What Is the Range of Data Type Short in Java?


Angela Bailey

When working with Java, it is essential to understand the range of data types. One such data type is short. In this tutorial, we will explore what the range of the short data type is and how it can be used in your programs.

Overview of the Short Data Type

The short data type in Java is a 16-bit signed two’s complement integer. This means that it can hold values ranging from -32,768 to 32,767.

Declaration and Initialization

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

short myVariable;

You can also initialize a short variable at the time of declaration:

short myVariable = 100;

Limits of the Short Data Type

The range of the short data type is determined by its size, which is 16 bits. With 16 bits, there are a total of 2^16 possible values that can be represented. However, since one bit is used to represent the sign (positive or negative) of the number, we are left with 15 bits for representing actual values.

This gives us a total of 2^15 = 32,768 possible positive values and an equal number of negative values. By convention, one value (zero) is used to represent zero itself. Therefore, the range of positive values for a short variable is from 0 to 32,767 (inclusive), and the range of negative values is from -1 to -32,768 (inclusive).

Example Usage

Let’s take a look at an example to better understand the usage of the short data type:

short temperature = -10;

In this example, we declare and initialize a short variable named temperature with a value of -10. This variable can store any value within the range of -32,768 to 32,767.


The short data type in Java is used to represent integers within a specific range. By understanding its range and limitations, you can effectively use the short data type in your programs when you need to work with smaller numbers that fall within its range.

In this tutorial, we covered how to declare and initialize a short variable, as well as its limits and example usage. Remember to always choose the appropriate data type based on your program’s requirements to ensure efficient memory usage and accurate representation of values.

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