10.2. Numeric Types

MySQL supports all the standard SQL numeric data types. These types include the exact numeric data types (INTEGER, SMALLINT, DECIMAL, and NUMERIC), as well as the approximate numeric data types (FLOAT, REAL, and DOUBLE PRECISION). The keyword INT is a synonym for INTEGER, and the keywords DEC and FIXED are synonyms for DECIMAL. MySQL treats DOUBLE as a synonym for DOUBLE PRECISION (a nonstandard extension). MySQL also treats REAL as a synonym for DOUBLE PRECISION (a nonstandard variation), unless the REAL_AS_FLOAT SQL mode is enabled.

The BIT data type stores bit-field values and is supported for MyISAM, MEMORY, InnoDB, and NDBCLUSTER tables.

For information about numeric type storage requirements, see Section 10.5, “Data Type Storage Requirements”.

The data type used for the result of a calculation on numeric operands depends on the types of the operands and the operations performed on them. For more information, see Section 11.6.1, “Arithmetic Operators”.

For information about how MySQL handles assignment of out-of-range values to columns and overflow during expression evaluation, see Section 10.6, “Out-of-Range and Overflow Handling”.

Integer Types

MySQL supports the SQL standard integer types INTEGER (or INT) and SMALLINT. As an extension to the standard, MySQL also supports the integer types TINYINT, MEDIUMINT, and BIGINT. The following table shows the required storage and range for each integer type.

TypeStorageMinimum ValueMaximum Value

Floating-Point (Approximate-Value) Types

The FLOAT and DOUBLE types represent approximate numeric data values. MySQL uses four bytes for single-precision values and eight bytes for double-precision values.

For FLOAT, the SQL standard permits an optional specification of the precision (but not the range of the exponent) in bits following the keyword FLOAT in parentheses. MySQL also supports this optional precision specification, but the precision value is used only to determine storage size. A precision from 0 to 23 results in a four-byte single-precision FLOAT column. A precision from 24 to 53 results in an eight-byte double-precision DOUBLE column.

MySQL permits a nonstandard syntax: FLOAT(M,D) or REAL(M,D) or DOUBLE PRECISION(M,D). Here, “(M,D)” means than values can be stored with up to M digits in total, of which D digits may be after the decimal point. For example, a column defined as FLOAT(7,4) will look like -999.9999 when displayed. MySQL performs rounding when storing values, so if you insert 999.00009 into a FLOAT(7,4) column, the approximate result is 999.0001.

Because floating-point values are approximate and not stored as exact values, attempts to treat them as exact in comparisons may lead to problems. They are also subject to platform or implementation dependencies. For more information, see Section C.5.5.8, “Problems with Floating-Point Values”

For maximum portability, code requiring storage of approximate numeric data values should use FLOAT or DOUBLE PRECISION with no specification of precision or number of digits.

Fixed-Point (Exact-Value) Types

The DECIMAL and NUMERIC types store exact numeric data values. These types are used when it is important to preserve exact precision, for example with monetary data. In MySQL, NUMERIC is implemented as DECIMAL, so the following remarks about DECIMAL apply equally to NUMERIC.

MySQL 5.5 stores DECIMAL values in binary format. See Section 11.18, “Precision Math”.

In a DECIMAL column declaration, the precision and scale can be (and usually is) specified; for example:

salary DECIMAL(5,2)

In this example, 5 is the precision and 2 is the scale. The precision represents the number of significant digits that are stored for values, and the scale represents the number of digits that can be stored following the decimal point.

Standard SQL requires that DECIMAL(5,2) be able to store any value with five digits and two decimals, so values that can be stored in the salary column range from -999.99 to 999.99.

In standard SQL, the syntax DECIMAL(M) is equivalent to DECIMAL(M,0). Similarly, the syntax DECIMAL is equivalent to DECIMAL(M,0), where the implementation is permitted to decide the value of M. MySQL supports both of these variant forms of DECIMAL syntax. The default value of M is 10.

If the scale is 0, DECIMAL values contain no decimal point or fractional part.

The maximum number of digits for DECIMAL is 65, but the actual range for a given DECIMAL column can be constrained by the precision or scale for a given column. When such a column is assigned a value with more digits following the decimal point than are permitted by the specified scale, the value is converted to that scale. (The precise behavior is operating system-specific, but generally the effect is truncation to the permissible number of digits.)

Bit-Value Type

The BIT data type is used to store bit-field values. A type of BIT(M) enables storage of M-bit values. M can range from 1 to 64.

To specify bit values, b'value' notation can be used. value is a binary value written using zeros and ones. For example, b'111' and b'10000000' represent 7 and 128, respectively. See Section 8.1.6, “Bit-Field Values”.

If you assign a value to a BIT(M) column that is less than M bits long, the value is padded on the left with zeros. For example, assigning a value of b'101' to a BIT(6) column is, in effect, the same as assigning b'000101'.

Numeric Type Attributes

MySQL supports an extension for optionally specifying the display width of integer data types in parentheses following the base keyword for the type. For example, INT(4) specifies an INT with a display width of four digits. This optional display width may be used by applications to display integer values having a width less than the width specified for the column by left-padding them with spaces. (That is, this width is present in the metadata returned with result sets. Whether it is used or not is up to the application.)

The display width does not constrain the range of values that can be stored in the column. Nor does it prevent values wider than the column display width from being displayed correctly. For example, a column specified as SMALLINT(3) has the usual SMALLINT range of -32768 to 32767, and values outside the range permitted by three digits are displayed in full using more than three digits.

When used in conjunction with the optional (nonstandard) attribute ZEROFILL, the default padding of spaces is replaced with zeros. For example, for a column declared as INT(4) ZEROFILL, a value of 5 is retrieved as 0005.


The ZEROFILL attribute is ignored when a column is involved in expressions or UNION queries.

If you store values larger than the display width in an integer column that has the ZEROFILL attribute, you may experience problems when MySQL generates temporary tables for some complicated joins. In these cases, MySQL assumes that the data values fit within the column display width.

All integer types can have an optional (nonstandard) attribute UNSIGNED. Unsigned type can be used to permit only nonnegative numbers in a column or when you need a larger upper numeric range for the column. For example, if an INT column is UNSIGNED, the size of the column's range is the same but its endpoints shift from -2147483648 and 2147483647 up to 0 and 4294967295.

Floating-point and fixed-point types also can be UNSIGNED. As with integer types, this attribute prevents negative values from being stored in the column. Unlike the integer types, the upper range of column values remains the same.

If you specify ZEROFILL for a numeric column, MySQL automatically adds the UNSIGNED attribute to the column.

Integer or floating-point data types can have the additional attribute AUTO_INCREMENT. When you insert a value of NULL (recommended) or 0 into an indexed AUTO_INCREMENT column, the column is set to the next sequence value. Typically this is value+1, where value is the largest value for the column currently in the table. AUTO_INCREMENT sequences begin with 1.

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