# How many decimal places does the primitive float and double support? [duplicate]

If you are on an architecture using IEEE-754 floating point arithmetic (as in most architectures), then the type float corresponds to single precision, and the type double corresponds to double precision, as described in the standard.

Let’s make some numbers:

### Single precision:

32 bits to represent the number, out of which 24 bits are for mantissa. This means that the least significant bit (LSB) has a relative value of 2^(-24) respect to the MSB, which is the “hidden 1”, and it is not represented. Therefore, for a fixed exponent, the minimum representable value is 10^(-7.22) times the exponent. What this means is that for a representation in base exponent notation (3.141592653589 E 25), only “7.22” decimal numbers are significant, which in practice means that at least 7 decimals will be always correct.

### Double precision:

64 bits to represent the number, out of which 53 bits are for mantissa. Following the same reasoning, expressing 2^(-53) as a power of 10 results in 10^(-15.95), which in term means that at least 15 decimals will be always correct.

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