A static data structure is an organization or collection of data in memory that is fixed in size. This results in the maximum size needing to be known in advance, as memory cannot be reallocated at a later point. Arrays are a prominent example of a static data structure.
A key advantage of static data structures is that with memory allocation fixed, no control or oversight is needed to prevent potential overflow or underflow issues when adding new items or removing existing ones. This makes static data structures easier to program but at the expense of potential efficiency in terms of memory consumption.
Static Data Structures vs. Dynamic Data Structures
Static data structures (SDS) stand in contrast to dynamic data structures (DDS), wherein with the latter the size of the structure can dynamically grow or shrink in size as needed, which provides a programmer with the ability to control exactly how much memory is utilized.
Static data structures are ideal for storing a fixed number of data items, but they lack the dynamic data structure s flexibility to consume additional memory if needed or free up memory when possible for improved efficiency.
Both static and dynamic data structures play a key role in programming languages like C, C++ and Java because they provide the programmer with the option to either focus more on performance in the former case or more on efficient memory consumption in the case of dynamic data structures.