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Top 20 Most Popular Programming Languages in 2024 & Beyond

Trung Tran

Trung Tran | 22/02/2024

Back in the early 1950s, the first functional programming language was designed to communicate instructions to a computer. Since then, the software development landscape has constantly been evolving, and we’ve watched new programming languages come and go, old ones fall out of favor, and new ones gain popularity based on the needs of the moment. But what will the next decade bring? This means that it can be tough to predict which programming languages will be the most popular in 2024 and in the further future.

In this post, we are going to outline the top 20 most popular programming languages in 2024, based on the statistics from PYPL - PopularitY of Programming Language is the chart created by analyzing raw data that comes from the Google search engine on how often programming language tutorials are searched.

Before going into detail about each prevalent programming language of 2024, let’s first have an overview of the top in-demand programming languages worldwide, as PYPL indicated:

RankProgramming LanguageMarket ShareTrend
6R4.75%+0.7 %

(Source: PYPL Popularity of Programming Language)

Programming language of 2023 - Python

#1 Python

Landed at No.1 on the PYPL chart as the most popular programming language, Python accounts for 28.11% of the market share, making it the most used programming language in 2024, although it has been around for almost three decades. Python, developed by Guido van Rossum in 1989, is a general-purpose programming language that is widely used in web app development, data science, artificial intelligence (AI), scientific computing, machine learning, etc.

There are many reasons why Python has remained one of the top programming languages since 1989. First of all, Python has a clean, readable, and concise syntax, and it is supported by a large community of software developers, making it easy for beginning programmers to learn and use. Secondly, its vast standard library provides a wide range of functionality (image manipulation, databases, unit testing, expressions, and more), allowing you to do more with less code.

Additionally, Python is a free and open-source programming language, so it can be a cost-effective solution for many businesses, especially small ones and startups. Moreover, Python is cross-platform, highly extensible, and can run on various operating systems, making it a versatile software programming language. Last but not least, this software development language can be integrated with other languages such as Java, C++, and .NET components. However, Python is not as fast as some other programming languages, so it may not be the best choice for performance-critical applications.

Programming language of 2023 - Java

#2 Java

Java, created by James Gosling in 1995, has long been one of the most popular programming languages in the world, and it holds the second position on the PYPL chart with a market share of 15.52%. Java is a general-purpose, platform-independent, and object-oriented programming language that enables developers to create robust and high-performance applications.

Like Python, this popular language has a large and active community of Java developers who contribute to its continuous improvement. Moreover, the vast amount of documentation and resources available make it easy for freshers to get started with Java development. Furthermore, Java is supported by many major IDEs and automation tools, making the development process smoother. However, one downside of Java is that it is a bit verbose, so it can take more code to reach the same results as other programming languages.

Java can be used for a wide range of applications, such as web development, mobile development, desktop applications, big data, Internet of Things (IoT) applications, and more.

Programming language of 2023 - Javascript

#3 JavaScript

With a market share of 8.57%, JavaScript ranks third on the PYPL chart. Created by Brendan Eich in 1995, JavaScript is a versatile scripting language that runs on both the client-side and the server-side of web applications. It can be used to build interactive web interfaces, handle user input, manipulate the DOM, and more. JavaScript is the best programming language for web development as it can be used to create dynamic and responsive user interfaces, although it can also be used for mobile app development, desktop applications, game development, and more.

Moreover, it is easy to learn as it is similar to other programming languages such as Java and C++. Furthermore, JavaScript is an interpreted language, which means that it doesn’t need to be compiled before being run. However, one downside of JavaScript is that it can be difficult to debug as it does not have a standard debugging environment.

Programming language of 2023 - C++

#4 C/C++

C is a general-purpose programming language built by Dennis Ritchie in 1972. On the other hand, C++ was created by Bjarne Stroustrup in 1983 as an extension of the C programming language. C++ is a powerful object-oriented language that enables developers to create sophisticated systems. Although both languages are used for system programming, they have different applications. C is mainly used for embedded systems, while C++ is widely used in the development of desktop and server applications.

With a market share of 6.92%, C/C++ is a middle-level language, meaning that it can be used to write high-level code that can be read by humans, as well as machine code that can be readable for computers. Moreover, C/C++ is a compiled language, meaning that the code needs to be converted into machine code before it can be executed. This can result in faster execution times as the compiler can optimize the code for performance. However, C and C++ are not easy programming languages to learn for beginners as they are complex and have a steep learning curve.

Programming language of 2023 - C#

#5 C-sharp (C#)

C# (pronounced as “C-sharp”) is a Microsoft language created by Anders Hejlsberg in 2000. It is a general-purpose, object-oriented, and component-oriented programming language that enables developers to create robust and high-performance applications. C# is ranked fifth on the PYPL chart with a market share of 6.73%. Similar to other C-family languages such as C++ and Java, C# is easy to learn and a type-safe programming language, meaning that you can catch errors at compile time instead of runtime.

Like other popular programming languages, C# can be utilized for a variety of purposes, ranging from web development to mobile development, desktop applications, cloud-based services, and virtual reality (VR). C-sharp is also well-known as one of the top gaming programming languages. C# has the advantage of being cross-compatible with most of the game development platforms.

Programming language of 2023 - r language

#6 R

R is a language and a software environment for statistical computing and graphics. It was created by Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman in 1993. R is a popular programming language among statisticians and data scientists for its wide range of statistical and graphical methods. Ranking seventh on the PYPL chart, R programming language accounts for 4.75% of the market share. R is a free and open-source language that is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux.

R is the right programming language for data science (data mining, data analytics, and data visualization). R also has many packages that can be used for machine learning, such as the caret package – a set of tools to streamline the process of creating predictive models. In addition, RStudio is a popular integrated development environment (IDE) for R that can be used to write code, debug code, and create data visualizations.

However, R can be difficult to learn for beginners as it has a steep learning curve. In addition, R code can be difficult to read and debug due to its complex syntax. Despite these disadvantages, R is a powerful language that enables developers to create sophisticated statistical models.

Programming language of 2023 - PHP

#7 PHP

PHP (Recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a commonly used, open-source scripting language created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994. It is a general-purpose scripting programming language that is mainly used for web development. One of the reasons why PHP is one of the best programming languages for developing websites is it can be embedded into HTML code and doesn’t need to be compiled before being executed.

The PHP code is executed on the servers, which generate HTML that is then sent to the client. PHP 7 - This version of PHP is up to twice as fast as older versions and has significantly reduced memory usage. Nonetheless, PHP code can be difficult to debug as it is not compiled before being executed. Moreover, PHP is not a very fast language compared to other languages such as C++.

Likewise, it can also be used for other purposes, such as desktop applications and server-side programming. According to the PYPL chart, PHP ranks sixth in the list of the most popular programming languages in 2024, with a market share of 4.57%. PHP programmers are in high demand as the language is used by some of the most popular webs, such as Facebook, Wikipedia, and WordPress.

Programming language of 2023 - TypeScript

#8 TypeScript

Developed and maintained by Microsoft, TypeScript is one of the widely used functional programming languages. It is a superset of JavaScript, meaning that all valid JavaScript code is also valid TypeScript code. However, TypeScript adds additional features to the language, such as static typing and class-based object-oriented programming. Static typing enables type checking at compile-time, which can help to prevent errors in the code. TypeScript is ranked eighth on the PYPL chart with a market share of 2.78%, and its popularity is sharply increasing.

In terms of advantages, TypeScript makes code easier to read or debug. Moreover, TypeScript code can be easily refactored, which makes it easier to maintain large codebases. This popular language is used for large-scale JavaScript applications. The Angular framework, developed by Google, is written in TypeScript. Other popular frameworks that are written in this language include Vue.js and React. In addition, TypeScript is used by Microsoft to develop Azure App services, Visual Studio code, and many other products.

