sql – ROW_NUMBER() in MySQL

The Question :

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Is there a nice way in MySQL to replicate the SQL Server function ROW_NUMBER()?

For example:

    col1, col2, 
    ROW_NUMBER() OVER (PARTITION BY col1, col2 ORDER BY col3 DESC) AS intRow
FROM Table1

Then I could, for example, add a condition to limit intRow to 1 to get a single row with the highest col3 for each (col1, col2) pair.

The Question Comments :

The Answer 1

111 people think this answer is useful

I want the row with the single highest col3 for each (col1, col2) pair.

That’s a groupwise maximum, one of the most commonly-asked SQL questions (since it seems like it should be easy, but actually it kind of isn’t).

I often plump for a null-self-join:

SELECT t0.col3
FROM table AS t0
LEFT JOIN table AS t1 ON t0.col1=t1.col1 AND t0.col2=t1.col2 AND t1.col3>t0.col3
WHERE t1.col1 IS NULL;

“Get the rows in the table for which no other row with matching col1,col2 has a higher col3.” (You will notice this and most other groupwise-maximum solutions will return multiple rows if more than one row has the same col1,col2,col3. If that’s a problem you may need some post-processing.)

The Answer 2

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There is no ranking functionality in MySQL. The closest you can get is to use a variable:

SELECT t.*, 
       @rownum := @rownum + 1 AS rank
       (SELECT @rownum := 0) r

so how would that work in my case? I’d need two variables, one for each of col1 and col2? Col2 would need resetting somehow when col1 changed..?

Yes. If it were Oracle, you could use the LEAD function to peak at the next value. Thankfully, Quassnoi covers the logic for what you need to implement in MySQL.

The Answer 3

82 people think this answer is useful

I always end up following this pattern. Given this table:

|    i |    j |
|    1 |   11 |
|    1 |   12 |
|    1 |   13 |
|    2 |   21 |
|    2 |   22 |
|    2 |   23 |
|    3 |   31 |
|    3 |   32 |
|    3 |   33 |
|    4 |   14 |

You can get this result:

|    i |    j | row_number |
|    1 |   11 |          1 |
|    1 |   12 |          2 |
|    1 |   13 |          3 |
|    2 |   21 |          1 |
|    2 |   22 |          2 |
|    2 |   23 |          3 |
|    3 |   31 |          1 |
|    3 |   32 |          2 |
|    3 |   33 |          3 |
|    4 |   14 |          1 |

By running this query, which doesn’t need any variable defined:

SELECT a.i, a.j, count(*) as row_number FROM test a
JOIN test b ON a.i = b.i AND a.j >= b.j
GROUP BY a.i, a.j

Hope that helps!

The Answer 4

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    @i:=@i+1 AS iterator, 
    tablename AS t,
    (SELECT @i:=0) AS foo

The Answer 5

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From MySQL 8.0.0 and above you could natively use windowed functions.

1.4 What Is New in MySQL 8.0:

Window functions.

MySQL now supports window functions that, for each row from a query, perform a calculation using rows related to that row. These include functions such as RANK(), LAG(), and NTILE(). In addition, several existing aggregate functions now can be used as window functions; for example, SUM() and AVG().

ROW_NUMBER() over_clause :

Returns the number of the current row within its partition. Rows numbers range from 1 to the number of partition rows.

ORDER BY affects the order in which rows are numbered. Without ORDER BY, row numbering is indeterminate.



INSERT INTO Table1(col1, col2, col3)
VALUES (1,1,'a'),(1,1,'b'),(1,1,'c'),

    col1, col2,col3,
    ROW_NUMBER() OVER (PARTITION BY col1, col2 ORDER BY col3 DESC) AS intRow
FROM Table1;

DBFiddle Demo

The Answer 6

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Check out this Article, it shows how to mimic SQL ROW_NUMBER() with a partition by in MySQL. I ran into this very same scenario in a WordPress Implementation. I needed ROW_NUMBER() and it wasn’t there.


The example in the article is using a single partition by field. To partition by additional fields you could do something like this:

  SELECT  @row_num := IF(@prev_value=concat_ws('',t.col1,t.col2),@row_num+1,1) AS RowNumber
         ,@prev_value := concat_ws('',t.col1,t.col2)
    FROM table1 t,
         (SELECT @row_num := 1) x,
         (SELECT @prev_value := '') y
   ORDER BY t.col1,t.col2,t.col3,t.col4 

Using concat_ws handles null’s. I tested this against 3 fields using an int, date, and varchar. Hope this helps. Check out the article as it breaks this query down and explains it.

