Default field lengths for address fields in databases

Standard lengths for address fields in databasesToday, we will dive into some more theoretical stuff. The topic of this article will be field lengths of database fields for addresses. For every second database I create, I am faced with the same problem: How long / “big” do I actually make the database fields for addresses? So fields, such as first name, surname, street, e-mail address, etc.

So far I have oriented myself to given requirements or old databases. But now I wanted to work up the topic once for all right. So the question is: Is there actually a standard for address field lengths?

Looking for standards for address field lengths

A search for “address field lengths for databases” spits a huge amount of hits. Unfortunately there are only opinions and experiences everywhere. Thus on wikibooks different lengths are indicated than in relevant forums. And in literature each author also gives a different recommendation. After some research, I then came across the Government Data Standards Catalog, which originates from the UK e-Government Interoperability Framework (e-GIF).

Since this document, however, is on the one hand already somewhat older and on the other hand does not take into consideration any existing German features, I have searched for another source. So at the end I have inspected the SAP standard tables ADRC, T005T, ADR06 and LFA1, because I assumed that their huge number of customers gave them a sufficient experience, to do the dimensioning of the standard table fields in a correct manner. The table below shows the values which I have taken from the two sources.

Forename 35 40 1-2 rows á 35
Surname 35 40 1-2 rows á 35
Street 2-5 rows á 35 60 35
Housenumber 10
Zip-Code 10 10
City 40 35
Country 50 3 (as key)
E-mail address 255 241 n/a
Phonenumber 12 (30+10) 16

As the table shows, SAP is slightly more generous (and at the same time incosequent) with field lengths. The “truth” will probably be somewhere in between. Since I didn’t find a “correct” / official standard or norm this time again, I will orient myself for the next project at the values from the above table.

If you know an official standard, I would be glad if you would leave the name or a link in the comments.


  1. Fred Obermannsays:

    Ha! Standard lengths for database address fields? We might as well be searching for the Philosopher’s Stone! ;-)

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