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Last modified: July 14, 2018

In this short article, we’re going to look at how to round a number to *n* decimal places in Java.

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Java provides two primitive types that can be used for storing decimal numbers: *float* and *double*. *Double* is the type used by default:

double PI = 3.1415;

However, both types **should never be used for precise values**, such as currencies. For that, and also for rounding, we can use the *BigDecimal* class.

If we just want to print a decimal number with *n* digits after decimal point, we can simply format the output String:

System.out.printf("Value with 3 digits after decimal point %.3f %n", PI); // OUTPUTS: Value with 3 digits after decimal point 3.142

Alternatively, we can format the value with the *DecimalFormat *class:

DecimalFormat df = new DecimalFormat("###.###"); System.out.println(df.format(PI));

*DecimalFormat* allows us to explicitly set rounding behavior, giving more control of the output than *String.format()* used above.

To round *double*s to *n* decimal places, we can write a **helper method**:

private static double round(double value, int places) { if (places < 0) throw new IllegalArgumentException(); BigDecimal bd = new BigDecimal(Double.toString(value)); bd = bd.setScale(places, RoundingMode.HALF_UP); return bd.doubleValue(); }

There is one important thing to notice in this solution – when constructing *BigDecimal*; we must **always use BigDecimal(String) constructor**. This prevents issues with representing inexact values.

We can achieve the same by using the Apache Commons Math library:

<dependency> <groupId>org.apache.commons</groupId> <artifactId>commons-math3</artifactId> <version>3.5</version> </dependency>

The latest version can be found here.

Once the library is added to the project, we can use the *Precision.round()* method, which takes two arguments – value and scale:

Precision.round(PI, 3);

By default, it is using the same *HALF_UP* rounding method as our helper method. Therefore, the results should be the same.

Note that we can change rounding behavior by passing the desired rounding method as a third parameter.

*DoubleRounder* is a utility in the decimal4j library. It provides a fast and garbage-free method for rounding doubles from 0 to 18 decimal points.

We can get the library (the latest version can be found here) by adding the dependency to the *pom.xml*:

<dependency> <groupId>org.decimal4j</groupId> <artifactId>decimal4j</artifactId> <version>1.0.3</version> </dependency>

Now, we can simply use:

DoubleRounder.round(PI, 3);

However, *DoubleRounder* fails in a few scenarios, for example:

System.out.println(DoubleRounder.round(256.025d, 2)); // OUTPUTS: 256.02 instead of expected 256.03

Another way of rounding numbers is to use *Math.round()* method.

In this case, we can control *n* number of decimal places by multiplying and dividing by *10^n*:

public static double roundAvoid(double value, int places) { double scale = Math.pow(10, places); return Math.round(value * scale) / scale; }

**This method is not recommended as it’s truncating the value**. In many cases values are rounded incorrectly:

System.out.println(roundAvoid(1000.0d, 17)); // OUTPUTS: 92.23372036854776 !! System.out.println(roundAvoid(260.775d, 2)); // OUTPUTS: 260.77 instead of expected 260.78

And so, this method is listed here for learning purposes only.

In this quick tutorial, we covered different techniques for rounding numbers to *n* decimal places.

We can simply format the output without changing the value, or we can round the variable by using a helper method. We’ve also covered a few libraries that deal with this problem.

The code used during the discussion can be found over on GitHub.

There is a wrong character in the code example: if (places < 0)