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SQL COUNT() Function

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The COUNT() function returns the number of rows that matches a specified criteria.


SQL COUNT(column_name) Syntax

The COUNT(column_name) function returns the number of values (NULL values will not be counted) of the specified column:

SELECT COUNT(column_name) FROM table_name

SQL COUNT(*) Syntax

The COUNT(*) function returns the number of records in a table:

SELECT COUNT(*) FROM table_name

SQL COUNT(DISTINCT column_name) Syntax

The COUNT(DISTINCT column_name) function returns the number of distinct values of the specified column:

SELECT COUNT(DISTINCT column_name) FROM table_name

Note: COUNT(DISTINCT) works with ORACLE and Microsoft SQL Server, but not with Microsoft Access.


SQL COUNT(column_name) Example

We have the following "Orders" table:

O_Id OrderDate OrderPrice Customer
1 2008/11/12 1000 Hansen
2 2008/10/23 1600 Nilsen
3 2008/09/02 700 Hansen
4 2008/09/03 300 Hansen
5 2008/08/30 2000 Jensen
6 2008/10/04 100 Nilsen

Now we want to count the number of orders from "Customer Nilsen".

We use the following SQL statement:

SELECT COUNT(Customer) AS CustomerNilsen FROM Orders
WHERE Customer='Nilsen'

The result of the SQL statement above will be 2, because the customer Nilsen has made 2 orders in total:

CustomerNilsen
2


SQL COUNT(*) Example

If we omit the WHERE clause, like this:

SELECT COUNT(*) AS NumberOfOrders FROM Orders

The result-set will look like this:

NumberOfOrders
6

which is the total number of rows in the table.


SQL COUNT(DISTINCT column_name) Example

Now we want to count the number of unique customers in the "Orders" table.

We use the following SQL statement:

SELECT COUNT(DISTINCT Customer) AS NumberOfCustomers FROM Orders

The result-set will look like this:

NumberOfCustomers
3

which is the number of unique customers (Hansen, Nilsen, and Jensen) in the "Orders" table.


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