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Difference between data type and data structure

Last Updated : 08 Mar, 2024
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Data Type

A data type is the most basic and the most common classification of data. It is this through which the compiler gets to know the form or the type of information that will be used throughout the code. So basically data type is a type of information transmitted between the programmer and the compiler where the programmer informs the compiler about what type of data is to be stored and also tells how much space it requires in the memory. Some basic examples are int, string etc. It is the type of any variable used in the code. 


#include <iostream.h>
using namespace std;
void main()
    int a;
    a = 5;
    float b;
    b = 5.0;
    char c;
    c = 'A';
    char d[10];
    d = "example";


public class Main {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        int a;
        a = 5;
        float b;
        b = 5.0f; // Use 5.0f for float in Java
        char c;
        c = 'A';
        String d = "example"; // Use String for string in Java
        System.out.println("a: " + a);
        System.out.println("b: " + b);
        System.out.println("c: " + c);
        System.out.println("d: " + d);
//This code is contributed by adarsh


using System;
class Program
    static void Main()
        int a = 5;
        float b = 5.0f; // Note: in C#, floating-point literals default to double, so you need to explicitly specify 'f' to indicate float
        char c = 'A';
        string d = "example"; // In C#, strings are represented using the string type, not character arrays
        Console.WriteLine("a: " + a);
        Console.WriteLine("b: " + b);
        Console.WriteLine("c: " + c);
        Console.WriteLine("d: " + d);
//This code is contributed by monu.


// Equivalent JavaScript code
// Defining the main function
function main() {
    // Declaring and initializing integer variable a
    let a;
    a = 5;
    // Declaring and initializing float variable b
    let b;
    b = 5.0; // In JavaScript, you don't need a suffix for floats
    // Declaring and initializing character variable c
    let c;
    c = 'A';
    // Declaring and initializing string variable d
    let d = "example";
    // Printing variables
    console.log("a: " + a);
    console.log("b: " + b);
    console.log("c: " + c);
    console.log("d: " + d);
// Calling the main function


a = 5
b = 5.0
c = 'A'
d = "example"

As seen from the theory explained above we come to know that in the above code, the variable ‘a’ is of data type integer which is denoted by int a. So the variable ‘a’ will be used as an integer type variable throughout the process of the code. And, in the same way, the variables ‘b’, ‘c’ and ‘d’ are of type float, character and string respectively. And all these are kinds of data types.

Data Structure

A data structure is a collection of different forms and different types of data that has a set of specific operations that can be performed. It is a collection of data types. It is a way of organizing the items in terms of memory, and also the way of accessing each item through some defined logic. Some examples of data structures are stacks, queues, linked lists, binary tree and many more. Data structures perform some special operations only like insertion, deletion and traversal. For example, you have to store data for many employees where each employee has his name, employee id and a mobile number. So this kind of data requires complex data management, which means it requires data structure comprised of multiple primitive data types. So data structures are one of the most important aspects when implementing coding concepts in real-world applications. Difference between data type and data structure:

Data Types Data Structures
Data Type is the kind or form of a variable which is being used throughout the program. It defines that the particular variable will assign the values of the given data type only Data Structure is the collection of different kinds of data. That entire data can be represented using an object and can be used throughout the entire program.
Implementation through Data Types is a form of abstract implementation Implementation through Data Structures is called concrete implementation
Can hold values and not data, so it is data less Can hold different kind and types of data within one single object
Values can directly be assigned to the data type variables The data is assigned to the data structure object using some set of algorithms and operations like push, pop and so on.
No problem of time complexity Time complexity comes into play when working with data structures
Examples: int, float, double Examples: stacks, queues, tree

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