As a business grows, the demand to efficiently handle and process the exponentially growing data also rises. A popular open-source relational database used by several organizations across the world is PostgreSQL. It is a perfect database management system that also assists developers to build applications, and administrators to protect data integrity and develop fault-tolerant environments.

CSV(comma-separated values) is a common format used for storing millions of records for a business. One of the primary jobs is to import CSV to PostgreSQL to add data to your PostgreSQL tables.

In this article, you will learn how to effectively import CSV file in PostgreSQL using 3 different methods.

The first two methods cover how to import CSV into PostgreSQL using the COPY command and pgAdmin to import CSV files into PostgreSQL. In addition, there is a third method that offers a simpler alternative, which involves using Hevo Data to seamlessly replicate your data into your PostgreSQL destination.

What is PostgreSQL?

PostgreSQL Import CSV - PostgreSQL Logo
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PostgreSQL is an Open-source Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) that fully supports both SQL (Relational) and JSON (Non-relational) querying.

Introduced on July 8, 1996, PostgreSQL is a direct successor to the Ignes database. Owing to its flexibility & scalability, PostgreSQL serves as a primary data store or Data Warehouse for many web, mobile, geospatial, and analytics applications.

PostgreSQL is an integral part of the Modern LAPP Stack that consists of Linux, Apache, PostgreSQL, and PHP (or Python and Perl). It acts as a robust back-end database that powers many dynamic websites and web applications. It also supports a wide range of popular programming languages such as Python Java, C#, C, C++, Ruby, JavaScript, (Node.js), Perl, Go & Tcl.

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Key Features of PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL has become one of the most sought-after Database Management Systems due to the following eye-catching features:

  • Enhanced Data Integrity: PostgreSQL assures data integrity via primary Keys, foreign keys, explicit locks, advisory locks, & exclusion constraints.
  • Multiple Data Types: PostgreSQL allows you to work with a broad range of datasets. It is compatible with several data types such as INTEGER, NUMERIC, BOOLEAN, CHAR, VARCHAR, DATE, INTERVAL, and TIMESTAMP, etc.
  • Data Security: You can rest assured with several layers of data authentication and protection layers. It provides different authentications such as Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), Generic Security Service Application Program Interface (GSSAPI), SCRAM-SHA-256, Security Support Provider Interface (SSPI), etc. It also provides a robust access control system along with column & row-level security. 
  • Reliability: PostgreSQL provides a reliable environment with special features such as multi-version concurrency control (MVCC), point-in-time recovery, tablespaces, asynchronous replication, online/hot backups, and write-ahead logging. 
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How to Import CSV to PostgreSQL?

Before you move forward with performing the PostgreSQL import CSV job, you need to ensure the following 2 aspects:

  • A CSV file containing data that needs to be imported into PostgreSQL.
  • A table in PostgreSQL with a well-defined structure to store the CSV file data.

In this article, the following CSV file is considered to contain the data given below:

Employee ID,First Name,Last Name,Date of Birth,City

You can create a table “employees” in PostgreSQL by executing the following command:

CREATE TABLE employees(
emp_id SERIAL,
first_name   VARCHAR(50),
last_name VARCHAR(50),
dob DATE,
city VARCHAR(40)

After creating the sample CSV file and table, you can now easily import CSV to PostgreSQL via any of the following methods:

Method 1: Perform PostgreSQL Import CSV Job using the COPY Command

To successfully use the COPY command for executing the PostgreSQL import CSV task, ensure that you have PostgreSQL Superuser Access

  • Step 1: Run the following command to perform the PostgreSQL import CSV job:
COPY employees(emp_id,first_name,last_name,dob,city)
FROM ‘C:newdbemployees.csv’



On successful execution of PostgreSQL import CSV job, the Output “COPY 3” is displayed meaning that 3 records have been added to your PostgreSQL table.

