Primitive Data Types used in Java Programming

Data can be of many types e.g. character, integer, real, string etc. Anything enclosed in single quotes represents character data. Numbers without fraction represent integer data. Numbers with fractions represent real data and anything enclosed in double quotes represents a string.

Since the data to be dealt with are of many types, a programming language must provide ways and facilities to handle all types of data. Java, like other languages provide ways and facilities to handle different types of data by providing data types.

Java data types are two types:


Primitive data types we mean fundamental data types offered by Java programming language. Primitive are the basic data type values. The world ‘Primitive’ means a fundamentals component that may be used to create other large parts. Java supports following four categories of primitive data types:

Numeric Integral Types

The data types that are used to store numeric values fall under this sub category i.e. numeric primitive data types. Four numeric integral types in Java are Byte, Short, Int and Long. All integral numeric types store integer values i.e. whole numbers only.

The storage size and the range of values supported by numeric integral types are being listed below:
  • Byte (Size - 8 bits), Byte-length integer having range -128 to + 128.
  • Short (Size - 16 bits), Short integer having range -32,768 to + 32,767.
  • Int (Size – 32 bits), Integer having range (about) -2 billion to +2 billion.
  • Long (Size – 64 bits), Long Integer having range (about) -10E18 to +10E18.
Please note that an l (small L) or L suffix on an integer means the integer is of long data type e.g., 33L refer to a long integer value 33. Thus, we can say that 33 is an int value but 33L is a long value.

Depending upon your requirement, you can select appropriate data type. Consider this you need to store your phone no 12345678 in your program? What do you think should be the data type? Can you store in a byte or short data type? Well you need to store it in int data type. The reason behind is that the number to be stored does not fall into ranges supported by byte and short types.

One more thing that you must know about data types that all data types are singed i.e., they can store negative as well as positive numbers.


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