Top programming languages in rich and poor countries

Stack Overflow has published its analysis of how programming languages correlate to a country’s gross domestic product.

It analysed traffic to its website between January and August, using the tags on questions to determine which languages developers were asking the most questions about.

Based on the analysis, it found that the amount of Android and PHP traffic is negatively correlated to a country’s income, while Python and R are positively correlated.

A data scientist for Stack Overflow noted that the analysis was biased towards developers who could understand English.

Programming languages by GDP

Stack Overflow used the World Bank’s income categories for countries for its research, grouping them into high-income and non-high-income territories.

The charts below show how traffic to questions involving specific programming languages on Stack Overflow compared to GDP, and these “high-income” and “rest of world” categories.


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Android in South Africa

As the graphs above show, the one area where South Africa stood out in the analyses was Android.

In general, Stack Overflow found that countries with lower GDP per capita visit substantially more Android-tagged posts than countries with high GDP per capita.

However, South Africa was an outlier. The percentage of traffic from South Africa relating to Android was lower than our GDP per capita suggests it should have been.

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Android vs iOS

When Stack Overflow plotted Android traffic against iOS traffic, it found that the traffic ratios tended to cluster based on continent.

Here, South Africa fell in the same cluster as American and European countries, rather than its fellow African countries.

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Top programming languages in rich and poor countries