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11.5. Data Type Storage Requirements

The storage requirements for each of the data types supported by MySQL are listed here by category.

The maximum size of a row in a MyISAM table is 65,534 bytes. Each BLOB and TEXT column accounts for only five to nine bytes toward this size.

Storage Requirements for Numeric Types

Data Type Storage Required
TINYINT 1 byte
SMALLINT 2 bytes
INT, INTEGER 4 bytes
BIGINT 8 bytes
FLOAT(p) 4 bytes if 0 <= p <= 24, 8 bytes if 25 <= p <= 53
FLOAT 4 bytes
DECIMAL(M,D), NUMERIC(M,D) Varies; see following discussion
BIT(M) approximately (M+7)/8 bytes

Values for DECIMAL (and NUMERIC) columns are represented using a binary format that packs nine decimal (base 10) digits into four bytes. Storage for the integer and fractional parts of each value are determined separately. Each multiple of nine digits requires four bytes, and the “leftover” digits require some fraction of four bytes. The storage required for excess digits is given by the following table:

Leftover Digits Number of Bytes
0 0
1 1
2 1
3 2
4 2
5 3
6 3
7 4
8 4
9 4

Storage Requirements for Date and Time Types

Data Type Storage Required
DATE 3 bytes
DATETIME 8 bytes
TIME 3 bytes
YEAR 1 byte

Storage Requirements for String Types

Data Type Storage Required
CHAR(M) M bytes, 0 <= M <= 255
VARCHAR(M) L + 1 bytes, where L <= M and 0 <= M <= 255 (see note below) or L + 2 bytes, where L <= M and 256 <= M <= 65535 (see note below).
BINARY(M) M bytes, 0 <= M <= 255
VARBINARY(M) L + 1 bytes, where L <= M and 0 <= M <= 255 (see note below) or L + 2 bytes, where L <= M and 256 <= M <= 65535 (see note below).
TINYBLOB, TINYTEXT L+1 byte, where L < 28
BLOB, TEXT L+2 bytes, where L < 216
MEDIUMBLOB, MEDIUMTEXT L+3 bytes, where L < 224
LONGBLOB, LONGTEXT L+4 bytes, where L < 232
ENUM('value1','value2',...) 1 or 2 bytes, depending on the number of enumeration values (65,535 values maximum)
SET('value1','value2',...) 1, 2, 3, 4, or 8 bytes, depending on the number of set members (64 members maximum)

For the CHAR, VARCHAR, and TEXT types, the values L and M in the preceding table should be interpreted as number of characters, and lengths for these types in column specifications indicate the number of characters. For example, to store a TINYTEXT value requires L characters plus one byte.

VARCHAR, VARBINARY, and the BLOB and TEXT types are variable-length types. For each, the storage requirements depend on these factors:

  • The actual length of the column value

  • The column's maximum possible length

  • The character set used for the column

For example, a VARCHAR(10) column can hold a string with a maximum length of 10. Assuming that the column uses the latin1 character set (one byte per character), the actual storage required is the length of the string (L), plus one byte to record the length of the string. For the string 'abcd', L is 4 and the storage requirement is five bytes. If the same column was instead declared as VARCHAR(500), the string 'abcd' requires 4 + 2 = 6 bytes. Two bytes rather than one are required for the prefix because the length of the column is greater than 255 characters.

To calculate the number of bytes used to store a particular CHAR, VARCHAR, or TEXT column value, you must take into account the character set used for that column. In particular, when using the utf8 Unicode character set, you must keep in mind that not all utf8 characters use the same number of bytes. For a breakdown of the storage used for different categories of utf8 characters, see Section 10.7, “Unicode Support”.

Note: The effective maximum length for a VARCHAR or VARBINARY column is 65,532.

The NDBCLUSTER storage engine in MySQL 5.1 supports true variable-width columns. This means that a VARCHAR column in a MySQL Cluster table requires the same amount of storage as it would using any other storage engine. This represents a change in behavior from earlier versions of NDBCLUSTER.

The BLOB and TEXT types require 1, 2, 3, or 4 bytes to record the length of the column value, depending on the maximum possible length of the type. See Section 11.4.3, “The BLOB and TEXT Types”.

TEXT and BLOB columns are implemented differently in the NDB Cluster storage engine, wherein each row in a TEXT column is made up of two separate parts. One of these is of fixed size (256 bytes), and is actually stored in the original table. The other consists of any data in excess of 256 bytes, which stored in a hidden table. The rows in this second table are always 2,000 bytes long. This means that the size of a TEXT column is 256 if size <= 256 (where size represents the size of the row); otherwise, the size is 256 + size + (2000 – (size – 256) % 2000).

The size of an ENUM object is determined by the number of different enumeration values. One byte is used for enumerations with up to 255 possible values. Two bytes are used for enumerations having between 256 and 65,535 possible values. See Section 11.4.4, “The ENUM Type”.

The size of a SET object is determined by the number of different set members. If the set size is N, the object occupies (N+7)/8 bytes, rounded up to 1, 2, 3, 4, or 8 bytes. A SET can have a maximum of 64 members. See Section 11.4.5, “The SET Type”.

  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire