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MySQL Tutorial - Difference between CHAR and VARCHAR

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What Are the Differences between CHAR and VARCHAR?

CHAR and VARCHAR are both ASCII character data types by default. But they have the following major differences:

  • CHAR stores values in fixed lengths. Values are padded with space characters to match the specified length.
  • VARCHAR stores values in variable lengths. Values are not padded with any characters. But 1 or 2 extra bytes are added to store the length of the data.

The table below shows you a good comparison of CHAR and VARCHAR data types:

Value    CHAR(4)       Length 
''       '    '        4 bytes
'ab'     'ab  '        4 bytes
'abcd'   'abcd'        4 bytes 

Value    VARCHAR(4)    Length
''       ''            1 byte 
'ab'     'ab'          3 bytes
'abcd'   'abcd'        5 bytes 

(Continued on next topic...)

  1. What Is SQL Standard?
  2. How Many Groups of Data Types?
  3. What Are Character String Data Types?
  4. What Are the Differences between CHAR and NCHAR?
  5. What Are the Differences between CHAR and VARCHAR?
  6. What Are the Differences between BINARY and VARBINARY?
  7. What Are Numeric Data Types?
  8. What Are Date and Time Data Types?
  9. How To Calculate Expressions with SELECT Statements?
  10. How To Include Comments in SQL Statements?
  11. How To Include Character Strings in SQL statements?
  12. How To Escape Special Characters in SQL statements?
  13. How To Concatenate Two Character Strings?
  14. How To Include Numeric Values in SQL statements?
  15. How To Enter Characters as HEX Numbers?
  16. How To Enter Numeric Values as HEX Numbers?
  17. How To Enter Binary Numbers in SQL Statements?
  18. How To Enter Boolean Values in SQL Statements?
  19. What Are NULL Values?
  20. What Happens If NULL Values Are Involved in Expressions?
  21. How To Convert Numeric Values to Character Strings?
  22. How To Convert Character Strings to Numeric Values?
  23. How To Use IN Conditions?
  24. How To Use LIKE Conditions?
  25. How To Use Regular Expression in Pattern Match Conditions?
  26. How To Use CASE Expression?

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