Encapsulation in Java with Example


Encapsulation is one of the fundamental principles of Object-Oriented Programming (OOP). It involves bundling the data (variables) and the methods (functions) that operate on the data into a single unit, usually a class. Encapsulation also restricts direct access to some of an object's components, which prevents unintended interference and misuse of the data.

Table of Contents

  1. What is Encapsulation?
  2. Benefits of Encapsulation
  3. Encapsulation in Java
  4. Access Modifiers
  5. Real-World Examples of Encapsulation
  6. Example: Encapsulation in Java
  7. Conclusion

1. What is Encapsulation?

Encapsulation is the technique of making the fields in a class private and providing access to them via public methods. It restricts direct access to certain components of an object and protects the integrity of the data by controlling modifications.

2. Benefits of Encapsulation

  • Improved Maintainability: Encapsulation allows for the modularization of code, making it easier to maintain and modify.
  • Enhanced Security: Encapsulation helps protect data from unauthorized access and modification by restricting access to an object's internal state.
  • Controlled Access: Encapsulation provides control over the data by exposing only the necessary methods to interact with it, ensuring that the data is used in a controlled manner.
  • Flexibility and Reusability: Encapsulation allows changes to the implementation without affecting the users of the class, making the code more flexible and reusable.

3. Encapsulation in Java

In Java, encapsulation is achieved by:

  1. Declaring the fields of a class as private.
  2. Providing public getter and setter methods to access and modify the fields.

4. Access Modifiers

Java provides four types of access modifiers to control the visibility of class members:

  • private: The member is accessible only within the same class.
  • default (no modifier): The member is accessible only within the same package.
  • protected: The member is accessible within the same package and subclasses.
  • public: The member is accessible from any other class.

5. Real-World Examples of Encapsulation

Example 1: Medical Records

In a hospital management system, patient data should be encapsulated to ensure that it is accessed and modified only through authorized methods, maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of the information.

Example 2: Banking System

In a banking application, account details such as account balance should be encapsulated to prevent unauthorized access and modification, ensuring the security and consistency of the data.

6. Example: Encapsulation in Java


public class Person {
    // Private fields
    private String name;
    private int age;

    // Public getter method for name
    public String getName() {
        return name;

    // Public setter method for name
    public void setName(String name) {
        this.name = name;

    // Public getter method for age
    public int getAge() {
        return age;

    // Public setter method for age
    public void setAge(int age) {
        if (age > 0) {
            this.age = age;
        } else {
            System.out.println("Age cannot be negative or zero");

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        Person person = new Person();
        person.setName("John Doe");

        System.out.println("Name: " + person.getName());  // Output: Name: John Doe
        System.out.println("Age: " + person.getAge());    // Output: Age: 30

        person.setAge(-5); // Output: Age cannot be negative or zero


  • Private Fields: name and age are private fields, meaning they cannot be accessed directly from outside the class.
  • Public Getter and Setter Methods: Methods getName, setName, getAge, and setAge are public, providing controlled access to the private fields.
  • Validation in Setter Method: The setAge method includes validation to ensure that the age is not set to a negative value, demonstrating encapsulation's role in maintaining data integrity.

7. Conclusion

Encapsulation in Java is a powerful concept that helps to protect an object's internal state and provides controlled access to it. By making fields private and exposing public methods to interact with them, encapsulation ensures that data is used in a controlled and secure manner. This approach improves maintainability, enhances security, and promotes code reusability and flexibility. Understanding and applying encapsulation is essential for effective Java programming and building robust, maintainable software.

Happy coding!