The above COPY command has the following essential aspects:

  • employees(emp_id, first_name, last_name, dob, city): “employees” is the name of the table where you want to import the data. Specifying the column names is optional if the order of the columns is maintained.
  • ‘C:newdbemployees.csv’: This is the location of the CSV file stored on your system. You can change it according to your computer.
  • DELIMITER: This is the character that determines how the values in the rows of a CSV file are separated. In the above example, the Delimiter is a comma i.e. “,”. At times, values are separated by characters like ‘|’ or tabs (t). In the case of a tab(t) delimiter,  you can use the “DELIMITER E’t’ ” where ‘E’ allows for the tab character to be recognized. 
  • CSV: This option specifies that data is imported from a CSV file.
  • HEADER: This option is used to let PostgreSQL know that the CSV file contains headers i.e the column names “First Name, Last Name, City”. Now, the CSV file data is imported from the second row onwards.   
  • Step 2: You can print out the contents of the table to check if the data is entered correctly.
SELECT * FROM employees;


emp_id  first_name    last_name	    dob	         city
      1        Max	Smith     2002-02-03    Sydney
      2        Karl	Summers   2004-04-10    Brisbane
      3        Sam      Wilde     2005-02-06    Perth

Method 2: Perform PostgreSQL Import CSV Job using pgAdmin

pgAdmin is an open-source tool for effortlessly managing your PostgreSQL Database. You can easily download it from the official pgAdmin website. You can also perform the PostgreSQL import CSV task via pgAdmin by following the simple steps given below:

  • Step 1: You can directly create a table from the pgAdmin GUI(Graphical User Interface). Open pgAdmin and right-click on the Tables option present in the Schema section on the left side menu.
  • Step 2: Hover over the Create option and click on the “Table…” option to open a wizard for creating a new table.
PostgreSQL Import CSV - PgAdmin Create table Option
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  • Step 3: You can now enter the table-specific details such as Table Name, Column Names, etc. Once done, you can click on the Save button to create a new table.
PostgreSQL Import CSV - PgAdmin Create table Dialog Box
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  • Step 4: Now for performing the Postgres import CSV job, go to the “Schemas” section on the left side menu and click on the Tables option.
  • Step 5: Navigate to the “employees” table and right-click on it. Click on the Import/Export option to open the Wizard.
PostgreSQL Import CSV - PgAdmin Import Export Option
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  • Step 6: Toggle On the Import/Export flag button to import the data. Specify the filename as “employees” and the file format as CSV. You can toggle on the header button and specify “,” as the delimiter for your CSV file. Switch to the Columns Tab from the Options Tab to select columns and the order in which they need to be imported. 
PostgreSQL Import CSV - PgAdmin Import Export Dialog Box
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  • Step 7: Click on the OK button. A window will pop up on your screen showing the successful execution of the PostgreSQL import CSV job using pgAdmin.   
PostgreSQL Import CSV - PgAdmin Import Data Job Status
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For a detailed step-by-step walkthrough of this process, please refer to our helpful guide on pgAdmin import CSV.

Limitations of Manually performing PostgreSQL Import CSV Job

Though the above 2 methods allow you to manually execute the PostgreSQL import CSV task, there are some challenges that you might face along the way:

  • There is no scope for Data Standardization (Data Transformation & Cleaning) while using these manual methods.
  • To bring data in real-time, you would need to write custom code to import data from your CSV files as soon as new data arrives. 
  • To achieve a reliable zero-loss data transfer, you would need to invest a section of your engineering bandwidth that continuously manages & maintain the data flow. Also, in case you are integrating data from other sources, constant effort is required to monitor the ever-changing data connectors.  

Method 3: Perform PostgreSQL Import CSV Job using Hevo

PostgreSQL Import CSV - Hevo Data Card

Hevo Data is a no-code data pipeline solution that can help you move data from 150+ data sources like FTP/SFTP & Google Sheets to your desired destination such as PostgreSQL, Data Warehouses, or BI tools in a completely hassle-free & automated manner. Using Hevo you can easily upload files in formats such as CSV, JSON, and XML to your PostgreSQL Database.

