C++ Data types


In this article we will learn about, c++ data types, we will see how many Data types are in c++ and what are the uses there.

While writing a program in any language, you need to use various variables to store various information. Variables are nothing but reserved memory locations to store values. This means that when you create a variable you reserve some space in memory.

You may like to store information of various data types like character, wide character, integer, floating point, double floating point, boolean etc. Based on the data type of a variable, the operating system allocates memory and decides what can be stored in the reserved memory.

The following table shows the variable type, how much memory it takes to store the value in memory, and what is maximum and minimum value which can be stored in such type of variables.

TypeTypical Bit WidthTypical Range
char1byte-127 to 127 or 0 to 255
unsigned char1byte0 to 255
signed char1byte-127 to 127
int4bytes-2147483648 to 2147483647
unsigned int4bytes0 to 4294967295
signed int4bytes-2147483648 to 2147483647
short int2bytes-32768 to 32767
unsigned short int2bytes0 to 65,535
signed short int2bytes-32768 to 32767
long int8bytes-2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647
signed long int8bytessame as long int
unsigned long int8bytes0 to 4,294,967,295
long long int8bytes-(2^63) to (2^63)-1
unsigned long long int8bytes0 to 18,446,744,073,709,551,615
long double12bytes
wchar_t2 or 4 bytes1 wide character

Following is the example, which will produce correct size of various data types on your computer.

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;

int main() {
   cout << "Size of char : " << sizeof(char) << endl;
   cout << "Size of int : " << sizeof(int) << endl;
   cout << "Size of short int : " << sizeof(short int) << endl;
   cout << "Size of long int : " << sizeof(long int) << endl;
   cout << "Size of float : " << sizeof(float) << endl;
   cout << "Size of double : " << sizeof(double) << endl;
   cout << "Size of wchar_t : " << sizeof(wchar_t) << endl;
   return 0;

Above code will return below output

Size of char : 1
Size of int : 4
Size of short int : 2
Size of long int : 4
Size of float : 4
Size of double : 8
Size of wchar_t : 4

Data type in c++ divided into three parts

  1. Primitive Data Types
  2. Derived Data Types
  3. User-defined Data Types

Primitive Data Types

These data types are built-in or predefined data types and can be used directly by the user to declare variables. example: int, char , float, bool etc. Primitive data types available in C++ are: 

  • Integer
  • Character
  • Boolean
  • Floating Point
  • Double Floating Point
  • Valueless or Void
  • Wide Character

Derived Data Types

The data-types that are derived from the primitive or built-in datatypes are referred to as Derived Data Types. These can be of four types namely: 

  • Function
  • Array
  • Pointer
  • Reference

User-defined Data Types

These data types are defined by user itself. Like, defining a class in C++ or a structure. C++ provides the following user-defined datatypes: 

  • Class
  • Structure
  • Union
  • Enumeration
  • Typedef defined DataType
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