Given two shapes A and B, the predicate function ST_Within(A, B) returns true if the following criteria are met:

  • No point in A lies outside of B.
  • At least one point in the interior of A lies in the interior of B.

In other words, the exterior of shape B must not include any point in A, and one or more points of A's interior must lie to the interior of B.

This behavior is similar to ST_CoveredBy, except that the criteria are more exacting, and therefore some pairs of shapes will be rejected by this function that would be accepted by ST_CoveredBy.

ST_Within works on the following spatial data types:


ST_Within will attempt to use any available spatial index to speed up its operation. Use the prefixed variant _ST_Within if you do not want any spatial indexes to be used.


This function is the inverse of ST_Contains.



The screenshots in these examples were generated using, but they are designed to showcase the shapes, not the map. Representing GEOMETRY data in GeoJSON can lead to unexpected results if using geometries with SRIDs other than 4326 (as shown below).


In this example, ST_Within returns true because:

  • No point in Polygon A lies outside of Polygon B.
  • At least one point in the interior of Polygon A lies in the interior of Polygon B.
SELECT ST_Within(st_geomfromtext('SRID=4326;POLYGON((-87.623177 41.881832, -90.199402 38.627003, -82.446732 38.413651, -87.623177 41.881832))'), st_geomfromtext('SRID=4326;POLYGON((-87.906471 43.038902, -95.992775 36.153980, -75.704722 36.076944, -87.906471 43.038902))'));

(1 row)

ST_Within - true


In this example, ST_Within returns false because:

  • All points in Polygon A lie outside of Polygon B.
SELECT ST_Within(st_geomfromtext('SRID=4326;POLYGON((-87.906471 43.038902, -95.992775 36.153980, -75.704722 36.076944, -87.906471 43.038902), (-87.623177 41.881832, -90.199402 38.627003, -82.446732 38.413651, -87.623177 41.881832))'), st_geomfromtext('SRID=4326;POLYGON((-87.356934 41.595161, -84.512016 39.103119, -86.529167 39.162222, -87.356934 41.595161))'));
(1 row)

ST_Within - false

See also

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