What is an Integer

A basic data type, but what is it?

Steven Curtis


A simple question. Some might say “whole number”, but that only tells half the story. Read on for more information.

Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

Difficulty: Beginner | Easy | Normal | Challenging


  • None, although some knowledge of Binary would be useful (Guide: HERE)


Data types: A representation of the type of data that can be processed, for example Integer or String

Integer: A number that has no fractional part, that is no digits after the decimal point

Two’s Complement: The complement of a binary number with respect to 2^n


A simple definition:

An Integer is a whole number. This means that 0, 3, 10, 12932 and -12 are all Integers, meaning that Integers can be both positive and negative numbers.

However, since Integers are whole numbers this means that the lack decimal places.

Integers are commonly used in programming languages, and we will see some ways that they are used below.

Integer Arithmetic