Hevo also supports PostgreSQL as a source for loading data to a destination of your choice. Hevo is fully managed and completely automates the process of not only loading data from your desired source but also enriching the data and transforming it into an analysis-ready form without having to write a single line of code. Its fault-tolerant architecture ensures that the data is handled in a secure, consistent manner with zero data loss.

Hevo Data takes care of all your data preprocessing needs and lets you focus on key business activities and draw a more powerful insight on how to generate more leads, retain customers, and take your business to new heights of profitability. It provides a consistent & reliable solution to manage data in real-time and always have analysis-ready data in your desired destination. 

Take a look at some of the salient features of Hevo:

  • Fully Managed: It requires no management and maintenance as Hevo is a fully automated platform.
  • Data Transformation: It provides a simple interface to perfect, modify, and enrich the data you want to transfer. 
  • Real-Time: Hevo offers real-time data migration. So, your data is always ready for analysis.
  • Schema Management: Hevo can automatically detect the schema of the incoming data and map it to the destination schema.
  • Connectors: Hevo supports 150+ data integrations to SaaS platforms such as WordPress, FTP/SFTP, Files, Databases, BI tools, and Native REST API & Webhooks Connectors. It supports various destinations including Google BigQuery, Amazon Redshift, Snowflake, Firebolt, Data Warehouses; Amazon S3 Data Lakes; Databricks, MySQL, SQL Server, TokuDB, DynamoDB, and PostgreSQL Databases to name a few.  
  • Secure: Hevo has a fault-tolerant architecture that ensures that the data is handled in a secure, consistent manner with zero data loss.
  • Hevo Is Built To Scale: As the number of sources and the volume of your data grows, Hevo scales horizontally, handling millions of records per minute with very little latency.
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To effortlessly perform the PostgreSQL import CSV job using Hevo, follow the simple steps given below:

  • Step 1: Connect Hevo Data with your system by setting FTP/SFTP as a source. You can provide a unique name to your Pipeline along with information such as Port Number, Username, Password, etc. Hevo currently supports CSV, JSON, and XML formats. You can specify the file format as CSV and the Delimiter as “,”.
PostgreSQL Import CSV - Hevo Data Configure FTP/SFTP as your source
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  • Step 2: Complete the Postgres import CSV job by providing your PostgreSQL database credentials such as your authorized Username and Password, along with information about your Host IP Address and Port Number value. You will also need to provide a name for your database and a unique name for this destination.
PostgreSQL Import CSV - Hevo Data Configure PostgreSQL as your Destination
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In this article, you have learned how to effectively perform the PostgreSQL import CSV task via 3 different methods. With the first method, you learned how to import CSV file in PostgreSQL using the COPY command. In the second, you learned Postgresql copy from CSV operation using the Graphical User Interface provided by pgAdmin.

If you rarely import data into PostgreSQL and don’t need to perform Data Transformations and Cleaning Operations, then any of the first two manual data integration methods will work. Whereas, if you require analysis-ready high-quality Data in Real-time from several sources, then a Cloud-based ETL tool like Hevo Data is the Right Choice for you!  

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Hevo, a No-code Data Pipeline can seamlessly transfer data from a vast sea of 150+ sources such as FTP/SFTP & Google Sheets to a desired destination such as PostgreSQL, Data Warehouses, or BI Tools. Hevo also supports PostgreSQL as a Source to load data to your Data Warehouse or a destination of your choice. It is a reliable, completely automated, and secure service that doesn’t require you to write any code!  

If you are using PostgreSQL as your Database Management System and searching for a no-fuss alternative to manual data integration, then Hevo can effortlessly automate this for you. Hevo’s strong integration with 150+ data connectors (including 50+ Free Sources like Google Sheets), allows you to export, load, transform & enrich your data to make it analysis-ready.

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Tell us about your experience of performing the PostgreSQL import CSV task! Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

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