Which of the Following Is a Derived Data Type in C?


Scott Campbell

A derived data type in C is a data type that is derived from one or more basic or fundamental data types. It is created using the existing data types in the language and can be customized to suit specific requirements. In C, there are several derived data types available, each serving a different purpose.


Arrays are one of the most commonly used derived data types in C. They are a collection of elements of the same data type that are stored in contiguous memory locations. Arrays allow for efficient storage and retrieval of multiple values using a single identifier.

For example, an array of integers could be defined as:

int numbers[5];

This creates an array named numbers that can hold 5 integers. Each element can be accessed using an index, starting from 0 to (size-1).


Structures are another important derived data type in C. They allow you to combine different types of variables under a single name, creating a new custom type.

A structure consists of members that can be of any built-in or user-defined type, including other structures. Each member can be accessed using the dot (.) operator.

struct Person {
    char name[20];
    int age;
    float height;

In this example, we define a structure named Person, which contains three members: name, age, and height. This allows us to create variables with all these attributes for easy management.


Pointers are derived data types that store the memory addresses of other variables. They play a crucial role in dynamic memory allocation and accessing elements indirectly.

To declare a pointer, you need to specify the data type it points to, followed by an asterisk (*) before the variable name.

int *ptr;

This statement declares a pointer named ptr that points to an integer value. Pointers are commonly used in C for passing arguments by reference, implementing data structures, and optimizing memory usage.


Enumerations (enums) are derived data types used to define a set of named constants. They allow you to create custom types with a restricted set of possible values, making your code more readable and maintainable.

An enum declaration starts with the keyword enum, followed by a list of identifiers that represent the possible values. By default, these identifiers are assigned consecutive integer values starting from 0 unless specified otherwise.

enum Days {

In this example, we define an enum named Days, which represents the days of the week. Each identifier is automatically assigned an integer value, starting from 0 for Monday and incrementing by 1 for each subsequent day.

In conclusion,

C provides several derived data types like arrays, structures, pointers, and enums that allow you to create custom types based on existing ones. Understanding and utilizing these derived data types is essential for writing efficient and organized code in C.

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