That is part of the "lite" in SQLite. In the beginning was the C provided floating-point functionality that was the first-order approximation for decimal mode. It was lite to use existing functionality rather than implement its own decimal numeric processing. SQLite has never claimed to be conformant to any particular SQL standard. Few database systems fully conform to any standard. Fortunately, there are solutions to the missing functionality for those who require it, though it is still in a non-standard format (using functions instead of operators, for example).