The Answer 7

17 people think this answer is useful

I would also vote for Mosty Mostacho’s solution with minor modification to his query code:

SELECT a.i, a.j, (
    SELECT count(*) from test b where a.j >= b.j AND a.i = b.i
) AS row_number FROM test a

Which will give the same result:

|    i |    j | row_number |
|    1 |   11 |          1 |
|    1 |   12 |          2 |
|    1 |   13 |          3 |
|    2 |   21 |          1 |
|    2 |   22 |          2 |
|    2 |   23 |          3 |
|    3 |   31 |          1 |
|    3 |   32 |          2 |
|    3 |   33 |          3 |
|    4 |   14 |          1 |

for the table:

|    i |    j |
|    1 |   11 |
|    1 |   12 |
|    1 |   13 |
|    2 |   21 |
|    2 |   22 |
|    2 |   23 |
|    3 |   31 |
|    3 |   32 |
|    3 |   33 |
|    4 |   14 |

With the only difference that the query doesn’t use JOIN and GROUP BY, relying on nested select instead.

The Answer 8

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I would define a function:

delimiter $$
return if(@fakeId, @fakeId:=@fakeId+1, @fakeId:=1);

then I could do:

select getFakeId() as id, t.* from table t, (select @fakeId:=0) as t2;

Now you don’t have a subquery, which you can’t have in views.

The Answer 9

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query for row_number in mysql

set @row_number=0;
select (@row_number := @row_number +1) as num,id,name from sbs

The Answer 10

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There is no funtion like rownum, row_num() in MySQL but the way around is like below:

      @s:=@s+1 serial_no, 
from my_table tbl, (select @s:=0) as s;

The Answer 11

4 people think this answer is useful

The solution I found to work the best was using a subquery like this:

    col1, col2, 
        SELECT COUNT(*) 
        FROM Table1
        WHERE col1 = t1.col1
        AND col2 = t1.col2
        AND col3 > t1.col3
    ) AS intRow
FROM Table1 t1

The PARTITION BY columns just get compared with ‘=’ and separated by AND. The ORDER BY columns would be compared with ‘<‘ or ‘>’, and separated by OR.

I’ve found this to be very flexible, even if it is a little bit costly.

The Answer 12

4 people think this answer is useful

The rownumber functionality can’t be mimicked. You might get the results you expect, but you’ll most likely get disappointed at some stage. Here’s what mysql documentation says:

For other statements, such as SELECT, you might get the results you expect, but this is not guaranteed. In the following statement, you might think that MySQL will evaluate @a first and then do an assignment second: SELECT @a, @a:=@a+1, …; However, the order of evaluation for expressions involving user variables is undefined.

Regards, Georgi.

The Answer 13

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MariaDB 10.2 is implementing “Window Functions”, including RANK(), ROW_NUMBER() and several other things:


Based on a talk at Percona Live this month, they are reasonably well optimized.

The syntax is identical to the code in the Question.

The Answer 14

3 people think this answer is useful

Important: Please consider upgrading to MySQL 8+ and use the defined and documented ROW_NUMBER() function, and ditch old hacks tied to a feature limited ancient version of MySQL

Now here’s one of those hacks:

The answers here that use in-query variables mostly/all seem to ignore the fact that the documentation says (paraphrase):

Don’t rely on items in the SELECT list being evaluated in order from top to bottom. Don’t assign variables in one SELECT item and use them in another one

As such, there’s a risk they will churn out the wrong answer, because they typically do a

  (row number variable that uses partition variable),
  (assign partition variable)

If these are ever evaluated bottom up, the row number will stop working (no partitions)

So we need to use something with a guaranteed order of execution. Enter CASE WHEN:

  @r := CASE 
    WHEN col = @prevcol THEN @r + 1 
    WHEN (@prevcol := col) = null THEN null
    ELSE 1 END AS rn
  (SELECT @r := 0, @prevcol := null) x

As outline ld, order of assignment of prevcol is important – prevcol has to be compared to the current row’s value before we assign it a value from the current row (otherwise it would be the current rows col value, not the previous row’s col value).

Here’s how this fits together:

  • The first WHEN is evaluated. If this row’s col is the same as the previous row’s col then @r is incremented and returned from the CASE. This return led values is stored in @r. It’s a feature of MySQL that assignment returns the new value of what is assigned into @r into the result rows.

