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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.

Example

Select all the different countries from the "Customers" table:

SELECT DISTINCT Country FROM Customers;
Try it Yourself »

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


Syntax

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


Demo Database

Below is a selection from the Customers table used in the examples:

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

If you omit the DISTINCT keyword, the SQL statement returns the "Country" value from all the records of the "Customers" table:

Example

SELECT Country FROM Customers;
Try it Yourself »


Count Distinct

By using the DISTINCT keyword in a function called COUNT, we can return the number of different countries.

Example

SELECT COUNT(DISTINCT Country) FROM Customers;

Note: The COUNT(DISTINCT column_name) is not supported in Microsoft Access databases.

Here is a workaround for MS Access:

Example

SELECT Count(*) AS DistinctCountries
FROM (SELECT DISTINCT Country FROM Customers);

You will learn about the COUNT function later in this tutorial.


Test Yourself With Exercises

Exercise:

Select all the different values from the Country column in the Customers table.

  Country 
FROM Customers;

Start the Exercise