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Difference between fundamental data types and derived data types
  • Difficulty Level : Basic
  • Last Updated : 31 Mar, 2020

In computer programming, data type is a classification that specifies to compiler or interpreter which type of data user is intending to use.
There are two types of data types –

  1. Primitive/Fundamental data type : Each variable in C/C++ has an associated data type. Each data type requires different amounts of memory and has some specific operations which can be performed over it.
    Example of fundamental data types –

    C++




    // C++ program to illustrate array
    // derived data type
    #include <bits/stdc++.h>
    using namespace std;
      
    // main method starts from here
    int main()
    {
        // array of size 5
        int a[5] = { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 };
      
        // indexing variable
        int i;
        for (i = 0; i < 5; i++)
            cout << ("%d ", a[i]);
        return 0;
    }

    Java




    // Java program to illustrate
    // primitive data types
      
    class GFG {
      
        public static void main(String[] args)
        {
            // Integer value
            int a = 2;
      
            // Float value
            float b = 2.0f;
      
            // Double value
            double c = 2.0003;
      
            // Character
            char d = 'D';
      
            System.out.printf("Integer value is = %d", a);
            System.out.printf("\nFloat value is = %f", b);
            System.out.printf("\nDouble value is = %f", c);
            System.out.printf("\nChar value is = %c", d);
        }
    }
      
    // This code has been contributed by 29AjayKumar

    Python




    # Python program to illustrate
    # primitive data types
      
    # Integer value
    a = 2
      
    # Float value
    b = 2.0
      
    # Double value
    c = 2.0003
      
    # Character
    d ='D'
    print("Integer value is = ", a);
    print("\nFloat value is = ", b);
    print("\nDouble value is = ", c);
    print("\nChar value is = ", d);
          
    # This code has been contributed by Code_Mech

    C#




    // C# program to illustrate
    // primitive data types
    using System;
      
    class GFG {
      
        public static void Main()
        {
            // Integer value
            int a = 2;
      
            // Float value
            float b = 2.0f;
      
            // Double value
            double c = 2.0003;
      
            // Character
            char d = 'D';
      
            Console.WriteLine("Integer value is = " + a);
            Console.WriteLine("\nFloat value is = " + b);
            Console.WriteLine("\nDouble value is = " + c);
            Console.WriteLine("\nChar value is = " + d);
        }
    }
      
    // This code has been contributed by Code_Mech.

    PHP




    <?php
    // PHP program to illustrate 
    // primitive data types 
    {
        // Integer value 
        $a = 2; 
      
        // Float value 
        $b = 2.0; 
      
        // Double value 
        $c = 2.0003; 
      
        // Character 
        $d = 'D'
      
        echo("Integer value is = ". $a); 
        echo("\nFloat value is = ". $b); 
        echo("\nDouble value is = ". $c); 
        echo("\nChar value is = ". $d); 
    }
      
      
    // This code has been contributed by Code_Mech.
    Output:
    Integer value is = 2
    Float value is = 2.000000
    Double value is = 2.000300
    Char value is = D
    
  2. Derived data type : These data types are defined by user itself. Like, defining a class in C++ or a structure. These include Arrays, Structures, Class, Union, Enumeration, Pointers etc.
    Examples of derived data type :
    • Pointer :

      C++






      // C++ program to illustrate pointer
      // as derived data type
      #include <iostream>
      using namespace std;
        
      // main method 
      int main()
      {
          // integer variable
          int variable = 10;
        
          // Pointer for storing address
          int* pointr;
        
          // Assigning address of variable to pointer
          pointr = &variable;
          cout << "Value of variable = " <<  variable;
        
          // cout << "\nValue at pointer = "<<  pointr;
          cout << "\nValue at *pointer = "<< *pointr;
          return 0;
      }
        
      // This code is contributed by shubhamsingh10

      C




      // C program to illustrate pointer
      // as derived data type
      #include <stdio.h>
      // main method starts from here
      int main()
      {
          // integer variable
          int variable = 10;
        
          // Pointer for storing address
          int* pointr;
        
          // Assigning address of variable to pointer
          pointr = &variable;
          printf("Value of variable = %d", variable);
        
          // printf("\nValue at pointer = %d", pointr);
          printf("\nValue at *pointer = %d", *pointr);
          return 0;
      }
      Output:
      Value of variable = 10
      Value at *pointer = 10
      
    • Array :

      C++




      // C++ program to illustrate array
      // derived data type
      #include <bits/stdc++.h>
      using namespace std;
      // main method starts from here
      int main()
      {
          // array of size 5
          int a[5] = { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 };
        
          // indexing variable
          int i;
          for (i = 0; i < 5; i++)
              cout << ("%d ", a[i]);
          return 0;
      }
        
      // This code is contributed by Code_Mech.

