PostgreSQL Tutorial: Import CSV File Into Table

September 14, 2023

Summary: in this tutorial, we will show you various ways to import a CSV file into a PostgreSQL table.

First, create a new table named persons with the following columns:

  • id: the person id
  • first_name: first name
  • last_name: last name
  • dob date of birth
  • email: the email address
CREATE TABLE persons (
  id SERIAL,
  first_name VARCHAR(50),
  last_name VARCHAR(50),
  dob DATE,
  email VARCHAR(255),

posgresql import csv

Second, prepare a CSV data file with the following format:

csv data

csv file

The path of the CSV file is C:\sampledb\persons.csv as follows:

Download the persons.csv file

Import a CSV file into a table using COPY statement

To import this CSV file into the persons table, you use COPY statement as follows:

COPY persons(first_name, last_name, dob, email)
FROM 'C:\sampledb\persons.csv'

PostgreSQL gives back the following message:


It means that two rows have been copied. Let’s check the persons table.

SELECT * FROM persons;


It works as expected.

Let’s dive into the COPY statement in more detail.

First, you specify the table with column names after the COPY keyword. The order of the columns must be the same as the ones in the CSV file. In case the CSV file contains all columns of the table, you don’t need to specify them explicitly, for example:

COPY sample_table_name
FROM 'C:\sampledb\sample_data.csv' 

Second, you put the CSV file path after the FROM keyword. Because CSV file format is used, you need to specify DELIMITER as well as CSV clauses.

Third, specify the HEADER keyword to indicate that the CSV file contains a header. When the COPY command imports data, it ignores the header of the file.

Notice that the file must be read directly by the PostgreSQL server, not by the client application. Therefore, it must be accessible by the PostgreSQL server machine. Also, you need to have superuser access in order to execute the COPY statement successfully.

Import CSV file into a table using pgAdmin

In case you need to import a CSV file from your computer into a table on the PostgreSQL database server, you can use the pgAdmin.

The following statement truncates the persons table so that you can re-import the data.


First, right-click the persons table and select the Import/Export… menu item:


Second, (1) switch to import, (2) browse to the import file, (3) select the format as CSV, (4) select the delimiter as comma (,):


Third, click the columns tab, uncheck the id column, and click the OK button:


Finally, wait for the import process to complete. The following shows the dialog that inform you the progress of the import:


In this tutorial, you have learned how to import data from a CSV file into a table on the PostgreSQL database server using the COPY statement and pgAdmin tool.