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The SQL SUM() Function and How to Use It

Reading time 1 min
Published Aug 9, 2017
Updated Oct 8, 2019

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Introducing the SQL SUM() Function

SQL SUM() is an aggregate function that allows you to get the sum of the selected numeric values.

Syntax for SUM() in SQL

To perform summation in SQL, we need to first select the values we need to add. To do that, we use the SELECT statement:

SELECT SUM(col_name)
FROM tbl_name
WHERE conditions;

In the syntax example above, you see three parameters:

  • col_name defines the name of the column
  • tbl_name defines the name of the table
  • conditions defines specific conditions to filter particular values

Summation in SQL: an Example

To understand how to use SUM() in SQL better, we'll show you a simple example using a demo database.

A Demo Database

We will be using a part of the table called Orders:

ID Name Count Price Date
1 Apple 120 11.9 2017-08-18
2 Milk 50 9.1 2016-12-19
3 Bread 60 15.4 2017-06-21
4 Water 150 12.3 2017-07-10
5 Chocolate 85 21.9 2016-12-25

Using SQL SUM()

In the code example below, we take the data records from the Price column in the Orders table and find out the total sum:

FROM Orders;