Which Data Type Is Not Used in SQL?


Angela Bailey

In SQL, there are several data types that are commonly used to define the type of data that can be stored in a database. These data types include integer, float, char, varchar, and many others. However, there is one data type that is not used in SQL, and that is the boolean data type.

The boolean data type is typically used in programming languages to represent true or false values. It is a binary data type that can only have two possible values: true or false. In SQL, however, the boolean data type is not supported natively.

Alternative Data Types:

If you need to represent boolean values in a SQL database, there are several alternative approaches you can take:

  • Tinyint:

  • The tinyint data type can be used as an alternative to represent boolean values. It is an integer type that can store values from 0 to 255. You can use a value of 0 to represent false and a value of 1 to represent true.

  • Char or Varchar:

  • You can also use character types such as char or varchar to store boolean values as ‘true’ or ‘false’ strings.

    This approach allows for more descriptive representations of boolean values but requires additional processing when comparing or querying the values.

  • Numeric:

  • An alternative approach is to use numeric types such as decimal or numeric to represent boolean values. You can assign specific numeric values, such as 0 for false and 1 for true, to represent boolean values. However, this approach requires extra caution to ensure that the correct numeric values are used consistently.

Working with Boolean Values:

While SQL does not have native support for the boolean data type, most database management systems provide functions and operators to work with boolean-like logic. These functions and operators allow you to perform operations such as logical AND, logical OR, and logical NOT on columns or expressions that represent boolean values.


In summary, the boolean data type is not used in SQL. However, there are alternative data types and approaches that can be used to represent boolean values in a SQL database. Whether you choose to use tinyint, character types, or numeric types depends on your specific requirements and the functionalities provided by your database management system.

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