Can I use… with recursive (top level)

Partial BigQuery support since 2.0. Full H2 support since 1.4.199. Full MySQL support since 8.0.11. Full MariaDB support since 10.2. Full SQLite support since 3.8.3. Partial SQL Server support since 2022. Partial Oracle DB support since 21c. Partial Db2 (LUW) support since 11.5.7. Full PostgreSQL support since 8.4.Apache DerbyBigQueryDb2 (LUW)H2MariaDBMySQLOracle DBPostgreSQLSQL ServerSQLite200520072009201120132015201720192021✓ 3.8.3+⊘ 3.5.7 - 3.7.11⚠ 2008R2 - 2022a✓ 8.4+⊘ 8.3⚠ 11gR2 - 21ca⊘ 11gR1✓ 8.0.11+⊘ 5.0 - 5.7✓ 10.2+⊘ 5.1 - 10.1✓ 1.4.199+⊘ 1.4.191⚠ 9.7 - 11.5.7ab⚠ 2.0c⊘ 2.0⊘ -
  1. Without keyword recursive
  2. No join in recursive branch—use comma-join (,)
  3. Without column list: WITH RECURSIVE query_name AS (SELECT…)

The with recursive clause allows a query to refer to its own output:

WITH RECURSIVE query_name (column_name, …) AS (
     FROM …
     FROM query_name -- <= Note the self-reference here
) [, …]
  FROM query_name

Normative References

The with recursive clause is defined in ISO/IEC 9075:2016-2 as part of optional feature T131, “Recursive query”.

About the Author

Photo of Markus Winand

Markus Winand is the SQL Renaissance Ambassador. He is on a mission to introduce developers to the evolution of SQL in the 21st century. Markus can be hired as trainer, speaker and consultant via

Buy his Book

Cover of “SQL Performance Explained”: Squirrel running on grass

The essence of SQL tuning in 200 pages

Buy now!
(paperback and/or PDF)

Paperback also available at

Hire Markus

Markus offers SQL training and consulting for developers working at companies of any size.
Learn more »

Connect with Markus Winand

Markus Winand on LinkedInMarkus Winand on XINGMarkus Winand on Twitter
“modern SQL” by Markus Winand is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.
Legal | Contact | NO WARRANTY | Trademarks | Privacy and GDPR | CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 license