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TIOBE Index for January 2023

January Headline: C++ is TIOBE's Programming Language of the Year 2022!

C++ is TIOBE's programming language of the year 2022. It has won this title because C++ gained most popularity (+4.62%) in 2022. Runners up are C (+3.82%) and Python (+2.78%). Interestingly, C++ surpassed Java to become the number 3 of the TIOBE index in November 2022. The reason for C++'s popularity is its excellent performance while being a high level object-oriented language. Because of this, it is possible to develop fast and vast software systems (over millions of lines of code) in C++ without necessarily ending up in a maintenance nightmare.

Another reason for C++'s rise is its "recent" and constant publication of new language standards with interesting features. The first land mark was called C++11. Published in 2011, it was the first considerable change since 1998. The adoption of this new standard took a few years because there were no C++ compilers available to support the new language definition. Because of C++11, C++ was slowly going uphill in the TIOBE index after having been in a constant decline since 2001. The second land mark is the recent C++20 publication, which for instance introduced modules. It will probably lift C++ further in the TIOBE index for the next few years.

What else happened in 2022? Performance seemed to be important. C++ competitor Rust entered the top 20 again (being at position #26 one year ago), but this time it seems to be for real. Lua, which is known for its easy interfacing with C, jumped from position #30 to #24. F# is another language that made an interesting move: from position #74 to position #33 in one years' time. Promising languages such as Kotlin (from #29 to #25), Julia (from #28 to #29) and Dart (from #37 to #38) still have a long way to go before they reach the top 20. Let's see what happens in 2023. Happy New Year everybody! -- 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.

Jan 2023 Jan 2022 Change Programming Language Ratings Change
11Python pagePython16.36%+2.78%
22C pageC16.26%+3.82%
34changeC++ pageC++12.91%+4.62%
43changeJava pageJava12.21%+1.55%
55C# pageC#5.73%+0.05%
66Visual Basic pageVisual Basic4.64%-0.10%
77JavaScript pageJavaScript2.87%+0.78%
89changeSQL pageSQL2.50%+0.70%
98changeAssembly language pageAssembly language1.60%-0.25%
1011changePHP pagePHP1.39%-0.00%
1110changeSwift pageSwift1.20%-0.21%
1213changeGo pageGo1.14%+0.10%
1312changeR pageR1.04%-0.21%
1415changeClassic Visual Basic pageClassic Visual Basic0.98%+0.01%
1516changeMATLAB pageMATLAB0.91%-0.05%
1618changeRuby pageRuby0.80%-0.08%
1714changeDelphi/Object Pascal pageDelphi/Object Pascal0.73%-0.27%
1826changeRust pageRust0.61%+0.11%
1920changePerl pagePerl0.59%-0.12%
2023changeScratch pageScratch0.58%-0.01%

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
21(Visual) FoxPro0.57%

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).

  • ActionScript, Alice, Apex, B4X, bc, Bourne shell, C shell, Chapel, CL (OS/400), Clojure, Common Lisp, Crystal, cT, Elixir, Emacs Lisp, Erlang, Forth, GAMS, Hack, Icon, IDL, Inform, Io, J#, JScript, Korn shell, Ladder Logic, Limbo, LPC, ML, Modula-2, MQL5, NATURAL, OpenEdge ABL, PL/I, Pony, Processing, Programming Without Coding Technology, Q, Racket, Raku, Ring, S, Solidity, SPARK, Tcl, VBScript, VHDL, X++, Zig

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 Basic615------
Assembly language812------
(Visual) Basic--744365

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 has not been in the TIOBE index for a long time. In 2018, somebody pointed out that SQL is Turing Complete. From that moment on, SQL is part of the TIOBE index. 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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