Which Data Type Is Not Supported by SQLite?


Scott Campbell

SQLite is a widely used database management system that is known for its simplicity, reliability, and efficiency. It supports various data types that allow developers to store and manipulate different types of information.

However, there are certain data types that are not supported by SQLite. In this article, we will explore these unsupported data types and understand the reasons behind their exclusion.

Text Encoding

SQLite has excellent support for text data types such as TEXT and VARCHAR. However, it does not support certain text encodings like UTF-16 and UTF-32.

SQLite uses a variable-length encoding scheme called UTF-8 to store text data efficiently. This encoding scheme allows it to handle a wide range of characters while minimizing storage requirements.

Note: Although SQLite does not directly support UTF-16 or UTF-32 encoding, you can still store text encoded in these formats by converting them to UTF-8 before storing them in the database.

Binary Data Types

In addition to text data types, SQLite supports binary data types such as BLOB. However, it does not provide native support for certain binary formats like images and multimedia files. While you can still store binary data in SQLite databases using the BLOB data type, you will need to handle the encoding and decoding of these files manually.

Datetime Data Types

SQLite includes built-in date and time functions for manipulating datetime values. However, it does not have specific datetime data types like DATETIME or TIMESTAMP.

Instead, it stores datetime values as either TEXT or INTEGER. When stored as TEXT, datetime values are typically represented in a format recognized by the ISO 8601 standard (e.g., “YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS.SSS”). When stored as INTEGER, datetime values are represented as the number of seconds since the Unix epoch (January 1, 1970, 00:00:00 UTC).

Arrays and JSON Data Types

SQLite does not support native array or JSON data types. While you can store array-like structures in a table by using multiple columns or creating separate tables, it lacks built-in functions for manipulating arrays or querying JSON data. If you need to work extensively with arrays or JSON data, you may consider using other database systems that offer better support for these data types.


In conclusion, while SQLite is a powerful and versatile database management system, it does have certain limitations when it comes to supporting specific data types. It does not directly support text encodings like UTF-16 and UTF-32, lacks native support for certain binary formats, stores datetime values as TEXT or INTEGER, and does not provide built-in functionality for arrays and JSON data types. Understanding these limitations can help you make informed decisions when working with SQLite databases.

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