Software programmers use various data types in their code.

A literal is a value that is expressed as itself. For example, the number 25 or the string "Hello World" are both literals.

A constant is a data type that substitutes a literal. Constants are useful in situations where

A variable in a program can change its value during the course of execution of the program. A constant retains the same value throughout the program.

Comparison chart

Constant versus Literal comparison chart
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Example const PI = 3.14; var radius = 5; var circumference = 2 * PI * radius; var radius = 5; var circumference = 2 * 3.14 * radius;

Constant vs Literal Data Type - Example

Suppose we are writing a program to determine which members of a population are eligible to vote, permitted to drink, both or neither.

const DRINKING_AGE = 21;
const VOTING_AGE = 18;

18 and 21 are literals. We can use these literals in all areas of our program. For example, if(age > 18) or if(age < 21). But we can make our code more understandable if we use constants instead. if(age > VOTING_AGE) is easier to understand. Other benefits of using constants are


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"Constant vs Literal." Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 24 Oct 2016. < >