775807.
  • Note:The above integer types are signed by default.
  • float:This data type is used to store decimal numbers with single precision. It can store up to six or seven decimal digits accurately.
  • Note:The ‘float’ type should be specified by appending the letter ‘f’ at the end of the value (e.g., float pi = 3.14f;).
  • double:This is a double-precision floating-point number that can store larger decimal values with more precision compared to ‘float’.

    It can accurately store up to fifteen decimal digits.

  • boolean:The ‘boolean’ data type can store either ‘true’ or ‘false’ values, representing logical values.
  • char:The ‘char’ data type is used to store a single character. It can hold any character or unicode value.

Declaring and Initializing Primitive Variables

To declare a variable with a primitive data type, we need to specify the data type followed by the variable name. For example:

    int age; // Declaring an integer variable named 'age'
    double pi; // Declaring a double variable named 'pi'
    boolean isTrue; // Declaring a boolean variable named 'isTrue'

To initialize the declared variables, we can assign them values using the assignment operator (=). For example:

    age = 25; // Assigning a value of 25 to the 'age' variable
    pi = 3.14159; // Assigning the value of pi to approximately 3.14159
    isTrue = true; // Assigning the value of true to the 'isTrue' variable

We can also declare and initialize variables in a single line:

    int age = 25;
    double pi = 3.14159;
    boolean isTrue = true;


In this article, we explored the concept of primitive data types in Java. We learned about various primitive data types like byte, short, int, long, float, double, boolean, and char. We also learned how to declare and initialize variables of primitive data types.

Understanding primitive data types is essential as they form the building blocks of any Java program. By knowing the characteristics and limitations of each data type, we can effectively store and manipulate data in our Java programs.

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