  • For the first row on the result set, @prevcol is null (it is initialised to null in the subquery) so this predicate is false. This first predicate also returns false every time col changes (current row is different to previous row). This causes the second WHEN to be evaluated.

  • The second WHEN predicate is always false, and it exists purely to assign a new value to @prevcol. Because this row’s col is different to the previous row’s col (we know this because if it were the same, the first WHEN would have been used), we have to assign the new value to keep it for testing next time. Because the assignment is made and then the result of the assignment is compared with null, and anything equated with null is false, this predicate is always false. But at least evaluating it did its job of keeping the value of col from this row, so it can be evaluated against the next row’s col value

  • Because the second WHEN is false, it means in situations where the column we are partitioning by (col) has changed, it is the ELSE that gives a new value for @r, restarting the numbering from 1

We this get to a situation where this:

  ROW_NUMBER() OVER(PARTITION BY pcol1, pcol2, ... pcolX ORDER BY ocol1, ocol2, ... ocolX) rn

Has the general form:

  @r := CASE 
    WHEN col1 = @pcol1 AND col2 = @pcol2 AND ... AND colX = @pcolX THEN @r + 1 
    WHEN (@pcol1 := pcol1) = null OR (@pcol2 := col2) = null OR ... OR (@pcolX := colX) = null THEN null
    ELSE 1 
  END AS rn
  (SELECT @r := 0, @pcol1 := null, @pcol2 := null, ..., @pcolX := null) x
ORDER BY pcol1, pcol2, ..., pcolX, ocol1, ocol2, ..., ocolX


  • The p in pcol means “partition”, the o in ocol means “order” – in the general form I dropped the “prev” from the variable name to reduce visual clutter

  • The brackets around (@pcolX := colX) = null are important. Without them you’ll assign null to @pcolX and things stop working

  • It’s a compromise that the result set has to be ordered by the partition columns too, for the previous column compare to work out. You can’t thus have your rownumber ordered according to one column but your result set ordered to another You might be able to resolve this with subqueries but I believe the docs also state that subquery ordering may be ignored unless LIMIT is used and this could impact performance

  • I haven’t delved into it beyond testing that the method works, but if there is a risk that the predicates in the second WHEN will be optimised away (anything compared to null is null/false so why bother running the assignment) and not executed, it also stops. This doesn’t seem to happen in my experience but I’ll gladly accept comments and propose solution if it could reasonably occur

  • It may be wise to cast the nulls that create @pcolX to the actual types of your columns, in the subquery that creates the @pcolX variables, viz: select @pcol1 := CAST(null as INT), @pcol2 := CAST(null as DATE)

The Answer 15

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I don’t see any simple answer covering the “PARTITION BY” part so here’s mine :

        CASE WHEN @partitionBy_1 = l THEN @row_number:=@row_number+1 ELSE @row_number:=1 END AS i
        , @partitionBy_1:=l AS p
        , t.*
    from (
        select @row_number:=0,@partitionBy_1:=null
    ) as x
    cross join (
        select 1 as n, 'a' as l
        union all
        select 1 as n, 'b' as l    
        union all
        select 2 as n, 'b' as l    
        union all
        select 2 as n, 'a' as l
        union all
        select 3 as n, 'a' as l    
        union all    
        select 3 as n, 'b' as l    
    ) as t
    ORDER BY l, n
) AS X
where i > 1

  • The ORDER BY clause must reflect your ROW_NUMBER need. Thus there’s already a clear limitation: you can’t have several ROW_NUMBER “emulation” of this form at the same time.
  • The order of the “computed column” matters. If you have mysql compute those column in another order, it might not work.
  • In this simple example I only put one but you can have several “PARTITION BY” parts

        CASE WHEN @partitionBy_1 = part1 AND @partitionBy_2 = part2 [...] THEN @row_number:=@row_number+1 ELSE @row_number:=1 END AS i
        , @partitionBy_1:=part1 AS P1
        , @partitionBy_2:=part2 AS P2
    FROM (
        SELECT @row_number:=0,@partitionBy_1:=null,@partitionBy_2:=null[...]
    ) as x

The Answer 16

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This could also be a solution:

SET @row_number = 0;

    (@row_number:=@row_number + 1) AS num, firstName, lastName

The Answer 17

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MySQL has supported the ROW_NUMBER() since version 8.0+.

