The 20 Most Popular Programming Languages in 2021


It’s always a bit of a happening when the latest programming language rankings are published. Some coders would agree, others would argue, and there’s always that group that claims HTML is a valid programming language (because it is) and should be included.

Only a few days ago, Stephen O’Grady and Rachel Stephens from RedMonk, completed their programming language research activity, and the resulting data is now available to all developers, programmers, coders, and enthusiasts out there.

What are the most popular programming languages in 2021?

Excited yet? Here come the most popular programming languages out there as of now. Sorted from least popular entry to most popular entry below.

  • 19. Perl
  • 19. Rust
  • 18. Kotlin
  • 17. PowerShell
  • 16. Go
  • 14. Scala
  • 14. Shell
  • 13. Objective-C
  • 12. R
  • 11. Swift
  • 10. C
  • 9. Ruby
  • 8. TypeScript
  • 5. CSS
  • 5. C++
  • 5. C#
  • 4. PHP
  • 3. Java
  • 2. Python
  • 1. JavaScript

If you’re looking to learn programming languages, this ranking might be useful for you in order to find and prioritize good candidates for you. I won’t describe their data gathering and ranking process as part of my article here because it would be impossible to find better words than they have, but you can certainly visit their original report to better understand how this came to be. They also have a great graphic that can help you to better grasp how the programming languages popularity list was created.

Mysterious Hand Matrix Hacker Stock That Nobody Likes
Mandatory “Matrix Hacker” stock photo that every programming article needs. 😉

O’Grady further makes the following remark on the changes in comparison to previous rankings of programming languages in past years, “Not only is there change, however, it’s notable and, if sustained, significant change as we’ll get into shortly. One lack of change that is worth surfacing is Python’s number two spot. Java was extremely hot on Python’s heels – and was, in fact, closer to the number one ranking than to PHP behind it – but Python’s ability to defend its new high ranking is notable.”

Also interesting: Which Programming Language Should You Learn First? [Flowchart]

RedMonk was founded in 2002 by James Governor and Stephen O’Grady. Its claim is to be “the developer-focused industry analyst firm.” However, they don’t only deal in all things programming languages. They provide services such as consulting, press activities, content creation, networking assistance, proactive alerts, research, and publishing.

Photo credit: The feature image has been done by Fadi Dahabreh. The photo in the body of the article was done by Linus Strandholm.
Editorial notice: The images in the article are symbolic and not directly related to the ranking or RedMonk.

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Christopher Isak
Christopher Isak
Hi there and thanks for reading my article! I'm Chris the founder of TechAcute. I write about technology news and share experiences from my life in the enterprise world. Drop by on Twitter and say 'hi' sometime. ;)
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