Java – nested class and static class

Java allows us to define a class within another class. Such a class is called a nested class. The class which enclosed nested class is known as Outer class. In java, we can’t make Top level class static. Only nested classes can be static.

What are the differences between static and non-static nested classes?
Following are major differences between static nested class and non-static nested class. Non-static nested class is also called Inner Class.

1) Nested static class doesn’t need reference of Outer class, but Non-static nested class or Inner class requires Outer class reference.

2) Inner class(or non-static nested class) can access both static and non-static members of Outer class. A static class cannot access non-static members of the Outer class. It can access only static members of Outer class.

3) An instance of Inner class cannot be created without an instance of outer class and an Inner class can reference data and methods defined in Outer class in which it nests, so we don’t need to pass reference of an object to the constructor of the Inner class. For this reason Inner classes can make program simple and concise.

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