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— create new rows in a table


[ WITH [RECURSIVE] <with_query> [, ...] ]
INSERT INTO <table_name>
[ (<column_name> [, ...]) ] VALUES ( { <expression> | DEFAULT } [, ...]) |
[ (<column_name> [, ...]) ] <query>
[ RETURNING { * | <output_expression> [AS <output_name>]} [, ...] ]


INSERT inserts new rows into a table. One can insert one or more rows specified by value expressions, or zero or more rows resulting from a query.

The target column names can be listed in any order. If no list of column names is given at all, the default is all the columns of the table in their declared order; or the first <n> column names, if there are only <n> columns supplied by the VALUES clause or <query>. The values supplied by the VALUES clause or <query> are associated with the explicit or implicit column list left-to-right.

Note that the syntax for the VALUES clause is extended from its general definition in SELECT, as it also supports the special argument DEFAULT. In this special case, the default value is used for the corresponding column. The default value is specified when creating the table. See CREATE TABLE.

Each column not present in the explicit or implicit column list will be filled with a default value, either its declared default value or null if there is none.

If the expression for any column is not of the correct data type, automatic type conversion will be attempted.

The optional RETURNING clause causes INSERT to compute and return value(s) based on each row actually inserted. This is primarily useful for obtaining values that were supplied by defaults. However, any expression using the table's columns is allowed. The syntax of the RETURNING list is identical to that of the output list of SELECT.

Use of the RETURNING clause requires SELECT privilege on all columns mentioned in RETURNING. If you use the <query> clause to insert rows from a query, you of course need to have SELECT privilege on any table or column used in the query.


The WITH clause allows you to specify one or more subqueries that can be referenced by name in the INSERT query. See SELECT for details.
It is possible for the <query> (SELECT statement) to also contain a WITH clause. In such a case both sets of <with_query> can be referenced within the <query>, but the second one takes precedence since it is more closely nested.
The name (optionally schema-qualified) of an existing table.
The name of a column in the table named by <table_name>.
All columns will be filled with their default values.
An expression or value to assign to the corresponding column.
The corresponding column will be filled with its default value.
A query (SELECT statement) that supplies the rows to be inserted. Refer to the SELECT statement for a description of the syntax.
An expression to be computed and returned by the INSERT command after each row is inserted or updated. The expression can use any column names of the table named by <table_name>. Write * to return all columns of the inserted or updated row(s).
A name to use for a returned column.


If the INSERT command contains a RETURNING clause, the result will be similar to that of a SELECT statement containing the columns and values defined in the RETURNING list, computed over the row(s) inserted or updated by the command.


Insert a single row into table films (from the CREATE TABLE Examples):

VALUES ('UA502', 'Bananas', 105, '1971-07-13', 'Comedy', '82 minutes');

In this example, the len column is omitted and therefore it will have the default value:

INSERT INTO films (code, title, did, date_prod, kind)
VALUES ('T_601', 'Yojimbo', 106, '1961-06-16', 'Drama');

This example uses the DEFAULT clause for the date columns rather than specifying a value:

VALUES ('UA502', 'Bananas', 105, DEFAULT, 'Comedy', '82 minutes');
INSERT INTO films (code, title, did, date_prod, kind)
VALUES ('T_601', 'Yojimbo', 106, DEFAULT, 'Drama');

To insert a row consisting entirely of default values:


To insert multiple rows using the multi-row VALUES syntax:

INSERT INTO films (code, title, did, date_prod, kind)
('B6717', 'Tampopo', 110, '1985-02-10', 'Comedy'),
('HG120', 'The Dinner Game', 140, DEFAULT, 'Comedy');

This example inserts some rows into table films from a table tmp_films with the same column layout as films, returning the maximum date_prod among the inserted rows:

SELECT * FROM tmp_films WHERE date_prod < '2004-05-07'
RETURNING MAX(date_prod);


INSERT conforms to the SQL standard, except that the RETURNING clause is a Hyper extension (also available in PostgreSQL), as is the ability to use WITH with INSERT. Also, the case in which a column name list is omitted, but not all the columns are filled from the VALUES clause or <query>, is disallowed by the standard.

Possible limitations of the <query> clause are documented under SELECT.