SQL Aggregate Functions

Summary: in this tutorial, we will introduce you aggregate function concepts and common SQL aggregate functions.

Introduction to SQL aggregate functions

SQL Aggregate FunctionAn aggregate function allows you to perform a calculation on a set of values to return a single scalar value. We often use aggregate functions with the GROUP BY and HAVING clauses of the SELECT statement.

The following are the most commonly used SQL aggregate functions:

  • AVG – calculates the average of a set of values.
  • COUNT – counts rows in a specified table or view.
  • MIN – gets the minimum value in a set of values.
  • MAX – gets the maximum value in a set of values.
  • SUM – calculates the sum of values.

Notice that all aggregate functions above ignore NULL values except for the COUNT function.

SQL aggregate functions syntax

To call an aggregate function, you use the following syntax:

Let’s examine the syntax above in greater detail:

  • First, specify an aggregate function that you want to use e.g., MIN, MAX, AVG, SUM or COUNT.
  • Second, put DISTINCT or ALL modifier followed by an expression inside parentheses. If you explicitly use DISTINCT modifier, the aggregate function ignores duplicate values and only consider the unique values. If you use the ALL modifier, the aggregate function uses all values for calculation or evaluation. The  ALL modifier is used by default if you do not specify any modifier explicitly.

SQL aggregate function examples

Let’s take a look some examples of using SQL aggregate functions.

COUNT function example

To get the number of the products in the products table, you use the COUNT function as follows:

SQL COUNT function example

More information on the COUNT function.

AVG function example

To calculate the average units in stock of the products, you use the AVG function as follows:

SQL avg units in stock

To calculate units in stock by product category, you use the AVG function with the  GROUP BY clause as follows:

SQL avg with group by

More information on AVG function.

SUM function example

To calculate the sum of units in stock by product category, you use the SUM function with the  GROUP BY clause as the following query:

SQL SUM example

Check it out the SUM function tutorial for more information on how to use the SUM function.

MIN function example

To get the minimum units in stock of products in the products table, you use the MIN function as follows:

SQL MIN example

More information on the MIN function.

MAX function example

To get the maximum units in stock of products in the products table, you use the MAX function as shown in the following query:

SQL MAX function example

Check it out the MAX function tutorial for more information.

In this tutorial, we have introduced you to the SQL aggregate functions including the most commonly used functions: AVG, COUNT, MIN, MAX, and SUM.