Float vs Double: Difference and Comparison

There are a large number of data types in computers, and they are used widely for storing various values. Float and double are two popular data types that are used for storing large decimal values.

Many people are confused whether which data type they must use in their code for storing decimal values.

Key Takeaways

  1. Float is a single-precision floating-point data type, while double is double-precision floating-point data type.
  2. Floats use 32 bits of memory, while doubles use 64 bits, providing greater precision and range for doubles.
  3. Floats can represent approximately seven decimal digits, while doubles can represent approximately 15 to 17 decimal digits.

Float vs Double

The difference between float and double is that float is one of the simplest data types that compilers can manage and is highly useful in initiating the capacity of processing, whereas double is a highly used data type that is used for designating a value or a number to a variable.

Float vs Double

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The float data type is one of the most precise data types in computer programming and provides much more precision than any other data type. Float has 32-bit precision, which is high but is far less than the precision offered by double data type.

The double data type is the most accurate and precise in computer programming offering a 64-bit precision which is the highest among the data type family.

Double is comparatively used more by individuals and companies when compared to float. Double can easily adjust 15 to 16 digits.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonFloatDouble
StorageFloat has comparatively lesser storage when compared to double. The float has 32 bits of storage.Double has comparatively more storage when compared to float. The double data type has 64 bits of storage.
Value1.4e-045 to 3.4e+038 is the range in which the value of float lies.4.9e-324 to 1.8e+308 is the range within which the value of a variable using double data type lies.
Bits distributionThe distribution is:-
Sing bit- 1 bit
exponent- 8 bits
mantissa- 23 bits
The distribution is:-
Sing bit- 1 bit
exponent- 11 bits
mantissa- 52 bits
Decimal placesFloat has decimal places up to 6 places.Double has decimal places of up to 15 places.
Amount of precisionThe float datatype indicates a single, and individual precision or accuracy hence is comparatively lesser accurate than double.The double data type indicates a double precision and accuracy and hence is comparatively more accurate than a float data type.

What is Float?

Float is one of the most widely used data types in almost every programming language, whether Java, Python, C, or C++.

Float has single precision and accuracy and has a storage of 32 bits and 4 bytes which is decently good enough to accommodate any value.

The rate of regulations in float variables is estimated in terms of a concept that is known as FLOPS.

Float is the best data type in programming when it comes to speed. All individuals who prefer speed over precision prefer using float and then keeping double as a second option.

Float is in high demand when a variable’s number of decimal points is well-defined. One of the major drawbacks in java is that the default data type in the case of floating numbers is double and not float.

Since the default data type used in java for floating-point numbers is double, float needs to have its suffix. For storing a value in a float variable, one needs to add the suffix ‘F’ to the value.

One of the major advantages of float data type is that if an individual wish to use the memory of his device very effectively and efficiently, he must use float as a preferred data type since it is memory and storage efficient.

It has a 32-bit precision and accuracy that is decent enough.


What is a Double?

The double data type is the most popular in almost every programming language, like Java, C, C++, and Python. The precision and accuracy that it offers are extremely high.

It offers accuracy of up to 15 and 16 decimal points. It has a 64-bit precision which is 2 times the float data type.

The default value of the double data type is 0.0d. One of the identities by which a data type is known is its wrapper class, the wrapper class of double in Java language is java. Lang.

Double. One of the major drawbacks of converting double to float data type is the loss of data that takes place during this conversion.

Adding a suffix is optional in the case of a double data type, but if one wishes to do so, he must make use of D or d. Many people prefer using double over float if there is no limit to memory and space in the code.

The people who are involved in web development and programming always prefer using double as it is focussed a lot on web development. In Java, double is a default data type for all the floating-point variables and numbers.


Main Differences Between Float and Double

  1. Float has comparatively lesser storage when compared to double. Float has 32 bits of storage, whereas double has 64 bits of storage.
  2. Float accepts decimals of up to 6 points. On the other hand, double accepts decimals of up to 15 or 16 points.
  3. The wrapper class of float in Java is java. Lang. Float, whereas the wrapper class of double in Java is java. Lang.Double.
  4. When a variable in float data type is converted into double data type, there is no loss of data, whereas loss of data occurs in the case of double being converted to float.
  5. The precision that float offers is less when compared to double data type.
  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0167819194900337
  2. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/3-540-45591-4_81

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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