I know that when we create an index then statistics are automatically created. My question is: Is it the only case when statistics are created? I remember that once I found on the internet that we have column statistics along with index statistics. Could you please enlighten me regarding this topic? When I execute the below script I get the following result:

use movies
EXEC sp_helpstats
@objname = '[dbo].[actors]',
@results = 'ALL';

This object does not have any statistics or indexes.

1 Answer 1


Column statistics are created automatically as needed by SQL Server when the AUTO_CREATE_STATISTICS database option is ON and also by an explict CREATE STATISTICS statement.

With the AUTO_CREATE_STATISTICS database option, the query optimizer will create single column stats during query compilation as needed on columns specified in query predicates when a stats histogram on the leading column doesn't already exist and that information is useful in plan selection (i.e. non-trivial plan).

Statistics may also be created beforehand using CREATE STATISTICS. Unlike auto-created statistics, CREATE STATISTICS allows one to create statistics on multiple columns to provide better estimates for compound predicates (e.g. FirstName = 'John' and LastName = 'Doh').

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