UNION removes duplicate records (where all columns in the results are the same), UNION ALL does not.

There is a performance hit when using UNION instead of UNION ALL, since the database server must do additional work to remove the duplicate rows, but usually you do not want the duplicates (especially when developing reports).

UNION Example:

SELECT 'foo' AS bar UNION SELECT 'foo' AS bar

Result:

+-----+
| bar |
+-----+
| foo |
+-----+
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

UNION ALL example:

SELECT 'foo' AS bar UNION ALL SELECT 'foo' AS bar

Result:

+-----+
| bar |
+-----+
| foo |
| foo |
+-----+
2 rows in set (0.00 sec)