Java: Default values

This entry is part 30 of 54 in the series Learn Java

The default value of an object is null. For primitive data types the default values are as follows: numerical types become 0, a char has the Unicode character for zero (\0000) and a boolean is false.

Default values will be automatically assigned by the compiler, but only for fields and not for local variables.

package javaapplication23;

public class PrintInt {

    int x;  // field is assigned default value 0

    public static void main(String[] args) {

        int y = printInt();


        PrintInt p = new PrintInt();

    static int printInt() {

        int x; // local variable must be assigned if used

        x = 10;
        return x;


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