If you use MySQL 8.0 or later, check it out ROW_NUMBER() function. Otherwise, you have emulate ROW_NUMBER() function.

The row_number() is a ranking function that returns a sequential number of a row, starting from 1 for the first row.

for older version,

SELECT t.*, 
       @rowid := @rowid + 1 AS ROWID
       (SELECT @rowid := 0) dummy;

The Answer 18

1 people think this answer is useful

A bit late but may also help to someone who looks for answers…

Between rows/row_number example – recursive query that may be used in any SQL:

WITH data(row_num, some_val) AS 
 SELECT 1 row_num, 1 some_val FROM any_table --dual in Oracle
 SELECT row_num+1, some_val+row_num FROM data WHERE row_num < 20 -- any number
 WHERE row_num BETWEEN 5 AND 10

5           11
6           16
7           22
8           29
9           37
10          46

The Answer 19

1 people think this answer is useful

This allows the same functionality that ROW_NUMBER() AND PARTITION BY provides to be achieved in MySQL

SELECT  @row_num := IF(@prev_value=GENDER,@row_num+1,1) AS RowNumber
       @prev_value := GENDER
  FROM Person,
      (SELECT @row_num := 1) x,
      (SELECT @prev_value := '') y
  ORDER BY Gender, Age DESC

The Answer 20

1 people think this answer is useful

Also a bit late but today I had the same need so I did search on Google and finally a simple general approach found here in Pinal Dave’s article http://blog.sqlauthority.com/2014/03/09/mysql-reset-row-number-for-each-group-partition-by-row-number/

I wanted to focus on Paul’s original question (that was my problem as well) so I summarize my solution as a working example.

Beacuse we want to partition over two column I would create a SET variable during the iteration to identify if a new group was started.

SELECT col1, col2, col3 FROM (
  SELECT col1, col2, col3,
         @n := CASE WHEN @v = MAKE_SET(3, col1, col2)
                    THEN @n + 1 -- if we are in the same group
                    ELSE 1 -- next group starts so we reset the counter
                END AS row_number,
         @v := MAKE_SET(3, col1, col2) -- we store the current value for next iteration
    FROM Table1, (SELECT @n := 0, @v := NULL) r -- helper table for iteration with startup values
   ORDER BY col1, col2, col3 DESC -- because we want the row with maximum value
) x WHERE row_number = 1 -- and here we select exactly the wanted row from each group

The 3 means at the first parameter of MAKE_SET that I want both value in the SET (3=1|2). Of course if we do not have two or more columns constructing the groups we can eliminate the MAKE_SET operation. The construction is exactly the same. This is working for me as required. Many thanks to Pinal Dave for his clear demonstration.

The Answer 21

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This is not the most robust solution – but if you’re just looking to create a partitioned rank on a field with only a few different values, it may not be unwieldily to use some case when logic with as many variables as you require.

Something like this has worked for me in the past:

SELECT t.*, 
   CASE WHEN <partition_field> = @rownum1 := @rownum1 + 1 
     WHEN <partition_field> = @rownum2 := @rownum2 + 1 
     END AS rank
   (SELECT @rownum1 := 0) r1, (SELECT @rownum2 := 0) r2
ORDER BY <rank_order_by_field>

Hope that makes sense / helps!

The Answer 22

-1 people think this answer is useful

This Work perfectly for me to create RowNumber when we have more than one column. In this case two column.

SELECT @row_num := IF(@prev_value= concat(`Fk_Business_Unit_Code`,`NetIQ_Job_Code`), @row_num+1, 1) AS RowNumber, 
    @prev_value := concat(`Fk_Business_Unit_Code`,`NetIQ_Job_Code`)  
FROM (SELECT DISTINCT `Fk_Business_Unit_Code`,`NetIQ_Job_Code`,`Supervisor_Name`         
      FROM Employee    
      ORDER BY `Fk_Business_Unit_Code`, `NetIQ_Job_Code`, `Supervisor_Name` DESC) z,  
(SELECT @row_num := 1) x,  
(SELECT @prev_value := '') y  
ORDER BY `Fk_Business_Unit_Code`, `NetIQ_Job_Code`,`Supervisor_Name` DESC

The Answer 23

-3 people think this answer is useful
set @i = 1;  

The Answer 24

-6 people think this answer is useful
    col1, col2, 
    count(*) as intRow
FROM Table1
GROUP BY col1,col2
ORDER BY col3 desc

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