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MySQL UNION Operator


The MySQL UNION Operator

The UNION operator is used to combine the result-set of two or more SELECT statements.

  • Every SELECT statement within UNION must have the same number of columns
  • The columns must also have similar data types
  • The columns in every SELECT statement must also be in the same order

UNION Syntax

SELECT column_name(s) FROM table1
UNION
SELECT column_name(s) FROM table2;

UNION ALL Syntax

The UNION operator selects only distinct values by default. To allow duplicate values, use UNION ALL:

SELECT column_name(s) FROM table1
UNION ALL
SELECT column_name(s) FROM table2;

Note: The column names in the result-set are usually equal to the column names in the first SELECT statement.


Demo Database

In this tutorial we will use the well-known Northwind sample database.

Below is a selection from the "Customers" table:

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

And a selection from the "Suppliers" table:

SupplierID SupplierName ContactName Address City PostalCode Country
1 Exotic Liquid Charlotte Cooper 49 Gilbert St. London EC1 4SD UK
2 New Orleans Cajun Delights Shelley Burke P.O. Box 78934 New Orleans 70117 USA
3 Grandma Kelly's Homestead Regina Murphy 707 Oxford Rd. Ann Arbor 48104 USA


SQL UNION Example

The following SQL statement returns the cities (only distinct values) from both the "Customers" and the "Suppliers" table:

Example

SELECT City FROM Customers
UNION
SELECT City FROM Suppliers
ORDER BY City;
Try it Yourself »

Note: If some customers or suppliers have the same city, each city will only be listed once, because UNION selects only distinct values. Use UNION ALL to also select duplicate values!


SQL UNION ALL Example

The following SQL statement returns the cities (duplicate values also) from both the "Customers" and the "Suppliers" table:

Example

SELECT City FROM Customers
UNION ALL
SELECT City FROM Suppliers
ORDER BY City;
Try it Yourself »

SQL UNION With WHERE

The following SQL statement returns the German cities (only distinct values) from both the "Customers" and the "Suppliers" table:

Example

SELECT City, Country FROM Customers
WHERE Country='Germany'
UNION
SELECT City, Country FROM Suppliers
WHERE Country='Germany'
ORDER BY City;
Try it Yourself »

SQL UNION ALL With WHERE

The following SQL statement returns the German cities (duplicate values also) from both the "Customers" and the "Suppliers" table:

Example

SELECT City, Country FROM Customers
WHERE Country='Germany'
UNION ALL
SELECT City, Country FROM Suppliers
WHERE Country='Germany'
ORDER BY City;
Try it Yourself »

Another UNION Example

The following SQL statement lists all customers and suppliers:

Example

SELECT 'Customer' AS Type, ContactName, City, Country
FROM Customers
UNION
SELECT 'Supplier', ContactName, City, Country
FROM Suppliers;
Try it Yourself »

Notice the "AS Type" above - it is an alias. SQL Aliases are used to give a table or a column a temporary name. An alias only exists for the duration of the query. So, here we have created a temporary column named "Type", that list whether the contact person is a "Customer" or a "Supplier".