# BigDecimal, precision and scale

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## BigDecimal, precision and scale

1. BigDecimal, precision and scale

A `BigDecimal` is defined by two values: an arbitrary precision integer and a 32-bit integer scale. The value of the `BigDecimal` is defined to be .

2. BigDecimal, precision and scale

A `BigDecimal` is defined by two values: an arbitrary precision integer and a 32-bit integer scale. The value of the `BigDecimal` is defined to be .

## Solution 1

A `BigDecimal` is defined by two values: an arbitrary precision integer and a 32-bit integer scale. The value of the `BigDecimal` is defined to be .

Precision:

The precision is the number of digits in the unscaled value.
For instance, for the number 123.45, the precision returned is 5.

So, precision indicates the length of the arbitrary precision integer. Here are a few examples of numbers with the same scale, but different precision:

• 12345 / 100000 = 0.12345 // scale = 5, precision = 5
• 12340 / 100000 = 0.1234 // scale = 5, precision = 4
• 1 / 100000 = 0.00001 // scale = 5, precision = 1

In the special case that the number is equal to zero (i.e. 0.000), the precision is always 1.

Scale:

If zero or positive, the scale is the number of digits to the right of the decimal point. If negative, the unscaled value of the number is multiplied by ten to the power of the negation of the scale. For example, a scale of -3 means the unscaled value is multiplied by 1000.

This means that the integer value of the ‘BigDecimal’ is multiplied by .

Here are a few examples of the same precision, with different scales:

• 12345 with scale 5 = 0.12345
• 12345 with scale 4 = 1.2345
• 12345 with scale 0 = 12345
• 12345 with scale -1 = 123450

BigDecimal.toString:

The `toString` method for a `BigDecimal` behaves differently based on the scale and `precision`. (Thanks to @RudyVelthuis for pointing this out.)

• If `scale == 0`, the integer is just printed out, as-is.
• If `scale < 0`, E-Notation is always used (e.g. 5 scale -1 produces “5E+1”)
• If `scale >= 0` and `precision - scale -1 >= -6` a plain decimal number is produced (e.g. 10000000 scale 1 produces “1000000.0”)
• Otherwise, E-notation is used, e.g. 10 scale 8 produces “1.0E-7” since `precision - scale -1` equals is less than -6.

More examples:

• 19/100 = 0.19 // integer=19, scale=2, precision=2
• 1/1000 = 0.0001 // integer=1, scale = 4, precision = 1

Original Author Austin Of This Content

## Solution 2

• Precision: Total number of significant digits

• Scale: Number of digits to the right of the decimal point

See `BigDecimal` class documentation for details.

Original Author hamena314 Of This Content

## Solution 3

The precision is the number of digits in the unscaled value.

and

If zero or positive, the scale is the number of digits to the right of the decimal point. If negative, the unscaled value of the number is multiplied by ten to the power of the negation of the scale. For example, a scale of -3 means the unscaled value is multiplied by 1000.

Original Author Andy Turner Of This Content

## Solution 4

From your example annotation the maximum digits is 2 after the decimal point and 9 before (totally 11):
`123456789,01`

Original Author adranale Of This Content

## Conclusion 