How To Do Less Than A Date Sql

SQL Programming

Today, I want to share with you my personal experience and expertise on how to perform a “less than” comparison on a date in SQL. As a software developer, I often encounter scenarios where I need to retrieve data based on a specific date range, and knowing how to properly use the “less than” operator is crucial in these situations.

Before diving into the details, let’s first understand what a “less than” comparison means. In SQL, the “less than” operator (<) is used to compare two values and returns true if the left operand is less than the right operand. When it comes to dates, we can use this operator to filter out records that occur before a certain date.

To perform a “less than” comparison on a date in SQL, you need to use the proper syntax. Let’s say we have a table called “events” with a column named “event_date” which stores the dates of various events. To retrieve all events that occurred before a specific date, you can use the following SQL query:

SELECT * FROM events WHERE event_date < '2022-01-01';

In the above query, we use the “less than” operator (<) to compare the "event_date" column with the date '2022-01-01'. This will return all events that occurred before January 1, 2022. You can modify the date to fit your specific needs.

It’s important to note that the date format used in the query (‘YYYY-MM-DD’) may vary depending on your database system. Be sure to check the documentation or refer to your database’s specific requirements.

Now, let’s take a deeper dive into the details of this comparison. When comparing dates in SQL, the “less than” operator not only considers the year, but also the month and day. This means that if you have two events with the same year, but different months or days, the comparison will take those into account as well.

For example, let’s say we have two events in our “events” table:

  • Event 1: event_date = ‘2022-01-05’
  • Event 2: event_date = ‘2022-02-10’

If we execute the following query:

SELECT * FROM events WHERE event_date < '2022-02-01';

Only Event 1 will be returned, as it occurred before February 1, 2022. Event 2, which occurred on February 10, 2022, will not be included in the result.

It’s worth mentioning that the “less than” comparison also works with datetime values, where it considers the time component as well. This can be useful when dealing with more precise timestamp data.

In conclusion, knowing how to perform a “less than” comparison on a date in SQL is a valuable skill for any developer. By using the proper syntax and understanding how the comparison works, you can easily filter and retrieve data based on a specific date range. Remember to check your database’s documentation for any specific requirements regarding date formats.


Performing a “less than” comparison on a date in SQL is an essential skill for developers. By using the “less than” operator (<) and the proper syntax, you can easily filter records based on a specific date range. Understanding how the comparison works and considering the year, month, day, and even time component if applicable, allows for precise filtering and retrieval of data. Keep practicing and exploring different use cases to master this valuable SQL technique.