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Data Types in Rust Programming Language

In this tutorial, we will learn about data types present in the Rust programming language with examples. Every variable in Rust has a specific type associated with it, which tells what kind of data this variable will store and how to deal with it. Since Rust is a statically typed language, we need to know the type of each variable at compile time. In Rust programming language we have several types of built-in data types, so we will split them into two subsets: scalar and compound.

Scalar Types

A scalar data type in rust represents a single value. Rust has four primary scalar-type data types:

  • Integer
  • Floating-Point
  • Boolean
  • Character

1. Integer Data Type

The integer data type is used to store numbers without a fractional component. The value can be either signed or unsigned and has an explicit size as shown in the table below. Signed and unsigned refers to whether a number can be negative or positive. The signed numbers are stored in 2’s complement representation.

Signed Unsigned Size Range Signed Range Unsigned


u8 8-bit -128 to 127 0 to 255


u16 16-bit -32768 to 32767 0 to 65535
i32 u32 32-bit -2147483648 to 2147483647

0 to 4294967295

i64 u64 64-bit -263  to  (263 -1) 0  to  (264 – 1)

Each signed variant can store a number ranging from  -(2n – 1) to  2n – 1 – 1 inclusive, and the unsigned variant can store a number ranging from 0 to 2n – 1 where n is the number of bits in that variant. So an i8 can store numbers from (27) to 27 – 1, which equals: -128 to 127 and u8can store numbers from 0 to 28 – 1 which equals: 0 to 255.

Additionally, rust also contains the isize and usize types depending on the architecture of the computer your program is running on, which is denoted in the table as “arch”: 64 bits if you’re on a 64-bit architecture and 32 bits if you’re on a 32-bit architecture.

2. Floating-Point

Floating point types are numbers with decimal points. Rust has two primitive floating-point numbers: f32 and f64, which are 32 bits and 64 bits in size. Floating point numbers are represented according to the IEEE-754 standards. The f32 type is a single-precision float and f64 is the double-precision float.

fn main() {
    let a = 2.0;          // f64 type
    let b: f32 = 3.0;     // f32 type
    let c: f64 = 2.0;     // f64 type

The default type in rust is f64.

3. Boolean Type

Just like any other programming language, the boolean data type in rust can also have two possible values: true or  false.

fn main() {
    let is_true = ture;
    let is_false: bool = false;   //explicit bool type annotation

4. Character

Rust char type is used to store a 4-byte character. The char type is specified with single quotes, as opposed to string types that use double quotes. Since the char size in rust is 4-byte hence it can store more than ASCII characters.

fn main() {
    let a = 'I';
    let b = 'ℤ';
    let laptop_emoji = '💻';

Accented letters; Chinese, Japanese, and Korean characters; emoji; and zero-width spaces are all valid char values in Rust.

Compound Types

Compound datatypes can group multiple values of the same or different types into one type. Rust generally supports two primitive compound types: tuples and arrays.

1. Tuples

A tuple helps us to group together n number of other values with different or the same types into one compound type. Tuples are constructed using parentheses (), and each tuple itself is a value with a type signature (T1, T2, ...), where T1T2 are the types of its members.

fn main() {
    let my_tuple = (100, 56.6, 'I');
    let (a, b, c) = my_tuple;
    println!("The value of a is: {}, b is: {} and c is: {}", a,b,c);
The value of a is: 100, b is: 56.6 and c is: I

This program first creates a tuple of type (int, f64, char) and stores it into the my_tuple variable and then destructs it into three separate variables a, b, and c, and finally the program prints the value of the destructed variables.

2. Arrays

Just like tuple arrays also helps us to create a collection of multiple values but unlike a tuple, every element of an array must have the same type. Arrays in rust are of fixed length: once declared, their size cannot grow or shrink.
To create an array in rust, we need to place a comma-separated list of values inside the square bracket.

fn main() {

    let int_arr = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5];
    let str_arr: [&str; 4] = ["Int", "Main", "Rust", "Tutorial"];

In the above program, we have created two arrays int_arr of type i32 and str_arr of size 4 and type &str.
Arrays are useful when we want the data to be allocated in the stack rather than the heap or when we know the number of elements at compile time.

Accessing Array Elements

Since the array is stored in the stack, hence a single chunk of memory is allocated to it and we can access the array elements using indexing.

fn main() {

    let int_arr = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5];
    println!("The element at 0th index is: {}" int_arr[0]);
    println!("The element at 0th index is: {}" int_arr[1]);
    println!("The element at 0th index is: {}" int_arr[2]);
    println!("The element at 0th index is: {}" int_arr[6]);   //This will result in the panic, as 6th index is not valid

If we try to access an element of an array that is more than the size of the array, in that case, the compilation will not produce any error but the program will result in the runtime error. When you attempt to access an element using indexing, Rust will check that the specified index is less than the array length. If the index is greater than the length, the Rust program will panic. In the above program, the int_arr[6] will cause panic as the 6th the index is not a valid index.


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