What Is the Range of Short Data Type in Java McQ?


Angela Bailey

When working with data types in Java, it is essential to understand the range and limitations of each type. In this article, we will specifically focus on the short data type and its range in Java.

The Short Data Type

In Java, the short data type is a 16-bit signed two’s complement integer. This means it can hold both positive and negative values within a specific range.

Range of Values

The range of the short data type in Java is -32,768 to 32,767. This range includes both extremes, allowing for a total of 65,536 possible values.

Memory Usage

Since the short data type uses only 16 bits (or 2 bytes) of memory, it requires less memory compared to other larger data types such as int or long.

Use Cases

The short data type is commonly used in scenarios where memory efficiency is crucial or when dealing with limited ranges of values. Some common use cases include:

  • Representing small integers: If you know that your values will not exceed the range of -32,768 to 32,767, using the short data type can save memory compared to using an int.
  • Array indexing: The size of arrays in Java is limited by the maximum value that can be represented by an int. However, if you have a large array where the index values fall within the range of a short, using shorts as indices can save memory.
  • Parsing network protocols: When working with network protocols that specify specific ranges for certain fields (e.g., port numbers), using shorts can help ensure accurate representation while conserving memory.

Limits and Considerations

While the short data type offers memory efficiency and a specific range, it is important to be mindful of potential limitations:

  • Truncation: If a value assigned to a short exceeds the range of -32,768 to 32,767, it will be truncated. This can lead to unexpected results or loss of data.
  • Overflow: Performing arithmetic operations on short values can result in overflow if the result exceeds the range. It is essential to handle such cases carefully to avoid unintended behavior.


The short data type in Java provides a memory-efficient way to represent small integers within a specific range. By understanding its limitations and use cases, you can leverage this data type effectively in your programs.

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