Storage Estimation


How many bits or bytes are there in a character?

It depends what is the character and what encoding it is in:

  • An ASCII character in 8-bit ASCII encoding is 8 bits (1 byte), though it can fit in 7 bits.

  • An ISO-8895-1 character in ISO-8859-1 encoding is 8 bits (1 byte).

  • A Unicode character in UTF-8 encoding is between 8 bits (1 byte) and 32 bits (4 bytes).

  • A Unicode character in UTF-16 encoding is between 16 (2 bytes) and 32 bits (4 bytes), though most of the common characters take 16 bits. This is the encoding used by Windows internally.

  • A Unicode character in UTF-32 encoding is always 32 bits (4 bytes).

  • An ASCII character in UTF-8 is 8 bits (1 byte), and in UTF-16 - 16 bits.

  • The additional (non-ASCII) characters in ISO-8895-1 (0xA0-0xFF) would take 16 bits in UTF-8 and UTF-16.

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