The most popular programming languages in the world – 2015 to 2020

There are various programming language ranking systems which give a good indication of which languages are the most popular globally.

One of these is the Tiobe Index, which bases its ratings on the number of skilled engineers worldwide, courses, and third-party vendors.

It also uses popular search engines to calculate its ratings.

According to Tiobe, C was the most popular programming language in the world as of August 2020.

At the same time last year, Java held the top spot, but now sits in second place.

Another popular programming language ranking system is PYPL.

For the PYPL ranking system, the more a language tutorial is searched, the more popular the language is assumed to be. PYPL determines this by using raw data from Google Trends.

According to the PYPL rankings, Python is the top programming language in the world and is said to boast a market share of nearly a third of the entire programming landscape.

PYPL has Java as the second most popular language, while JavaScript rounds out the top three.

Market share according to GitHut 2.0

While the above rankings show the most popular languages, GitHut 2.0 places a greater emphasis on how much a language is actually used.

It uses data from the world’s largest code host, GitHub, to analyse how languages are used by the platform’s 20 million users and over 57 million repositories.

GitHub has a public API that allows users to interact with its extensive dataset, while GitHub Archive aggregates and stores this data.

GitHut 2.0 uses GitHub Archive data by collecting it with Google BigQuery.

According to GitHut 2.0, JavaScript is comfortably the most popular programming language on GitHub, although its popularity has decreased substantially over the past two years.

Python has been the second most popular programming language throughout the past 5 years, while Java has held control of third.

The most notable trend throughout the past five years has arguably been the rise of TypeScript – which has grown from 1.19% of market share in Q2 2015, to 7.33% in Q2 2020.

In contrast, PHP and Ruby have both suffered massive declines, dropping from 9.37% and 10.81% in Q2 2015 to 5.20% and 6.49% in Q2 2020 respectively.

Data on the top ten programming languages over the past five years is represented visually below.

Programming language market share – 2015 to 2020
Date JavaScript Python Java Go C++ Type Script Ruby PHP C# C
Q2 2015 21,07% 15,82% 11,14% 3,95% 5,34% 1,19% 10,81% 9,37% 3,22% 3,98%
Q3 2015 21,95% 15,86% 10,65% 4,44% 5,46% 1,10% 10,27% 8,96% 3,24% 3,96%
Q4 2015 24,08% 14,70% 10,59% 4,44% 5,03% 1,17% 10,49% 8,78% 3,41% 3,73%
Q1 2016 25,78% 14,10% 10,35% 4,66% 5,03% 1,35% 10,12% 8,41% 3,13% 3,46%
Q2 2016 27,49% 14,70% 10,47% 4,73% 5,14% 1,71% 7,59% 7,91% 3,31% 3,37%
Q3 2016 28,28% 14,93% 9,94% 4,98% 5,29% 2,14% 7,14% 7,45% 3,35% 3,37%
Q4 2016 27,80% 14,48% 10,45% 5,05% 5,21% 2,44% 6,86% 7,50% 3,42% 3,50%
Q1 2017 25,58% 15,30% 9,97% 6,00% 5,65% 2,81% 6,50% 7,34% 4,03% 3,34%
Q2 2017 24,89% 15,57% 10,49% 6,04% 5,81% 3,36% 6,67% 6,80% 3,90% 3,02%
Q3 2017 22,58% 15,90% 10,22% 6,96% 6,39% 3,39% 7,06% 6,73% 3,32% 3,53%
Q4 2017 22,34% 15,86% 10,08% 6,81% 6,67% 3,39% 7,16% 7,02% 3,41% 3,74%
Q1 2018 23,00% 16,17% 9,98% 7,25% 6,44% 4,82% 6,75% 6,11% 3,38% 2,90%
Q2 2018 22,35% 16,28% 9,89% 7,62% 7,09% 4,77% 6,55% 5,80% 3,34% 2,94%
Q3 2018 21,23% 17,56% 10,00% 8,01% 7,27% 4,60% 6,30% 5,62% 3,48% 3,06%
Q4 2018 20,74% 17,80% 9,97% 7,89% 6,90% 5,03% 6,61% 5,96% 3,41% 3,31%
Q1 2019 20,11% 17,89% 10,40% 8,03% 7,38% 5,25% 6,47% 5,59% 3,69% 3,38%
Q2 2019 19,92% 17,80% 10,48% 7,92% 7,25% 5,42% 6,30% 5,52% 4,00% 3,19%
Q3 2019 20,31% 17,07% 10,37% 8,81% 7,05% 6,01% 5,87% 5,06% 3,81% 3,20%
Q4 2019 20,27% 17,58% 10,18% 8,29% 6,86% 6,25% 6,80% 5,28% 3,63% 2,95%
Q1 2020 18,70% 16,24% 10,94% 9,01% 7,42% 6,77% 6,81% 5,13% 3,84% 3,18%
Q2 2020 18,79% 16,11% 10,73% 8,92% 7,64% 7,33% 6,49% 5,20% 3,80% 3,32%

Now read: The most popular programming languages in the world

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The most popular programming languages in the world – 2015 to 2020