How to create an array of years ordered by year using SQL & PHP ?


I'm using the following php/sql query to calculate the number of years between my earliest and most recent database records:
$query_years = mysql_query("SELECT YEAR(MAX(date)) - YEAR(MIN(date)) FROM locations");

This returns a single value and what i require instead is an array of all the YEARS in year order so that any year where there isn't a specific record for that year is omitted...
e.g. if my database had 2 records dated 1983 and 2008 - then it should just return these 2 years in chronological order, rather than all 25 years between the two dates.

 - please can you show me how this is done?

Many thanks
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I'm not familiar with MySQL but if I assume that the YEAR function extracts the year part of the date then the following should work (based on Oracle and SQLServer sql)

Select distinct YEAR(date) from locations
order by date

The distinct qualifier removes duplicates from the result set.

An alternative is
Select y from
(Select YEAR(date) as yfrom locations order by date) inner
group by y

In this example the inner query potentially returns returns duplicate years and these are removed by the outer group by clause

Hope this helps

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$query_years = mysql_query("SELECT YEAR(MAX(date)) - YEAR(MIN(date)) FROM locations WHERE `date` BETWEEN YEAR(MAX(date)) AND YEAR(MIN(date)) ORDER BY `date`;");

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I'm not sure but try one of this:

$query_years = mysql_query("SELECT YEAR(MIN(date)),YEAR(MAX(date)) FROM locations ");


$query_years = mysql_query("SELECT DISTINCT YEAR(date) FROM locations ");
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