How Do You Calculate the MYSQL Date Difference?

This article will explain how to calculate the MySQL date difference. This computation is important in an interview setting as it demonstrates the candidate understands basic calculations and timekeeping with MySQL. The candidate should give a detailed description of the process in simple terminology, which this article will provide.

Calculating the MySQL Date Difference

Defining the Date Difference Calculation

The date difference calculation is used to find the time passed between a set starting date and end date. This can be input in tables and other record keeping functions.

Finding a Function

First, the correct MySQL function must be identified. This function is TIMESTAMPDIFF(). Entering the function opens up a set of parenthesis with 3 parameters, one for the unit of time, and one each for the start and end dates. When using months, the function will compensate for the number of days (28, 29, 30, 31) in each month. Hitting enter will produce an accurate calculation in the designated unit of time.

Precision Calculations

Decimal points can be introduced to the MySQL date difference calculation. To do this, add a DATEDIFF() function after TIMESTAMPDIFF() and set the parameters as end date, then startdate+INTERVAL of your previous TIMESTAMPDIFF function. Then divide that first DATEDIFF function by a second DATEDIFF function where the parameters are the start date + the TIMESTAMPDIFF+1 month, then start date+just the TIMESTAMPDIFF.

Importance of this computation

Calculating the MySQL date difference is a core component of the tasks of record keeping and tracking time in a company. These values utilize the TIMESTAMPDIFF() function.

  • Calculating a shift length using hours.
  • Calculating a work week using days.
  • Calculating a project length using months.

All these tasks are directly involved in tracking services rendered, and therefore payment for those services. This is a core function of a business.


Calculating the MySQL date difference is performed by using the TIMESTAMPDIFF() function and inputting the correct parameters. For decimal points, divide two DATEDIFF functions. Make sure the correct units are input in parameters. This calculation is critical in timekeeping and payment tasks. Please share any ideas in the comments.


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