The world’s most popular programming languages

C was the most popular programming language in December 2020, according to the TIOBE Index.

This time last year, C was below Java in these rankings, but the latter programming language has lost 4.72% of popularity share since December 2019, which has allow C to claim the top spot.

According to the Index, Python – which is in third place – has gained the most popularity compared to December 2019, increasing by 1.9%.

TIOBE noted that it will be announcing its 2020 programming language of the year in January 2021, and will base this on which programming language has increased the most in the ratings over the course of 2020.

It noted that Python will almost certainly win this award as it has seen much more growth than any other programming language – with the closest competitors being C++ with 0.71%, Groovy with 0.69%, and R with 0.6%.

PYPL ratings

Python continues to dominate the PYPL index, boasting 30.34% of programming language market share.

Java is the only other language which boasts over 10% share, with 17.23%.

However, Java’s programming language market share continues to plummet, having lost 1.7% compared to the same time last year.

Other popular languages include JavaScript, C#, and C/C++, which complete the top five languages on the PYPL index.

December 2020 rankings

The top 10 programming languages for December 2020, according to the Tiobe Index and PYPL rankings, are detailed below.

December 2020

Tiobe Index Change YoY PYPL Ranking Change YoY
C +0.40% Python +1.2%
Java -4.72% Java -1.7%
Python +1.9% Javascript +0.6%
C++ +0.71% C# -0.8%
C# -0.60% C/C++ +0.1%
Visual Basic -0.83% PHP -0.3%
JavaScript +0.26% R +0.1%
PHP +0.07% Objective-C +1.2%
R +0.60% Swift -0.3%
SQL -0.31% Matlab +0.0%

Calculating the rankings

  • PYPL – The more a language tutorial is searched, the more popular the language is assumed to be. The raw data comes from Google Trends.
  • Tiobe – The ratings are based on the number of skilled engineers worldwide, courses, and third-party vendors. Popular search engines are also used to calculate the ratings.

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