LEN function - Amazon Redshift
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LEN function

Returns the length of the specified string as the number of characters.


LEN is a synonym of LENGTH function, CHAR_LENGTH function, CHARACTER_LENGTH function, and TEXTLEN function.




A CHAR string, a VARCHAR string, a VARBYTE expression, or an expression that implicitly evaluates to a CHAR, VARCHAR, or VARBYTE type.

Return type


The LEN function returns an integer indicating the number of characters in the input string.

If the input string is a character string, the LEN function returns the actual number of characters in multi-byte strings, not the number of bytes. For example, a VARCHAR(12) column is required to store three four-byte Chinese characters. The LEN function will return 3 for that same string. To get the length of a string in bytes, use the OCTET_LENGTH function.

Usage notes

If expression is a CHAR string, trailing spaces are not counted.

If expression is a VARCHAR string, trailing spaces are counted.


To return the number of bytes and the number of characters in the string français, use the following example.

SELECT OCTET_LENGTH('français'), LEN('français'); +--------------+-----+ | octet_length | len | +--------------+-----+ | 9 | 8 | +--------------+-----+

To return the number of bytes and the number of characters in the string français without using the OCTET_LENGTH function, use the following example. For more information, see the CAST function.

SELECT LEN(CAST('français' AS VARBYTE)) as bytes, LEN('français'); +-------+-----+ | bytes | len | +-------+-----+ | 9 | 8 | +-------+-----+

To return the number of characters in the strings cat with no trailing spaces, cat with three trailing spaces, cat with three trailing spaces cast as a CHAR of length 6, and cat with three trailing spaces cast as a VARCHAR of length 6, use the following example. Notice that the function does not count trailing spaces for CHAR strings, but it does count trailing spaces for VARCHAR strings.

SELECT LEN('cat'), LEN('cat '), LEN(CAST('cat ' AS CHAR(6))) AS len_char, LEN(CAST('cat ' AS VARCHAR(6))) AS len_varchar; +-----+-----+----------+-------------+ | len | len | len_char | len_varchar | +-----+-----+----------+-------------+ | 3 | 6 | 3 | 6 | +-----+-----+----------+-------------+

The following example uses data from the VENUE table in the TICKIT sample database. For more information, see Sample database.

To return the 10 longest venue names in the VENUE table, use the following example.

SELECT venuename, LEN(venuename) FROM venue ORDER BY 2 DESC, 1 LIMIT 10; +-----------------------------------------+-----+ | venuename | len | +-----------------------------------------+-----+ | Saratoga Springs Performing Arts Center | 39 | | Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts | 38 | | Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum | 33 | | Jacksonville Municipal Stadium | 30 | | Rangers BallPark in Arlington | 29 | | University of Phoenix Stadium | 29 | | Circle in the Square Theatre | 28 | | Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome | 28 | | Oriole Park at Camden Yards | 27 | | Dick's Sporting Goods Park | 26 | +-----------------------------------------+-----+