SQL Tutorial

SQL HOME SQL Intro SQL Syntax SQL Select SQL Select Distinct SQL Where SQL And, Or, Not SQL Order By SQL Insert Into SQL Null Values SQL Update SQL Delete SQL Select Top SQL Min and Max SQL Count, Avg, Sum SQL Like SQL Wildcards SQL In SQL Between SQL Aliases SQL Joins SQL Inner Join SQL Left Join SQL Right Join SQL Full Join SQL Self Join SQL Union SQL Group By SQL Having SQL Exists SQL Any, All SQL Select Into SQL Insert Into Select SQL Case SQL Null Functions SQL Stored Procedures SQL Comments

SQL Database

SQL Create DB SQL Drop DB SQL Backup DB SQL Create Table SQL Drop Table SQL Alter Table SQL Constraints SQL Not Null SQL Unique SQL Primary Key SQL Foreign Key SQL Check SQL Default SQL Index SQL Auto Increment SQL Dates SQL Views SQL Injection SQL Hosting

SQL References

SQL Keywords MySQL Functions SQL Server Functions MS Access Functions SQL Operators SQL Data Types SQL Quick Ref

SQL Examples

SQL Examples SQL Exercises

SQL TOP, LIMIT or ROWNUM Clause


The SQL SELECT TOP Clause

The SELECT TOP clause is used to specify the number of records to return.

The SELECT TOP clause is useful on large tables with thousands of records. Returning a large number of records can impact performance.

Note: Not all database systems support the SELECT TOP clause. MySQL supports the LIMIT clause to select a limited number of records, while Oracle uses ROWNUM.

SQL Server / MS Access Syntax:

SELECT TOP number|percent column_name(s)
FROM table_name
WHERE condition;

MySQL Syntax:

SELECT column_name(s)
FROM table_name
WHERE condition
LIMIT number;

Oracle Syntax:

SELECT column_name(s)
FROM table_name
WHERE ROWNUM <= number;

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


SQL TOP, LIMIT and ROWNUM Examples

The following SQL statement selects the first three records from the "Customers" table (for SQL Server/MS Access):

Example

SELECT TOP 3 * FROM Customers;
Try it Yourself »

The following SQL statement shows the equivalent example using the LIMIT clause (for MySQL):

Example

SELECT * FROM Customers
LIMIT 3;
Try it Yourself »

The following SQL statement shows the equivalent example using ROWNUM (for Oracle):

Example

SELECT * FROM Customers
WHERE ROWNUM <= 3;

SQL TOP PERCENT Example

The following SQL statement selects the first 50% of the records from the "Customers" table (for SQL Server/MS Access):

Example

SELECT TOP 50 PERCENT * FROM Customers;
Try it Yourself »

ADD a WHERE CLAUSE

The following SQL statement selects the first three records from the "Customers" table, where the country is "Germany" (for SQL Server/MS Access):

Example

SELECT TOP 3 * FROM Customers
WHERE Country='Germany';
Try it Yourself »

The following SQL statement shows the equivalent example using the LIMIT clause (for MySQL):

Example

SELECT * FROM Customers
WHERE Country='Germany'
LIMIT 3;
Try it Yourself »

The following SQL statement shows the equivalent example using ROWNUM (for Oracle):

Example

SELECT * FROM Customers
WHERE Country='Germany' AND ROWNUM <= 3;