The SQL WHERE Clause

The WHERE clause is used to filter records.

The WHERE clause is used to extract only those records that fulfill a specified condition.

WHERE Syntax

SELECT column1, column2, ...
FROM table_name
WHERE condition;


Note: The WHERE clause is not only used in SELECT statement, it is also used in UPDATE, DELETE statement, etc.!

Demo Database

Below is a selection from the "Customers" table in the Northwind sample database:

CustomerID CustomerName ContactName Address City PostalCode Country

Alfreds Futterkiste Maria Anders Obere Str. 57 Berlin 12209 Germany
2 Ana Trujillo Emparedados y helados Ana Trujillo Avda. de la Constitución 2222 México D.F. 05021 Mexico
3 Antonio Moreno Taquería Antonio Moreno Mataderos 2312 México D.F. 05023 Mexico

Around the Horn Thomas Hardy 120 Hanover Sq. London WA1 1DP UK
5 Berglunds snabbköp Christina Berglund Berguvsvägen 8 Luleå S-958 22 Sweden

WHERE Clause Example

The following SQL statement selects all the customers from the country "Mexico", in the "Customers" table:


SELECT * FROM Customers
WHERE Country='Mexico';


Now, let us use the DISTINCT keyword with the above SELECT statement and see the result.

Text Fields vs. Numeric Fields

SQL requires single quotes around text values (most database systems will also allow double quotes).

However, numeric fields should not be enclosed in quotes:


SELECT * FROM Customers
WHERE CustomerID=1;


Operators in The WHERE Clause

The following operators can be used in the WHERE clause:

Operator Description
= Equal
<> Not equal. Note: In some versions of SQL this operator may be written as !=
> Greater than
< Less than
>= Greater than or equal
<= Less than or equal
BETWEEN Between an inclusive range
LIKE Search for a pattern
IN To specify multiple possible values for a column