Java.util.Date.compareTo() Method



The java.util.Date.compareTo(Date anotherDate) method compares two Dates.


Following is the declaration for java.util.Date.compareTo() method

public int compareTo(Date anotherDate)


  • anotherDate -- date to be compared to

Return Value

0 if the argument Date is equal to this Date; a value less than 0 if this Date is before the Date argument; and a value greater than 0 if this Date is after the Date argument.


  • NullPointerException -- if anotherDate is null.


The following example shows the usage of java.util.Date.compareTo() method.

package com.tutorialspoint;

import java.util.*;

public class DateDemo {

   public static void main(String[] args) {

   // create two dates
   Date date = new Date(98, 5, 21);
   Date date2 = new Date(99, 1, 9);

   // make 3 comparisons with them
   int comparison = date.compareTo(date2);
   int comparison2 = date2.compareTo(date);
   int comparison3 = date.compareTo(date);

   // print the results
   System.out.println("Comparison Result:" + comparison);
   System.out.println("Comparison2 Result:" + comparison2);
   System.out.println("Comparison3 Result:" + comparison3);


Let us compile and run the above program, this will produce the following result:

Comparison Result:-1
Comparison2 Result:1
Comparison3 Result:0