In simple words: static means the variable or methods that assigned to are belonging to the class, not the object. Therefore, there’s only one copy of the variable/method in the memory.

When create an object where all instance variables aren’t static, every object will own its memory space, and its own copy of value.

Suppose we have a ball class:

class Ball{
    double radius;
    final double PI = 3.14159;

We create 2 Ball objects, each Ball object will have its own instance variables in the memory

In memory:

                            │radius     │
                            │PI         │
                 ┌─────────►│           │
┌────────────────┤          └───────────┘
│                │
│  Ball          │
│radius:double   │
│PI : double     │       ┌────────────┐
│                │       │ radius     │
│                │       │ PI         │
│                ├──────►│            │
│                │       └────────────┘

We know that the PI is a unchangeable constant. So we can use static keyword here.

┌────────────────┤          └───────────┘
PI : double            ┌────────────┐
(static)                radius     

Therefore, static PI is in the class, not created for each object. Plus, we can access it without create an instance of Ball.


Static block

We can also define a static block in class. It’ll run when we initialise an instance:

public class Ball{
    // instance variable
    static {
        System.out.println("This is static block!");

A lot of methods we use are provided as static method, so we can use it without initialise an object:

System.out.println("HI"); // static method
Integer.parseInt(); // static method

When to use static method?

stack overflow - when to use static method

One rule-of-thumb: ask yourself “Does it make sense to call this method, even if no object has been constructed yet?” If so, it should definitely be static.

Suitable to use static

In a class Car, we might have a method:

public double convertMpgToKpl(double mpg)

This can be static because even if nobody has create a Car object, one might want to know what 43mpg converts to.

public static double convertMpgToKpl(double mpg)

Not suitable for static keyword

void setMileage(double mpg)

This, on the other hand, can’t be static since it’s inconceivable to call the method before any Car has been constructed.

  1. If you’re writing utility classes and they’re not supposed to be changed.
  2. If the method isn’t using any instance variable.
  3. If any operation is not dependent on instance creation.
  4. If there’s some code that can easily be shared by all the instance methods, extract that code into a static method.
  5. If you’re sure that the definition of the method will never be changed or overridden. As static methods cannot be overridden.

Why the main() method in Java is always static?


Java main() method is always static,so compiler can call it without the creation of an object or before the creation of an object of the class.

  • main() method is the starting point from where compiler starts the program execution. So, the compiler needs to call the main() method.
  • Static method of a class can be called by using the class name only. Without the creating an object of a class. See code below.
  • The main() method in Java must be declared public, static and void. If any is missing, an error will be thrown.
  • While instantiating, it has to call the constructor of that class. There’ll be ambiguity if the constructor of that class takes an argument.
public class Test {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        // call static method of Book class using class name only
class Book {
    public static void getBookInfo() {
        System.out.println("Welcome to Library");


Suppose we have a Student class, and we have to create 1000 Student.

public class Student{
    private int id;
    private String college_name;
    private String college_id;

    // and so on

If we create 1000 students, then it will create 1000 college_name and college_id variables in RAM. It will take up too much memory. With static method, it will help to better up the memory usage.

public class Student{
    private int id;
    private static String college_name;
    // code

static block

The static block is initialised when the class object is created. It exec only once, and will be executed before constructor.

It works like method.

public class ClassName {

    static { 
        // something here; 


Benefits of using static

  • Static variables are rarely used other than being declared as constants. Constants are variables that are declared as public/private, final, and static. Constant variables never change from their initial value.

  • Static variables are stored in the static memory. It is rare to use static variables other than declared final and used as either public or private constants.

  • Static variables are created when the program starts and destroyed when the program stops.

  • Visibility is similar to instance variables. However, most static variables are declared public since they must be available for users of the class.

  • Static variables can be accessed by calling with the class name ClassName.VariableName.

  • When declaring class variables as public static final, then variable names (constants) are all in upper case