ST_Contains — Returns true if and only if no points of B lie in the exterior of A, and at least one point of the interior of B lies in the interior of A.


boolean ST_Contains(geometry geomA, geometry geomB);


Geometry A contains Geometry B if and only if no points of B lie in the exterior of A, and at least one point of the interior of B lies in the interior of A. An important subtlety of this definition is that A does not contain its boundary, but A does contain itself. Contrast that to ST_ContainsProperly where geometry A does not Contain Properly itself.

Returns TRUE if geometry B is completely inside geometry A. For this function to make sense, the source geometries must both be of the same coordinate projection, having the same SRID. ST_Contains is the inverse of ST_Within. So ST_Contains(A,B) implies ST_Within(B,A) except in the case of invalid geometries where the result is always false regardless or not defined.

Performed by the GEOS module

Enhanced: 2.3.0 Enhancement to PIP short-circuit extended to support MultiPoints with few points. Prior versions only supported point in polygon.


Enhanced: 3.0.0 enabled support for GEOMETRYCOLLECTION


Do not use this function with invalid geometries. You will get unexpected results.

This function call will automatically include a bounding box comparison that will make use of any indexes that are available on the geometries. To avoid index use, use the function _ST_Contains.

NOTE: this is the "allowable" version that returns a boolean, not an integer.

This method implements the OpenGIS Simple Features Implementation Specification for SQL 1.1. s2.1.1.2 // s2.1.13.3 - same as within(geometry B, geometry A)

This method implements the SQL/MM specification. SQL-MM 3: 5.1.31

There are certain subtleties to ST_Contains and ST_Within that are not intuitively obvious. For details check out Subtleties of OGC Covers, Contains, Within


The ST_Contains predicate returns TRUE in all the following illustrations.





The ST_Contains predicate returns FALSE in all the following illustrations.



-- A circle within a circle
SELECT ST_Contains(smallc, bigc) As smallcontainsbig,
	   ST_Contains(bigc,smallc) As bigcontainssmall,
	   ST_Contains(bigc, ST_Union(smallc, bigc)) as bigcontainsunion,
	   ST_Equals(bigc, ST_Union(smallc, bigc)) as bigisunion,
	   ST_Covers(bigc, ST_ExteriorRing(bigc)) As bigcoversexterior,
	   ST_Contains(bigc, ST_ExteriorRing(bigc)) As bigcontainsexterior
FROM (SELECT ST_Buffer(ST_GeomFromText('POINT(1 2)'), 10) As smallc,
			 ST_Buffer(ST_GeomFromText('POINT(1 2)'), 20) As bigc) As foo;

-- Result
  smallcontainsbig | bigcontainssmall | bigcontainsunion | bigisunion | bigcoversexterior | bigcontainsexterior
 f                | t                | t                | t          | t        | f

-- Example demonstrating difference between contains and contains properly
SELECT ST_GeometryType(geomA) As geomtype, ST_Contains(geomA,geomA) AS acontainsa, ST_ContainsProperly(geomA, geomA) AS acontainspropa,
   ST_Contains(geomA, ST_Boundary(geomA)) As acontainsba, ST_ContainsProperly(geomA, ST_Boundary(geomA)) As acontainspropba
FROM (VALUES ( ST_Buffer(ST_Point(1,1), 5,1) ),
			 ( ST_MakeLine(ST_Point(1,1), ST_Point(-1,-1) ) ),
			 ( ST_Point(1,1) )
	  ) As foo(geomA);

  geomtype    | acontainsa | acontainspropa | acontainsba | acontainspropba
ST_Polygon    | t          | f              | f           | f
ST_LineString | t          | f              | f           | f
ST_Point      | t          | t              | f           | f


See Also

ST_Boundary, ST_ContainsProperly, ST_Covers, ST_CoveredBy, ST_Equals, ST_Within