LIMIT

An introduction to the LIMIT clause.

Sometimes when you write a query against a dataset–especially a SELECT * query–you just want to see a sample of the data stored in the dataset. One reason for just returning a sample is that you don’t want to wait the amount of time it would take to retrieve and render all the data in the dataset into a table. Some datasets have upwards of a million rows and the time it takes to run a SELECT * query against one would be measured in minutes, not seconds. You might just want to see how the values in the columns are formatted so you can write a query restricting the rows returned based on the data. LIMIT is used in a query to return up to a specific number of rows in the results and comes after the WHERE clause.

If we wanted to take a quick pick at some of the data in the Intakes table, we could write this query which limits the rows returned to 10: :

SELECT *
  FROM austin_animal_center_intakes
 LIMIT 10

And the resultant table would look like:

animal_id name datetime monthyear found_location intake_type intake_condition animal_type sex_upon_intake age_upon_intake breed color
A006100 Scamp 2017-12-07T14:07:00 2017-12 Colony Creek And Hunters Trace in Austin (TX) Stray Normal Dog Neutered Male 10 years Spinone Italiano Mix Yellow/White
A006100 Scamp 2014-12-19T10:21:00 2014-12 8700 Research Blvd in Austin (TX) Public Assist Normal Dog Neutered Male 7 years Spinone Italiano Mix Yellow/White
A191351 Bri-Bri 2015-11-13T15:57:00 2015-11 1912 E William Cannon Rd in Austin (TX) Stray Normal Cat Intact Female 16 years Domestic Longhair Mix Black/White
A322813 Tyson 2015-03-05T14:49:00 2015-03 Austin (TX) Public Assist Normal Dog Neutered Male 11 years Rottweiler Mix Black/Brown
A553074 Jo Jo 2016-03-27T00:04:00 2016-03 3614 Bill Price in Travis (TX) Public Assist Normal Dog Spayed Female 7 years Labrador Retriever/German Shepherd Brown/Black
A672744 Oso 2014-02-17T17:10:00 2014-02 Travis (TX) Owner Surrender Normal Dog Intact Male 3 years Rottweiler Mix Black/Tan
A672744 Oso 2014-02-17T17:10:00 2014-02 Austin (TX) Public Assist Normal Dog Intact Male 3 years Rottweiler Mix Black/Tan
A672745 *Dottie 2014-02-16T11:01:00 2014-02 Mlk And Fm 969 in Austin (TX) Stray Normal Dog Spayed Female 2 years American Staffordshire Terrier Mix White/Red
A672746 Manolo 2014-05-21T13:37:00 2014-05 Austin (TX) Owner Surrender Normal Dog Neutered Male 9 years Jack Russell Terrier Mix White/Black
A672746 Manolo 2014-02-16T11:21:00 2014-02 Travis (TX) Owner Surrender Normal Dog Neutered Male 9 years Jack Russell Terrier Mix White/Black