Java Variables | Declaration | Java Identifiers | Multiple Variables

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Java Variables

A variable is a container which holds the value while the Java program is executed. A variable is assigned with a data type. Variable is a name of memory location. There are three types of variables in java: local, instance and static.

A variable is the name of a reserved area allocated in memory. In other words, it is a name of the memory location. It is a combination of “vary + able” which means its value can be changed. Variables are containers for storing data values. In Java, there are different types of variables, for example:

  • String – stores text, such as “Hello”. String values are surrounded by double quotes
  • int – stores integers (whole numbers), without decimals, such as 123 or -123
  • float – stores floating point numbers, with decimals, such as 19.99 or -19.99
  • char – stores single characters, such as ‘a’ or ‘B’. Char values are surrounded by single quotes
  • boolean – stores values with two states: true or false

Types of Variables

There are three types of variables in Java:

  • local variable
  • instance variable
  • static variable
types of variables in java

1) Local Variable

A variable declared inside the body of the method is called local variable. You can use this variable only within that method and the other methods in the class aren’t even aware that the variable exists. A local variable cannot be defined with “static” keyword.

2) Instance Variable

A variable declared inside the class but outside the body of the method, is called an instance variable. It is not declared as static. It is called an instance variable because its value is instance-specific and is not shared among instances.

3) Static variable

A variable that is declared as static is called a static variable. It cannot be local. You can create a single copy of the static variable and share it among all the instances of the class. Memory allocation for static variables happens only once when the class is loaded in the memory.

Declaring (Creating) Variables

To create a variable, you must specify the type and assign it a value:


type variableName = value;

Where type is one of Java’s types (such as int or String), and variableName is the name of the variable (such as x or name). The equal sign is used to assign values to the variable. To create a variable that should store text, look at the following example:

Variables in Java - GeeksforGeeks


Create a variable called name of type String and assign it the value “John“:

String name = "John";

To create a variable that should store a number, look at the following example:


Create a variable called myNum of type int and assign it the value 15:

int myNum = 15;

You can also declare a variable without assigning the value, and assign the value later:


int myNum;
myNum = 15;

Note that if you assign a new value to an existing variable, it will overwrite the previous value:


Change the value of myNum from 15 to 20:

int myNum = 15;
myNum = 20;  // myNum is now 20

Final Variables

If you don’t want others (or yourself) to overwrite existing values, use the final keyword (this will declare the variable as “final” or “constant”, which means unchangeable and read-only):


final int myNum = 15;
myNum = 20;  // will generate an error: cannot assign a value to a final variable

Other Types

A demonstration of how to declare variables of other types:


int myNum = 5;
float myFloatNum = 5.99f;
char myLetter = 'D';
boolean myBool = true;
String myText = "Hello";

Java Print Variables

Display Variables

The println() method is often used to display variables. To combine both text and a variable, use the + character:


String name = "John";
System.out.println("Hello " + name);

You can also use the + character to add a variable to another variable:


String firstName = "John ";
String lastName = "Doe";
String fullName = firstName + lastName;

For numeric values, the + character works as a mathematical operator (notice that we use int (integer) variables here):


int x = 5;
int y = 6;
System.out.println(x + y); // Print the value of x + y

From the example above, you can expect:

  • x stores the value 5
  • y stores the value 6
  • Then we use the println() method to display the value of x + y, which is 11

Java Declare Multiple Variables

Declare Many Variables

To declare more than one variable of the same type, you can use a comma-separated list:


Instead of writing:

int x = 5;
int y = 6;
int z = 50;
System.out.println(x + y + z);

You can simply write:

int x = 5, y = 6, z = 50;
System.out.println(x + y + z);

One Value to Multiple Variables

You can also assign the same value to multiple variables in one line:


int x, y, z;
x = y = z = 50;
System.out.println(x + y + z);

Java Identifiers


All Java variables must be identified with unique names. These unique names are called identifiers. Identifiers can be short names (like x and y) or more descriptive names (age, sum, total Volume). Note: It is recommended to use descriptive names in order to create understandable and maintainable code:


// Good
int minutesPerHour = 60;

// OK, but not so easy to understand what m actually is
int m = 60;
The general rules for naming variables are:

Names can contain letters, digits, underscores, and dollar signs
Names must begin with a letter
Names should start with a lowercase letter and it cannot contain whitespace
Names can also begin with $ and _ (but we will not use it in this tutorial)
Names are case sensitive ("myVar" and "myvar" are different variables)
Reserved words (like Java keywords, such as int or boolean) cannot be used as names

Java Variables | Declaration | Java Identifiers | Multiple Variables
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