Most Popular Programming Languages in 2023

Balazs Refi

June 15, 2023

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What are the most popular programming languages? We have looked at them from different angles. Find out more in our blog post!


I was very curious to find out which the most popular programming languages are. As the CEO of an IT staffing firm, I am aware of which technologies are in use, what the trends are, and which ones are in short supply of developers. But I thought it would be nice to get an objective look at this subject.

So after reviewing a number of sources, I collected the three surveys I found most relevant and I'd like to present the results to you below.

At the end of the article, you will also find out which of the 3 programming languages I think is the most popular and the most useful to learn. Enjoy your reading!

StackOverflow - Popularity of Programming Languages Among Developers

StackOverflow has conducted a significant survey about the popularity of programming languages. As StackOverflow is a widely used platform for software developers, we could say these data reflect the opinion of members of the development community about which programming languages they use or will use in the future. And this is the point.

The survey question was: "Which programming, scripting, and markup languages have you done extensive development work in over the past year, and which do you want to work in over the next year?"

Past year

Popular Programming Languages - Bluebird Blog

Next year

Popular Programming Languages - Bluebird Blog

A few comments on the interpretation of the results: In my opinion, JavaScript and Typescript should be combined in the first chart. I would not treat HTML/CSS as a separate programming language and I would not include SQL in the list. If I make these corrections, the order of my list would be JavaScript, Python, and Java.

My reasons for the changes are as follows: HTML/CSS knowledge is not enough in software development on its own and there is no company looking for an HTML/CSS developer. HTML and CSS are basic knowledge that all front-end developers should have.

TypeScript is part of JavaScript, so I would treat them together, simply as JavaScript.

SQL is not a standalone programming language, it is more of a query language that developers, system analysts, and testers should definitely know if they are developing a system that uses a database.

If you look at the second table along the same lines, the result is the same: JavaScriptPython, and Java.

Source of StackOverflow data, stats & charts:

TIOBE - Popularity of Programming Languages Based on Search Engine Data

The TIOBE index is a well-known index. It measures the popularity of programming languages according to this easy-to-understand search formula: +"<language> programming". 

It uses the top 25 search engines that meet several conditions. These highest-ranked engines are listed by Similarweb. If you want to get to know more about the exact method of calculating the TIOBE index, please check the index definition.

TIOBE shows that Python is the top-ranked language with C & C++, while Java sinks continuously.  I find it a bit strange that a programming language like Visual Basic could be ranked higher than JavaScript, which is widely used in front-end development (mostly). And Assembly ranking 10th? Wow.

Popular Programming Languages - Bluebird Blog

I won't go into the historical data, but it's very clear that Java has lost its leadership over the years.

On the other hand, if you look at the left part of the graph, you can see that the attention used to be divided between a few programming languages, whereas nowadays there are searches for a very wide variety of programming languages according to TIOBE.

Popular Programming Languages - Bluebird Blog

Source of TIOBE data, stats & charts:

PYPL - Popularity of Programming Languages Based on Searching Tutorials

This index (PYPL) is an important index that measures the popularity of programming languages through tutorial downloads. The more a language-specific tutorial is downloaded, the more popular the language is assumed to be. PYPL index uses raw Google Trends data. 

According to the PYPL index, more than 53% of searches are associated with only 3 programming languages: Python, Java, and JavaScript. It's interesting that the popularity of Java & JavaScript is decreasing based on tutorial downloads. 

Popular Programming Languages - Bluebird blog

Another interesting aspect is the competition between Java and Python. Java is the programming language that first debuted in May 1995 28 years ago, while Python made its first appearance in February 1991 (32 years ago).

For a long, long time Java was the favorite, the alpha and omega of programming and for now, as we can see on the chart, Python has become the leading programming language.

Popular Programming Languages - Bluebird blog

Source of PYPL data, stats & charts:


To sum up, I think the most popular languages are JavaScript, Python, and Java.

If you are just getting started with programming and don't know which language to start with, I would recommend Python and the appropriate Python framework that is ideal for your project.

But it's always worth bearing in mind that you need to choose a programming language based on the task you want to perform. Or based on what you like, what you feel comfortable with. The point is to enjoy the process of programming, to get to the stage where your programming language becomes a fluent expression of your thoughts.

Happy programming!

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