The MySQL INSERT INTO Statement

The INSERT INTO statement is used to insert new records in a table.

INSERT INTO Syntax

It is possible to write the INSERT INTO statement in two ways:

1. Specify both the column names and the values to be inserted:

INSERT INTO table_name (column1, column2, column3, ...)
VALUES (value1, value2, value3, ...); 

2. If you are adding values for all the columns of the table, you do not need to specify the column names in the SQL query. However, make sure the order of the values is in the same order as the columns in the table. Here, the INSERT INTO syntax would be as follows:

INSERT INTO table_name
VALUES (value1, value2, value3, ...); 

Demo Database

Below is a selection from the “Customers” table in the Northwind sample database:

CustomerIDCustomerNameContactNameAddressCityPostalCodeCountry
89White Clover MarketsKarl Jablonski305 – 14th Ave. S. Suite 3BSeattle98128USA
90
Wilman KalaMatti KarttunenKeskuskatu 45Helsinki21240Finland
91
WolskiZbyszekul. Filtrowa 68Walla01-012Poland

INSERT INTO Example

The following SQL statement inserts a new record in the “Customers” table:

Example

INSERT INTO Customers (CustomerName, ContactName, Address, City, PostalCode, Country)
VALUES ('Cardinal', 'Tom B. Erichsen', 'Skagen 21', 'Stavanger', '4006', 'Norway');

The selection from the “Customers” table will now look like this:

CustomerIDCustomerNameContactNameAddressCityPostalCodeCountry
89White Clover MarketsKarl Jablonski305 – 14th Ave. S. Suite 3BSeattle98128USA
90
Wilman KalaMatti KarttunenKeskuskatu 45Helsinki21240Finland
91
WolskiZbyszekul. Filtrowa 68Walla01-012Poland
92CardinalTom B. ErichsenSkagen 21Stavanger4006Norway

Did you notice that we did not insert any number into the CustomerID field?
The CustomerID column is an auto-increment field and will be generated automatically when a new record is inserted into the table.


Insert Data Only in Specified Columns

It is also possible to only insert data in specific columns.

The following SQL statement will insert a new record, but only insert data in the “CustomerName”, “City”, and “Country” columns (CustomerID will be updated automatically):

Example

INSERT INTO Customers (CustomerName, City, Country)
VALUES ('Cardinal', 'Stavanger', 'Norway');

The selection from the “Customers” table will now look like this:

CustomerIDCustomerNameContactNameAddressCityPostalCodeCountry
89White Clover MarketsKarl Jablonski305 – 14th Ave. S. Suite 3BSeattle98128USA
90
Wilman KalaMatti KarttunenKeskuskatu 45Helsinki21240Finland
91
WolskiZbyszekul. Filtrowa 68Walla01-012Poland
92CardinalnullnullStavangernullNorway