Python snakes within hissing distance of Java in battle of the langs

The TIOBE industry survey of the top 100 programming languages by popularity for October 2020 shows two main trends – Java’s accelerating decline and Python’s growing popularity.

Java has lost the top spot to venerable systems language C, which takes the catbird seat with a 0.77 per cent uptick year-on-year to 17per cent compared to Java’s 4.3per cent drop. Java had been strong until the second quarter of 2020, which saw its most recent high at nearly 18per cent of the market – it’s now down to 12.5 per cent.

Although Python retains last year’s third position, the all-purpose soup to nuts language has shown the strongest growth of any language in the survey, up 2.2 per cent to an 11.3 per cent market share. This continues, if not speeds up, three years of steady growth. If trends continue, it will take second place next year with ease.

“Python […] has reached a new all time high at 11.28 per cent. Since Java is approaching its all time low since 2001, Python and Java are getting pretty close. The gap is now less than 1.3 per cent. Since the start of the TIOBE index, C and Java have always held the 2 top positions. So it would be a unique event, if Python would reach position #2,” Paul Jansen, CEO TIOBE Software said in a statement.


There are few trends and fewer surprises further down the rankins. C++ and C# took fourth and fifth places with sub 1 per cent growth for both and a combined share of 12 per cent. Outside the top three, no single language had a double digit share.

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