Introduction to PostgreSQL json Data Type

PostgreSQL is an open-source relational database management system that supports various data types, including json data type. json is a lightweight data interchange format known for its readability and simplicity, making it popular. In PostgreSQL, the json data type can be used to store and query unstructured data.


To create a column with json data type in PostgreSQL, you need to use the json or jsonb keyword. The json type stores unstructured data, while the jsonb type stores binary format of json data. Here is an example SQL statement to create a column with json data type:

CREATE TABLE example_table (
    json_column JSON

Use Cases

The json data type has wide applications in PostgreSQL, including:

  1. Storing unstructured data: json data type can store arbitrary format of unstructured data such as logs, configuration files, schema-less data, etc.

  2. Storing semi-structured data: json data type can store semi-structured data such as XML documents, HTML documents, etc.

  3. Simplifying queries: Storing data in json data type can simplify the querying process. PostgreSQL’s built-in json functions allow easy manipulation and aggregation of json data type.

  4. Supporting multi-lingual data: json data type can store multi-lingual data, such as localized data for multi-lingual websites.


Here are two complete examples demonstrating how to create a json column and query json data in PostgreSQL:

  1. Creating a json column:

    CREATE TABLE example_table (
        json_column JSON
    INSERT INTO example_table (json_column)
    VALUES ('{"name": "John Smith", "age": 30, "address": {"city": "New York", "state": "NY"}}');
  2. Querying json data:

    SELECT json_column->>'name' AS name, json_column->>'age' AS age, json_column->'address'->>'city' AS city
    FROM example_table
    WHERE json_column @> '{"name": "John Smith"}';


    name        | age |   city
    John Smith  | 30  | New York


json data type is one of the useful data types in PostgreSQL, which can store unstructured and semi-structured data and simplify the querying process. When using json data type, it’s important to understand its storage format and querying methods to fully leverage its advantages.