Creates new rows in a table.


[ WITH [ RECURSIVE ] <with_query> [, ...] ]
INSERT INTO <table> [( <column> [, ...] )]
   {DEFAULT VALUES | VALUES ( {<expression> | DEFAULT} [, ...] ) [, ...] | <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 may be listed in any order. If no list of column names is given at all, the default is the columns of the table in their declared order. The values supplied by the VALUES clause or query are associated with the explicit or implicit column list left-to-right.

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 no default.

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, such as a serial sequence number. 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.

You must have INSERT privilege on a table in order to insert into it. When a column list is specified, you need INSERT privilege only on the listed columns. Use of the RETURNING clause requires SELECT privilege on all columns mentioned in RETURNING. If you provide a query to insert rows from a query, you must have SELECT privilege on any table or column referenced in the query.


On successful completion, an INSERT command returns a command tag of the form:

INSERT <oid> <count>

The count is the number of rows inserted. If count is exactly one, and the target table has OIDs, then oid is the OID assigned to the inserted row. Otherwise OID is zero.



The WITH clause allows you to specify one or more subqueries that can be referenced by name in the INSERT query.

For an INSERT command that includes a WITH clause, the clause can only contain SELECT statements, the WITH clause cannot contain a data-modifying command (INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE).

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 INSERT query, but the second one takes precedence since it is more closely nested.

See WITH Queries (Common Table Expressions) and SELECT for details.
The name (optionally schema-qualified) of an existing table.
The name of a column in table. The column name can be qualified with a subfield name or array subscript, if needed. (Inserting into only some fields of a composite column leaves the other fields null.)
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. The expression can use any column names of the table. Write * to return all columns of the inserted row(s).
A name to use for a returned column.


To insert data into a partitioned table, you specify the root partitioned table, the table created with the CREATE TABLE command. You also can specify a leaf child table of the partitioned table in an INSERT command. An error is returned if the data is not valid for the specified leaf child table. Specifying a child table that is not a leaf child table in the INSERT command is not supported. Execution of other DML commands such as UPDATE and DELETE on any child table of a partitioned table is not supported. These commands must be run on the root partitioned table, the table created with the CREATE TABLE command.

For a partitioned table, all the child tables are locked during the INSERT operation when the Global Deadlock Detector is not enabled (the default). Only some of the leaf child tables are locked when the Global Deadlock Detector is enabled. For information about the Global Deadlock Detector, see Global Deadlock Detector.

For append-optimized tables, Greenplum Database supports a maximum of 127 concurrent INSERT transactions into a single append-optimized table.

For writable S3 external tables, the INSERT operation uploads to one or more files in the configured S3 bucket, as described in s3:// Protocol. Pressing Ctrl-c cancels the INSERT and stops uploading to S3.


Insert a single row into table films:

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

In this example, the length 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_prod column rather than specifying a value:

INSERT INTO films VALUES ('UA502', 'Bananas', 105, DEFAULT, 
'Comedy', '82 minutes');

To insert a row consisting entirely of default values:


To insert multiple rows using the multirow VALUES syntax:

INSERT INTO films (code, title, did, date_prod, kind) VALUES
    ('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:

INSERT INTO films SELECT * FROM tmp_films WHERE date_prod < 

Insert a single row into table distributors, returning the sequence number generated by the DEFAULT clause:

INSERT INTO distributors (did, dname) VALUES (DEFAULT, 'XYZ Widgets')


INSERT conforms to the SQL standard. 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.

See Also


Parent topic: SQL Commands

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