Home > Datatypes, Differences, Misconception > Difference between Decimal and Numeric datatypes

Difference between Decimal and Numeric datatypes

Decimal vs Numeric: None… both are same!!!

This is a misconception among many developers that Decimal and Numeric are different data types. And lot of people do not agree to understand that they are same unless I redirect them to this MSDN BOL [link].

Few days back while designing a data model for one our support enhancement project this question was raised and following was the conversation:

Person A: Ok, this column is defined as Numeric, can’t we make it a Decimal?
Me: What difference will it make?
Person A: Decimal is more precise than Numeric (according to him).
Me: No, both are same.
Person B, C and some others: There is slight difference, Decimal holds more accurate precision values than Numeric.

To my surprise none of them were aware that both are same.

So, when I redirected them to MSDN decimal and numeric (Transact-SQL) and show them the line which says: “numeric is functionally equivalent to decimal.” they agreed.

So, not to confuse between Decimal & Numeric, they both are synonyms to each other.

  1. JALAN
    February 13, 2015 at 1:54 am

    They are functionally equivalent, but there is difference in preceision and scale, which can make huge diff.

    • February 13, 2015 at 4:27 am

      no @JALAN, both are same on all the aspects, as I’ve mentioned above, precision & scale is also same.


  2. January 17, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    Thanks for sharing the insight. People may get mixed up between the comparison of decimal/numeric and float/real. While decimal/numeric are synonym of one another. Real is float(24).

  1. January 13, 2016 at 7:01 am

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