Programming language of 2023 - Swift

#9 Swift

Speaking of Swift, it is quite a new language launched by Apple in 2014, and it is designed to be fast, safe, and easy to use. Swift requires fewer coding skills, and it is easier to read and write than Objective-C. As a result, Swift has quickly become the preferred language for developing iOS and macOS applications, and it is used by IBM for cloud-based application development. At the moment, Swift is ranked 9th on the PYPL chart of most used programming languages, with a market share of 2.75%.

Programming language of 2023 - Objective-C

#10 Objective-C

Accounting for 2.37% of the global market share, Objective-C will be the 10th most popular programming language in 2024. Objective-C is a general-purpose, object-oriented language that was created in the early 1980s. It is primarily used to develop iOS applications, macOS applications, and other Apple software (such as tvOS and watchOS operating systems).

This is one of the easiest languages to learn for those who are already familiar with the C programming language. Objective-C also has a wide range of toolkits and libraries that can be used to develop apps. In addition, it has a rich set of IDEs and frameworks (such as Cocoa and Cocoa Touch) that make development faster and easier. However, Objective-C is not as popular as it once was due to the rise of newer languages such as Swift.

Programming language of 2023 - rust

#11 Rust

Rust is one of the programming languages of the future. Created by Mozilla in 2006, Rust is a cross-platform, statically typed, and free-to-use programming language that enables developers to work in various programming styles. This language provides memory safety without using garbage collection. In addition, it has a low learning curve and easy-to-read syntax. Rust is also known for its high performance and speed.

In addition, Rust has a variety of applications, such as network programming, game development, web development, and system programming. Currently, Rust is the 11th most popular programming language on the PYPL chart, with 2.23% of the market share, and it is observed to keep rising steadily.

Programming language of 2023 - go

#12 Go Programming Language (Golang)

The Go programming language, commonly known as Golang, was developed by Google in 2009. This is a statically typed, compiled programming language that is designed for building large and complex software systems. Golang is ranked 12th on the PYPL chart, with a market share of 2.04%.

This language has a clean syntax that is easy to read and write. In addition, it has an efficient standard library that provides a wide range of features. Additionally, Golang is a cross-platform language that can be used to develop apps for multiple platforms. Besides Google, some of the other companies that use Golang include SoundCloud, Twitter, Netflix, and Uber. Go is also known as one of the fastest programming languages.

Programming language of 2023 - Kotlin

#13 Kotlin

Kotlin is a cross-platform, statically typed programming language that can be used to develop Android apps, server-side applications, and web applications. Kotlin is ranked 13th on the PYPL chart, with a market share of 1.75% in 2024. This language was created by JetBrains in 2011 and has been endorsed by Google as a first-class programming language for Android app development.

Kotlin is compatible with Java and can be used to develop apps that can run on Java Virtual Machine (JVM). In addition, Kotlin code can be easily converted to JavaScript or Native code, making it possible to develop apps for multiple platforms using the same codebase. Thus, it is one of the most commonly used languages by large companies, such as Trello, Pinterest, Netflix, Uber, and Evernote.

Programming language of 2023 - Matlab

#14 Matlab

Known as one of the top programming languages for AI, Matlab is a commercial programming language that is commonly utilized for numerical computing, data analytics, deep learning, and engineering applications. MATLAB has many built-in functions and toolboxes that can be used for various tasks, such as data visualization, signal processing, and machine learning.

Furthermore, MATLAB code can be easily integrated with other languages, such as C++, Java, and Python, and can run on a range of platforms, including Windows, macOS, and Linux. Since Matlab is a proprietary one, it is not open-source and free to use. This top programming language now ranks 14th on the PYPL chart, with a market share of 1.64%.

Programming language of 2023 - ada

#15 Ada

Ada is a statically typed, structured, imperative programming language that was developed by the United States Department of Defense in 1983. Ada is widely used for developing large and complex software systems. It has a wide range of features, such as exception handling, data abstraction, object-oriented programming, and type safety.

