The FLOAT data type stores double-precision floating-point numbers with up to 17 significant digits. FLOAT corresponds to IEEE 4-byte floating-point, and to the double data type in C. The range of values for the FLOAT data type is the same as the range of the C double data type on your computer.

You can use n to specify the precision of a FLOAT data type, but SQL ignores the precision. The value n must be a whole number between 1 and 14.

A column with the FLOAT data type typically stores scientific numbers that can be calculated only approximately. Because floating-point numbers retain only their most significant digits, the number that you enter in this type of column and the number the database server displays can differ slightly.

The difference between the two values depends on how your computer stores floating-point numbers internally. For example, you might enter a value of 1.1000001 into a FLOAT field and, after processing the SQL statement, the database server might display this value as 1.1. This situation occurs when a value has more digits than the floating-point number can store. In this case, the value is stored in its approximate form with the least significant digits treated as zeros.

FLOAT data types usually require 8 bytes of storage per value. Conversion of a FLOAT value to a DECIMAL value results in 17 digits of precision.