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How Long Can a Java String Be?

Peter Doyle  -  November 4, 2021  -   

Java is a high-level object-oriented programming language that was developed in the mid-1990s by James A. Gosling. Java is known as an object-oriented programming language because it does not have a global scope. This means that anything in java is an object. All the data and program codes are within classes and objects. 

Java has an extensive set of classes available in the form of packages, object models java. String, on the other hand, is a sequence of characters, internally made of characters. Strings are also objects in Java.

A String is an array of characters, and like arrays, Strings also cannot grow. In other words, Strings are immutable. Like arrays, strings also have a fixed size. The maximum length of String in Java is 0 to 2,147,483,647. This is just an example, and it’s impossible to create such a string in real life. But theoretically speaking, this is possible.

So, we can have a String with a length of 2,147,483,647 characters. This answer might seem surprising at first because most programming languages limit their Strings to 32 or 64 bits. But not in java.

But it's not recommended because if you do so, then your program will crash and give an error message "java.lang.OutOfMemoryError". You should avoid creating such large Strings as much as possible. It is better to use Arrays instead of Strings for storing large data sets or objects that are too big to fit into memory all at once. 

Also, it is good practice to keep your strings short by using the substring() method whenever necessary rather than concatenating multiple strings together, making them longer and harder to read later on when debugging code or making changes later on down the road.

If you want to learn more about coding languages, visit our blog section.

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