Filter Data in the MySQL WHERE Clause With Less Than and Greater Than Comparisons

While equality and inequality filter conditions are very common, many times you wish to filter the FROM clause table rows based on values that are less than or greater than another value. MySQL (and SQL in general) supports the less than (<) and greater than (>) operators. Continue reading and see examples of each…

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Another way you can think of these types of filter conditions is as a range-based filter (in a sense). This is where the less than and greater than conditional filter operators come in.

Less than and greater than comparison operators with numerical data

In the below query we are filtering for any rows that have a ‘category_id’ column value of less than 5:

SELECT *
FROM category
WHERE category_id < 5;

There are 4 rows that pass the criteria of the conditional ‘category_id < 5’ and are returned in the query results.

On the converse, if you are only interested in seeing any rows with a ‘category_id’ column value greater than 5, use the greater than comparison operator (>) in the WHERE clause conditional filter:

SELECT *
FROM category
WHERE category_id > 5;

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Less than or equal to and greater than or equal to

You may have noticed that in the previous example queries, the results did not include the bounds of the conditional filter. For instance, the conditional filter ‘category_id < 5’ does not include any rows where the actual ‘category_id’ value is 5. Only those that are less than 5.

To include the actual bounds of the filter condition, use the ‘or equals to’ comparison operator accordingly.

In the following query, the conditional filter ‘category_id <= 5’ will filter any rows that have a ‘category_id’ that is less than 5, along with those rows whose ‘category_id’ is equal to 5 (if any):

SELECT *
FROM category
WHERE category_id <= 5;

Equals to works the same for greater than comparisons just as the less than or equals example:

SELECT *
FROM category
WHERE category_id >= 5;

Be sure and visit any of these similar MySQL beginners series articles:

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Josh Otwell has a passion to study and grow as a SQL Developer and blogger. Other favorite activities find him with his nose buried in a good book, article, or the Linux command line. Among those, he shares a love of tabletop RPG games, reading fantasy novels, and spending time with his wife and two daughters.

Disclaimer: The examples presented in this post are hypothetical ideas of how to achieve similar types of results. They are not the utmost best solution(s). The majority, if not all, of the examples provided, are performed on a personal development/learning workstation environment and should not be considered production quality or ready. Your particular goals and needs may vary. Use those practices that best benefit your needs and goals. Opinions are my own.

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