SQL How to Use COUNT Correctly with GROUP BY

WHEN you have non-aggregate columns in SELECT , and you want to aggregate COUNT(*) function, then, you need GROUP BY. If you use only COUNT(*), then GROUP BY not needed. Check the rules below before you use it.

How to use SQL Count function

  • You can use “Count function” as a Column in SELECT statement
  • You cannot use “Count function” in Where clause
  • You can use “Count function” with Having clause
  • You need to use “Group By ” if you want to use non aggregate columns.

Count(*) means, the count value of fields in a Table. In this post, I will explain my results on how to use COUNT(*) and GROUP BY.

SQL Count Aggregate function

In this post, I am creating a Table and I will insert rows. Then I get data from the Table using Count Function.

If you do not use the SQL query correctly, you will not get the correct result.

Steps that I followed to use Count function

Step:1 to enter data into a Table

S.NOStudent NameCountry Name

Step: 2 To create a Table using SQL query

create table 
counttable(sno integer,
student_name varchar(20),
country_name char(20));

Step: 3 SQL query to check Table created or not

desc counttable;

Table “desc” result

sno int(11) YES NULL 
student_name varchar(20) YES NULL
country_name char(20) YES NULL

Also Read: What is aggregate function by dofactory

SQL aggregate functions

Step: 4 SQL Query to Insert values into a Table

insert into counttable values
(1, 'Ramani', 'USA');
insert into counttable values
2, 'Krishan', 'Japan'
insert into counttable values
3, 'Mani', 'UK'
insert into counttable values
4, 'Rani', 'India'

SQL Result after inserting values

1 Ramani USA 
2 Krishan Japan
3 Mani UK
4 Rani India

Step: 5 SQL Query “Count function” with Group By and Order By

An SQL query to find a student who studied in the USA by using SQL Count Group by

select student_name, count(*)
from counttable
where country_name = 'USA'
group by student_name
order by student_name;

Group By student_name command allows for the Aggregates to be calculated per student_name.

The data has also been sorted with the ORDER BY statement.

Result of SQL Count (*)

Ramani 1

The important point is the non-aggregate field in SELECT statement requires GROUP BY. The ORDER BY will sort the result. If you do not want sort, you no need to use in your SQL.

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Author: Srini

Experienced software developer. Skills in Development, Coding, Testing and Debugging. Good Data analytic skills (Data Warehousing and BI). Also skills in Mainframe.