Programming is a rapidly changing field so everyone who is thinking to learn a new programming language and deciding on which programming language to learn should track which ones are the most in-demand today.
Thus, in this article, you will see the most up-to-date statistics on programming languages for 2021 in comparison with 2020. This way, you can make a data-driven decision or just keep updated.
How to measure programming language popularity?
And here we combined the majority of those methods and more.
Most popular programming languages stats 2021
As we have already explained, finding out the most used programming languages is not a simple task. Thus, here is the table presenting the 2021 stats from different trustworthy sources.
|#||PYPL index||TIOBE Index||Stack Overflow||Github|
|2||Java||C||HTML and CSS||Python|
Below, we will present more detailed stats from each source.
- Stack Overflow Survey
Let’s see what are the most popular coding languages according to Stack Overflow, one of the biggest developers community. In the table, we are comparing the results of their 2021 survey (80K participants) with the 2018 survey ( 100K participants).
|2||HTML/CSS (56.07%)||HTML / CSS (68.5%)|
|3||Python (48.24%)||SQL (57.0%)|
|4||SQL (47.08%)||Java (45.3%)|
|5||Java (35.35%)||Bash/Shell (39.8%)|
- Github Stats
|2||Python (16%)||Python (16%)||Python (17%)|
|3||Java (13%)||Java (11%)||Java (10%)|
|4||Go (8%)||Go (9%)||Go (9%)|
|5||TypeScript (7%)||TypeScript (7%)||C (7%)|
- TIOBE Index
TIOBE Index is calculated using the mentioning of the language in search engines. According to TIOBE Index, the most popular programming language in October 2021 was Python (while in 2020, the first position took C, in 2016, it was Java). This table shows the top 5 programming languages in 2021, 2020, and 2016 to see a wider perspective.
|1||Python (11, 3%)||C||Java|
|2||C (11, 2%)||Java||C|
- The most trending programming languages (Google Trends)
An additional source of data is Google Trends which shows that the most popular programming languages [2021, US] are:
However, this source is mostly used for finding trends. So, as found on Google Trends, the most trended coding languages in the US (where the percent plus show how its popularity has risen during the year) are:
- haskell (+80%)
- kotlin (+160%)
- scratch (+90%)
While the most trending ones in the UK are:
Julia (+160%) and Tust (+60%)
What is the difference between the most popular and the most trending ones? The first group shows programming languages that are the most commonly used in the chosen period (2021) and are the most in-demand, while the most trending shows languages that weren’t popular but which are rapidly gaining popularity.
Programming languages & Jobs statistics
According to Glassdoor (the US), the most in-demand programming languages for employers are:
- C/C++ – 180,963 jobs
- Python – 88,003 jobs
- Java – 62,069 jobs
Top-paying programming languages/technologies (Stack Overflow Survey 2021) are:
- Clojure – $95,000
- F# – $81,037
- Elixir – $80,077
- Erlang – $80,077
- Perl – $80,000
- Ruby – $80,000
- Scala – $77,832
Stats on learning a programming language
According to this survey by Stackoverflow [2020, 60K participants], the top 5 languages (technologies) which were the most popular to learn are:
- Rust (86.1%)
- TypeScript (67.1%)
- Python (66.7%)
- Kotlin (62.9%)
- Go (62.3%)
Another data to include in this analysis is stats on which coding language has the biggest number of courses focused on it. We have taken the data from Udemy as this is one of the biggest e-learning providers which offers courses on various subjects. So, in Udemy’s software engineering section, the most popular subcategories are:
- Python (51 courses)
- C# (48 courses)
- Java (27 courses)