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SQL SELECT DISTINCT Statement


The SQL SELECT DISTINCT Statement

The SELECT DISTINCT statement is used to return only distinct (different) values.

Inside a table, a column often contains many duplicate values; and sometimes you only want to list the different (distinct) values.

SELECT DISTINCT Syntax

SELECT DISTINCT column1, column2, ...
FROM table_name;

Demo Database

Below is a selection from the "Customers" table in the Northwind sample database:

CustomerID CustomerName ContactName Address City PostalCode Country
1

Alfreds Futterkiste Maria Anders Obere Str. 57 Berlin 12209 Germany
2 Ana Trujillo Emparedados y helados Ana Trujillo Avda. de la Constitución 2222 México D.F. 05021 Mexico
3 Antonio Moreno Taquería Antonio Moreno Mataderos 2312 México D.F. 05023 Mexico
4

Around the Horn Thomas Hardy 120 Hanover Sq. London WA1 1DP UK
5 Berglunds snabbköp Christina Berglund Berguvsvägen 8 Luleå S-958 22 Sweden

SELECT Example Without DISTINCT

The following SQL statement selects ALL (including the duplicates) values from the "Country" column in the "Customers" table:

Example

SELECT Country FROM Customers;
Try it Yourself »

Now, let us use the DISTINCT keyword with the above SELECT statement and see the result.



SELECT DISTINCT Examples

The following SQL statement selects only the DISTINCT values from the "Country" column in the "Customers" table:

Example

SELECT DISTINCT Country FROM Customers;
Try it Yourself »

The following SQL statement lists the number of different (distinct) customer countries:

Example

SELECT COUNT(DISTINCT Country) FROM Customers;
Try it Yourself »

Note: The example above will not work in Firefox! Because COUNT(DISTINCT column_name) is not supported in Microsoft Access databases. Firefox is using Microsoft Access in our examples.

Here is the workaround for MS Access:

Example

SELECT Count(*) AS DistinctCountries
FROM (SELECT DISTINCT Country FROM Customers);
Try it Yourself »