The MySQL ORDER BY Keyword

The ORDER BY keyword is used to sort the result-set in ascending or descending order.

The ORDER BY keyword sorts the records in ascending order by default. To sort the records in descending order, use the DESC keyword.

ORDER BY Syntax

SELECT column1, column2, ...
FROM table_name
ORDER BY column1, column2, ... ASC|DESC; 

Demo Database

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

CustomerIDCustomerNameContactNameAddressCityPostalCodeCountry
1
Alfreds FutterkisteMaria AndersObere Str. 57Berlin12209Germany
2Ana Trujillo Emparedados y heladosAna TrujilloAvda. de la Constitución 2222México D.F.05021Mexico
3Antonio Moreno TaqueríaAntonio MorenoMataderos 2312México D.F.05023Mexico
4
Around the HornThomas Hardy120 Hanover Sq.LondonWA1 1DPUK
5Berglunds snabbköpChristina BerglundBerguvsvägen 8LuleåS-958 22Sweden

ORDER BY Example

The following SQL statement selects all customers from the “Customers” table, sorted by the “Country” column:

Example

SELECT * FROM Customers
ORDER BY Country;

ORDER BY DESC Example

The following SQL statement selects all customers from the “Customers” table, sorted DESCENDING by the “Country” column:

Example

SELECT * FROM Customers
ORDER BY Country DESC; 

ORDER BY Several Columns Example

The following SQL statement selects all customers from the “Customers” table, sorted by the “Country” and the “CustomerName” column. This means that it orders by Country, but if some rows have the same Country, it orders them by CustomerName:

Example

SELECT * FROM Customers
ORDER BY Country, CustomerName; 

ORDER BY Several Columns Example 2

The following SQL statement selects all customers from the “Customers” table, sorted ascending by the “Country” and descending by the “CustomerName” column:

Example

SELECT * FROM Customers
ORDER BY Country ASC, CustomerName DESC;