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TIOBE Index for January 2017

January Headline: Google's Go is TIOBE's programming language of 2016

TIOBE rewards the programming language that has gained the most popularity in a year with the programming language of the year award. Without hardly any competition Go has won the award for 2016. Google's Go language won 2.16% in one year. Runner ups Dart (+0.95%) and Perl (+0.91%) follow at a considerable distance. The main drivers behind Go's success are its ease of learning and pragmatic nature. It is not about theoretical concepts such as virtual inheritance and monads but about hands-on experience. Apart from that Go has built-in support for concurrency programming. More and more customers of our company TIOBE are adopting Go in an industrial setting. That is a good indicator.

So what happened to the other promising languages last year? Dart jumped from position 26 to 17, Rust kept its top 50 position (from 47 to 41) and Hack and Julia are very close to the top 50 now (from 61 to 51 and from 73 to 52 respectively). There are also 2 languages that made their debut in the TIOBE index this year: Crystal at position 86 and Kotlin at position 87. TypeScript is very popular in the commercial industry. However, in the TIOBE index it is still not in the top 100, but it is getting close. TypeScript jumped from 169 to 137 in one year's time. What will be the candidates for the award for next year? My bets are C++, Swift, Julia and TypeScript.

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 2017 Jan 2016 Change Programming Language Ratings Change
11Java17.278%-4.19%
22C9.349%-6.69%
33C++6.301%-0.61%
44C#4.039%-0.67%
55Python3.465%-0.39%
67changeVisual Basic .NET2.960%+0.38%
78changeJavaScript2.850%+0.29%
811changePerl2.750%+0.91%
99Assembly language2.701%+0.61%
106changePHP2.564%-0.14%
1112changeDelphi/Object Pascal2.561%+0.78%
1210changeRuby2.546%+0.50%
1354changeGo2.325%+2.16%
1414Swift1.932%+0.57%
1513changeVisual Basic1.912%+0.23%
1619changeR1.787%+0.73%
1726changeDart1.720%+0.95%
1818Objective-C1.617%+0.54%
1915changeMATLAB1.578%+0.35%
2020PL/SQL1.539%+0.52%


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
21SAS1.419%
22ABAP1.249%
23Scratch1.164%
24D1.156%
25COBOL1.026%
26Groovy0.875%
27F#0.871%
28Fortran0.743%
29Lua0.739%
30Prolog0.693%
31Scala0.691%
32Ada0.659%
33Transact-SQL0.580%
34Lisp0.552%
35LabVIEW0.519%
36Logo0.479%
37Scheme0.477%
38Haskell0.429%
39Q0.390%
40Apex0.348%
41Rust0.310%
42Bash0.299%
43RPG (OS/400)0.298%
44Erlang0.274%
45Ladder Logic0.264%
46MQL40.264%
47Clojure0.240%
48Awk0.220%
49Alice0.212%
50VHDL0.207%

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).

  • (Visual) FoxPro, ABC, ActionScript, APL, AutoLISP, bc, Bourne shell, C shell, CFML, cg, CL (OS/400), Common Lisp, Crystal, DiBOL, Eiffel, Elixir, Elm, Emacs Lisp, Factor, Forth, Hack, Icon, IDL, Inform, Io, J, Julia, Korn shell, Kotlin, Maple, ML, NATURAL, NXT-G, OpenCL, OpenEdge ABL, Oz, PL/I, PowerShell, Pure Data, REXX, S, Smalltalk, SPARK, SPSS, Standard ML, Stata, Tcl, VBScript, Verilog, Wolfram


This Month's Changes in the Index

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

  • There are lots of mails that still need to be processed. As soon as there is more time available your mail will be answered. Please be patient.

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 Language2017201220072002199719921987
Java111217--
C2221111
C++3333224
C#44610---
Python5771627--
PHP6546---
JavaScript798720--
Visual Basic .NET824-----
Perl98543--
Assembly language10------
Lisp28121297112
Ada3015161510313
Prolog334327271493

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.

YearWinner
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.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • Q: Am I allowed to show the TIOBE index in my weblog/presentation/publication?

    A: Yes, the only condition is to refer to its original source "www.tiobe.com".

  • Q: How may I nominate a new language to be added to the TIOBE index?

    A: 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.

  • Q: I would like to have the complete data set of the TIOBE index. Is this possible?

    A: 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 availabe in comma separated format. Please contact sales@tiobe.com for more information.

  • Q: Why is the maximum taken to calculate the ranking for a grouping, why not the sum?

    A: 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.

  • Q: What happened to Java in April 2004? Did you change your methodology?

    A: No, we did not change our methodology at that time. Google changed its methodology. They performed a general sweep action to get rid of all kinds of web sites that had been pushed up. As a consequence, there was a huge drop for languages such as Java and C++. In order to minimize such fluctuations in the future, we added two more search engines (MSN and Yahoo) a few months after this incident.

  • Q: Why is YouTube used as a search engine for the TIOBE index?

    A: First of all, YouTube counts for less than 10% of all ratings, so it has hardly any influence on the index. YouTube has been added as an experiment. It qualified for the TIOBE index because of its high ranking on Alexa. YouTube is a young platform (so an indicator for popularity) and there are quite some lectures, presentations, programming tips and language introductions available on YouTube.