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TIOBE Index for December 2023

December Headline: C# on its way to become programming language of the year 2023

Yes, I know, we have been here before. At the end of 2022, it looked like C# would become the programming language of that year. But at the final moment, C++ took the title unexpectedly. This year we are a bit surer that C# is going to win. It gained +2.38% in 1 year, whereas its closest contenders Fortran and F# only gained +0.64% and +0.48% respectively. It might look a bit strange that most of the top 20 languages lost popularity in 2023. So what happened? The answer lies in the long tail, where all the small languages reside. Those are all moving up a bit and are getting closer to the big languages. To illustrate this: one year ago the number 50 language had a score of 0.14%. The current number 50 language has a score of 0.24%. Anyway, we are all curious to see which language will become the programming language of the year! -- Paul Jansen CEO TIOBE Software

The TIOBE Programming Community index is an indicator of the popularity of programming languages. The index is updated once a month. The ratings are based on the number of skilled engineers world-wide, courses and third party vendors. Popular search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube and Baidu are used to calculate the ratings. It is important to note that the TIOBE index is not about the best programming language or the language in which most lines of code have been written.

The index can be used to check whether your programming skills are still up to date or to make a strategic decision about what programming language should be adopted when starting to build a new software system. The definition of the TIOBE index can be found here.

Dec 2023 Dec 2022 Change Programming Language Ratings Change
11Python pagePython13.86%-2.80%
22C pageC11.44%-5.12%
33C++ pageC++10.01%-1.92%
44Java pageJava7.99%-3.83%
55C# pageC#7.30%+2.38%
67changeJavaScript pageJavaScript2.90%-0.30%
710changePHP pagePHP2.01%+0.39%
86changeVisual Basic pageVisual Basic1.82%-2.12%
98changeSQL pageSQL1.61%-0.61%
109changeAssembly language pageAssembly language1.11%-0.76%
1121changeScratch pageScratch1.08%+0.41%
1226changeFortran pageFortran1.07%+0.64%
1312changeGo pageGo1.03%-0.12%
1414MATLAB pageMATLAB0.93%-0.02%
1523changeKotlin pageKotlin0.92%+0.34%
1616Delphi/Object Pascal pageDelphi/Object Pascal0.92%+0.07%
1715changeSwift pageSwift0.82%-0.09%
1820changeRust pageRust0.80%+0.12%
1917changeRuby pageRuby0.77%-0.04%
2011changeR pageR0.72%-0.53%

Other programming languages

The complete top 50 of programming languages is listed below. This overview is published unofficially, because it could be the case that we missed a language. If you have the impression there is a programming language lacking, please notify us at tpci@tiobe.com. Please also check the overview of all programming languages that we monitor.

PositionProgramming LanguageRatings
25Classic Visual Basic0.68%
27(Visual) FoxPro0.61%

The Next 50 Programming Languages

The following list of languages denotes #51 to #100. Since the differences are relatively small, the programming languages are only listed (in alphabetical order).

  • 4th Dimension/4D, ABC, Algol, Apex, ATLAS, AutoLISP, Bash, Boo, Carbon, CIL, CL (OS/400), Clipper, Clojure, Curl, Eiffel, Elm, Erlang, GAMS, Groovy, Icon, Inform, Io, J#, LabVIEW, Ladder Logic, LiveCode, Maple, Modula-2, MOO, MQL5, NATURAL, Nim, OCaml, OpenEdge ABL, PostScript, Pure Data, Q, Racket, Ring, RPG, Smalltalk, Snap!, Solidity, SPARK, SPSS, Tcl, VHDL, Wolfram, X10, Zig

This Month's Changes in the Index

This month the following changes have been made to the definition of the index:

  • Ivo Balbaert suggested to add the Mojo language to the TIOBE index. Mojo meets all criteria. It debuts at position #174. Thanks Ivo.
  • Dynosaur CORAL 66 was proposed by Lloyd Adams. It is not that popular anymore, but it meets all criteria to be listed. CORAL 66 entered the TIOBE index at position #257 out of 280.

Very Long Term History

To see the bigger picture, please find below the positions of the top 10 programming languages of many years back. Please note that these are average positions for a period of 12 months.

Programming Language20232018201320082003199819931988
Visual Basic718------
Assembly language1013------
(Visual) Basic--745337

There are 2 important remarks here:

  • There is a difference between "Visual Basic" and "(Visual) Basic" in the table above. Until 2010, "(Visual) Basic" referred to all possible dialects of Basic, including Visual Basic. After some discussion, it has been decided to split "(Visual) Basic" into all its dialects such as Visual Basic .NET, Classic Visual Basic, PureBasic, and Small Basic, just to name a few. Since Visual Basic .NET has become the major implementation of Visual Basic, it is now called "Visual Basic".
  • The programming language SQL was added to the TIOBE index in 2018 after somebody pointed out that SQL is Turing Complete. So although this language is very old, it has only a short history in the index.

Programming Language Hall of Fame

The hall of fame listing all "Programming Language of the Year" award winners is shown below. The award is given to the programming language that has the highest rise in ratings in a year.

2022medal C++
2021medal Python
2020medal Python
2019medal C
2018medal Python
2017medal C
2016medal Go
2015medal Java
2014medal JavaScript
2013medal Transact-SQL
2012medal Objective-C
2011medal Objective-C
2010medal Python
2009medal Go
2008medal C
2007medal Python
2006medal Ruby
2005medal Java
2004medal PHP
2003medal C++

Bugs & Change Requests

This is the top 5 of most requested changes and bugs. If you have any suggestions how to improve the index don’t hesitate to send an e-mail to tpci@tiobe.com.

  1. Apart from “<language> programming”, also other queries such as “programming with <language>”, “<language> development” and “<language> coding” should be tried out.
  2. Add queries for other natural languages (apart from English). The idea is to start with the Chinese search engine Baidu. This has been implemented partially and will be completed the next few months.
  3. Add a list of all search term requests that have been rejected. This is to minimize the number of recurring mails about Rails, JQuery, JSP, etc.
  4. Start a TIOBE index for databases, software configuration management systems and application frameworks.
  5. Some search engines allow to query pages that have been added last year. The TIOBE index should only track those recently added pages.

Yes, the only condition is to refer to its original source “www.tiobe.com”.

If a language meets the criteria of being listed (i.e. it is Turing complete and has an own Wikipedia entry that indicates that it concerns a programming language) and it is sufficiently popular (more than 5,000 hits for +”<language> programming” for Google), then please write an e-mail to tpci@tiobe.com.

We spent a lot of effort to obtain all the data and keep the TIOBE index up to date. In order to compensate a bit for this, we ask a fee of 5,000 US$ for the complete data set. The data set runs from June 2001 till today. It started with 25 languages back in 2001, and now measures more than 150 languages once a month. The data are available in comma separated format. Please contact sales@tiobe.com for more information.

Well, you can do it either way and both are wrong. If you take the sum, then you get the intersection twice. If you take the max, then you miss the difference. Which one to choose? Suppose somebody comes up with a new search term that is 10% of the original. If you take the max, nothing changes. If you take the sum then the ratings will rise 10%. So taking the sum will be an incentive for some to come up with all kinds of obscure terms for a language. That’s why we decided to take the max.

The proper way to solve this is is of course to take the sum and subtract the intersection. This will give rise to an explosion of extra queries that must be performed. Suppose a language has a grouping of 15 terms, then you have to perform 32,768 queries (all combinations of intersections). So this seems not possible either… If somebody has a solution for this, please let us know.

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