JavaScript Types Explained

July 20, 2020

In JavaScript there are 7 main types that you will see values take on. These types include String, Number, Boolean, Object, Undefined, Null, and Symbol.

JavaScript is considered a dynamically typed language since it is not necessary to declare the type of a variable because the browser will determine that at runtime.


A string is a combination of characters and spaces primarily used to denote text. Strings can be created using single quotes, double quotes, and back ticks like so

var string1 = 'A string with single quotes!'
var string2 = "A string with double quotes!"
var string3 = `A string with backticks!`

The first two examples are normal strings, while string3 is considered a string template literal.

Standard String

Single and double quote strings can be concatenated with other strings and variables using the + operator

var string1 = 'Hello '
var string2 = "World"
console.log(string1 + string2)
// Hello World

Sometimes your strings will break if they contain quotes or slashes in them. This can be fixed with an “escape character” by adding a \ like in this example

console.log("Hi i\'m a string!")

String Template Literal

String template literals are new in ES6 and they allow us to insert variables into strings, as well as cleanly create multiline strings. This syntax is denoted by backticks `` and uses the dollar/brackets ${} syntax to indicate a JavaScript variable.

const stringType = "string template literal"
const string3 = `Hi, I'm a ${stringType} and 
exist on two lines.`

Multiline strings using quotes can become a headache as you actually need to include a \ after each line break. String template literals allow us to make multiline strings with back ticks like in the example above. This is particularly helpful when you have a long string of text or markup, though it currently requires the use of a transpiler like babel to work across browsers.


In JavaScript number is the type for both integers and floating-point (decimal) numerical values.

const number1 = 42
const number2 = 3.1416

Unlike strings, numerical values are represented without quotes.


In JavaScript we can perform addition (+), subtraction (-), multiplication (*), division (\), exponent (**), and modulus (% aka remainder) operations using numbers and number variables.

const number1 = 99
const number2 = number1 + 1 / 2
// 99.5

Keep in mind that order of operations rules still apply and operators will get evaluated in this order

  1. parantheses/brackets
  2. exponents
  3. multiplication/division
  4. addition/subtraction

Math Object

JavaScript also comes with a Math object that has dozens of math methods including

Math method Description Example Call Example Value
random() random number 0-1 Math.random() 0.09951443268451432
round(2.5) rounds to nearest integer Math.round(2.5) 3
abs(-5) absolute value Math.abs(-5) 5
ceil(9.99) rounds up Math.ceil(9.99) 10
floor(9.99) rounds down Math.floor(9.99) 9


In JavaScript, a boolean is considered either true or false. Booleans also do not require quotes like numbers, and have have only 2 possible values. Booleans are useful to contain application logic by running different code based on certain conditions. There are numerous methods in JavaScript that are evaluated to a boolean. For example

console.log(2 + 2 === 4)
// true

console.log(1 <= 5)
// true

const name = "code-boost"
// false

const fruits = ['apple', 'orange', 'melon']
console.log(fruits.indexOf('banana') > -1)
// false


Object is somewhat of an all-encompasing type in JavaScript. An object, at a fundamental level is a type of complex data structure denoted by brackets {} that contains named properties which are either JavaScript values or functions.

Here is an example JavaScript object

const user = {
  name: "Giovanni",
  email: "",
  lastLogin: 36842,
  sayHi: function() {
    console.log("Hi, my name is " +

We can access each of the properties on the user object like so

// Giovanni

// Hi, my name is Giovanni

Additionally we can access the user object directly in the console, i.e. This because user is globally scoped in this example.

Object properties can also be changed in a few different ways like so = "Ash Ketchum"
user["email"] = ""
  name: "Ash Ketchum", 
  email: "", 
  lastLogin: 36842, 
  sayHi: ƒ

Other Objects

The type object also includes arrays, functions, dates, and other structures in JavaScript which are actually specialized objects.

const object1 = [1, 2, 3]
const object2 = function() {
const object3 = new Date()


In JavaScript a value can be declared null if it has no default value. This is useful because that value will evaluate to false. Null is sort of an empty state to indicate non-string unassigned values.

A null value can only be arrived at if it is declared as null at some point.


Variables in JavaScript can be declared and not defined

var name
let email
console.log(name, email)
// undefined undefined

It is also common to get undefined from a function that doesn’t have a return value or a variable that wasn’t correctly imported.


The Symbol type in JavaScript is a new addition with ES6. Calling a Symbol() returns a unique value that can be used for object identifiers. Symbols are the least common of all the JavaScript types, and are mostly unnecessary to use in development.

const symbol1 = Symbol()

Using the typeof Method

Each of the above example variables can have their types evaluated with the typeof method. This method returns the name of the variable’s type.

const title = "code-boost"
console.log(typeof title)
// string

const luckyNumber = 100
console.log(typeof luckyNumber)
// number

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