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## 8.10. Bit String Types

Bit strings are strings of 1's and 0's. They can be used to store or visualize bit masks. There are two SQL bit types: `bit(n)` and ```bit varying(n)```, where `n` is a positive integer.

`bit` type data must match the length `n` exactly; it is an error to attempt to store shorter or longer bit strings. `bit varying` data is of variable length up to the maximum length `n`; longer strings will be rejected. Writing `bit` without a length is equivalent to `bit(1)`, while `bit varying` without a length specification means unlimited length.

### Note

If one explicitly casts a bit-string value to `bit(n)`, it will be truncated or zero-padded on the right to be exactly `n` bits, without raising an error. Similarly, if one explicitly casts a bit-string value to `bit varying(n)`, it will be truncated on the right if it is more than `n` bits.

Refer to Section 4.1.2.5 for information about the syntax of bit string constants. Bit-logical operators and string manipulation functions are available; see Section 9.6.

Example 8.3. Using the Bit String Types

```CREATE TABLE test (a BIT(3), b BIT VARYING(5));
INSERT INTO test VALUES (B'101', B'00');
INSERT INTO test VALUES (B'10', B'101');
`ERROR:  bit string length 2 does not match type bit(3)`
INSERT INTO test VALUES (B'10'::bit(3), B'101');
SELECT * FROM test;
```  a  |  b
-----+-----
101 | 00
100 | 101``````

A bit string value requires 1 byte for each group of 8 bits, plus 5 or 8 bytes overhead depending on the length of the string (but long values may be compressed or moved out-of-line, as explained in Section 8.3 for character strings).