Ada is a well-structured and readable language that makes it easy to write and maintain software programs. Ada is also known for its reliability, portability, and efficiency. And with 1.08% of the market share, it is one of the most popular languages for developing real-time systems, such as avionics software, medical devices, and transportation systems.

Programming language of 2023 - Dart

#16 Dart

Utilized by such tech giants as Google, Wix, and eBay, Dart is a class-based, object-oriented programming language that has a C-style syntax. It was developed by Google in 2011 and later approved as a standard by ECMA. Dart can be used for developing web applications, mobile applications, and desktop applications.

In addition, it can be used for server-side development with the help of Node.js. Additionally, Dart is a fast and scalable language that supports ahead-of-time compilation, and it is one of the easiest languages to learn. With 0.98% of the market share, Dart is the 16th most popular programming language on this list.

Programming language of 2023 - ruby

#17 Ruby

At the position of 17th, we have Ruby (Market share: 0.98%) – a versatile, high-level programming language that is used for web development, software engineering, and prototyping. Developed by Yukihiro Matsumoto in 1993, Ruby has a wide range of features, such as object-oriented programming, dynamic typing, automatic memory management, and exception handling. Ruby is a dynamically typed, interpreted language that has an object-oriented design.

Ruby has a simple and natural syntax that makes it easy to read and write. Moreover, it has a rich set of libraries, known as gems, that can be used for various tasks. Some of the popular Ruby gems include Rails, RSpec, and Pry. Also, Ruby has a large and supportive community by its side that helps beginners get started with this language. Some of the well-known companies that use Ruby include Airbnb, Shopify, Twitter, Bloomberg, and GitHub.

Programming language of 2023 - PowerShell

#18 PowerShell

Landed at number 18 on the list, PowerShell covers 0.94% of the 2024 market share for the most popular programming languages.

Initially released in 2006, PowerShell was built on top of the .NET framework as a command-line shell and scripting language. This open-source language offers a range of features, such as object-oriented programming, strong-typed variables, remote execution, navigation across the file system, and access to COM objects. It also supports third-party add-ons and modules.

PowerShell is designed to be the most commonly used language for system administrators and IT professionals to automate administrative tasks and manage systems. Moreover, this language has a simple syntax that makes it easy to learn and use. Additionally, PowerShell is compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X operating systems. It is also one of the most secure languages due to its ability to detect malicious activities.

Programming language of 2023 - VBA

#19 VBA

VBA is a high-level programming language that is used to develop macros, user-defined functions, and add-ons for Microsoft Office applications. The term VBA stands for Visual Basic for Applications, and it has a syntax that is similar to Visual Basic 6.0. In addition, it supports object-oriented programming and enables software developers to create their own objects.

Moreover, VBA is compatible with all the major Microsoft Office applications, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access. And it is such a powerful tool that can be used to automate various tasks in Microsoft software. VBA is now accounting for 0.88% of the market share according to the PYPL chart of the most popular programming languages in 2024.

Programming language of 2023 - Lua

#20 Lua

At the 20th position, Lua is a powerful, efficient, multi-paradigm programming language that was developed in 1993 by Roberto Ierusalimschy, Luiz Henrique de Figueiredo, and Waldemar Celes. Designed as an embedded scripting language, Lua can be used for developing video games, web applications, and server-side applications. Also, it has a simple syntax that is easy to learn and use.

Moreover, Lua is a lightweight language that has a small memory footprint. This feature makes it ideal for low-end and embedded systems. In addition, it supports coroutines, which are used for concurrent programming and can greatly improve the performance of applications. Lua is also known for its portability and can run on platforms such as Windows, Linux, MacOS, iOS, and Android. With 0.85% of the market share, Lua is one of the most popular languages used in game development.

Aside from these 20 most used programming languages, there are some other top programming languages analyzed and shortlisted by PYPL, encompassing Scala, Abap, Groovy, Perl, Julia, Cobol, Haskell, and Delphi/Pascal.

Topics: Programming Languages

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