      C




      // C program to illustrate array
      // derived data type
      #include <stdio.h>
      // main method starts from here
      int main()
      {
          // array of size 5
          int a[5] = { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 };
        
          // indexing variable
          int i;
          for (i = 0; i < 5; i++)
              printf("%d  ", a[i]);
          return 0;
      }

      Java




      // Java program to illustrate array
      // derived data type
      import java.util.*;
        
      class GFG {
        
          // Driver code
          public static void main(String[] args)
          {
              // array of size 5
              int a[] = { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 };
        
              // indexing variable
              int i;
              for (i = 0; i < 5; i++)
                  System.out.printf("%d ", a[i]);
          }
      }
        
      /* This code contributed by PrinciRaj1992 */

      Python3




      # Python3 program to illustrate array 
      # derived data type 
        
      # Driver code 
        
      # array of size 5 
      a = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]; 
        
      # indexing variable 
      for i in range(5): 
          print(a[i], end = " "); 
        
      # This code contributed by mits

      C#




      // C# program to illustrate array
      // derived data type
      using System;
        
      class GFG {
          // Driver code
          public static void Main(String[] args)
          {
              // array of size 5
              int[] a = { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 };
        
              // indexing variable
              int i;
              for (i = 0; i < 5; i++)
                  Console.Write("{0} ", a[i]);
          }
      }
        
      // This code contributed by Rajput-Ji

      PHP




      <?php
      // PHP program to illustrate array 
      // derived data type 
        
      // Driver code 
        
      // array of size 5 
      $a = array(1, 2, 3, 4, 5); 
        
      // indexing variable 
      for ($i = 0; $i < 5; $i++) 
          print($a[$i] . " "); 
        
      // This code contributed by mits
      ?>
      Output:
      1  2  3  4  5
      
    • Structures

      C++




      // C++ program to illustrate structure
      // derived data type
      #include <bits/stdc++.h>
      using namespace std;
        
      // structure
      struct structure_example 
      {
          int integer;
          float decimal;
          char character[20];
      };
        
      // Main Method 
      int main()
      {
          struct structure_example s = { 15, 98.9, "geeksforgeeks" };
          cout << "Structure data -"<< endl;
          cout << "integer = " << s.integer << endl;
          cout << fixed<<setprecision(6)<< "decimal = " << s.decimal << endl;
          cout << "name = " << s.character << endl;
          return 0;
      }
        
      // This code is contributed by shubhamsingh10

      C




      // C program to illustrate structure
      // derived data type
      #include <stdio.h>
      // structure
      struct structure_example {
          int integer;
          float decimal;
          char character[20];
      };
      // main method starts from here
      void main()
      {
          struct structure_example s = { 15, 98.9, "geeksforgeeks" };
          printf("Structure data - \n integer = %d \n decimal = 
          %f \n name = %s", s.integer, s.decimal, s.character);
      }
      Output:
      Structure data - 
       integer = 15 
       decimal = 98.900002 
       name = geeksforgeeks
      
Fundamental Data TypesDerived Data Types
Fundamental data type is also called primitive data type. These are the basic data types.Derived data type is the aggregation of fundamental data type.
character, integer, float, and void are fundamental data types.Pointers, arrays, structures and unions are derived data types.
Character is used for characters. It can be classified as
char, Signed char, Unsigned char.
Pointers are used for storing address of variables.
Integer is used for integers( not having decimal digits). It can be classified as signed and unsigned. Further classified as int, short int and long int.Array is used to contain similar type of data.
float is used for decimal numbers. These are classified as float, double and long double.structure is used to group items of possibly different types into a single type.
void is used where there is no return value required.It is like structure but all members in union share the same memory location
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