TIOBE Index for December 2019

Python is on its way to become the top programming language of 2019

Sarah Schlothauer
© Shutterstock / Michael Ayling

The TIOBE Index for December 2019 reaffirms the status quo. Java, C, Python, C++, and C# are all doing well, with no major changes in their ranking. As predictions for 2020 roll in, one language, in particular, has been receiving a lot of attention. While Kotlin is not in the top 10 (or even the top 20) on the TIOBE Index’s rankings, it should be in every mobile dev’s toolkit.

As 2019 draws to a close, top 10 lists are propagating the internet, rating the best of the year. Programming languages are no exception.

The latest TIOBE Index for December 2019 is in, ranking the top languages according to search engine data.

December 2019 top 10

Below are the top 10 programming languages TIOBE Index for December 2019:


Top 10 languages in December 2019. Source.

This month, there have not been major changes to the top 10 list, even when compared to December 2018’s ranking.

C# picked up the pace and rose +1.35% up the charts, while Visual Basic .NET dropped -2.38%. The top four languages, Java, C, Python, and C++, tend to reshuffle positions with one another. However, this top 4 ranking is the same as last year’s order.

It must be noted that the TIOBE Index only uses data from search engines in order to rank languages. Thus, these rankings should be taken with a grain of salt and may not reflect the number of programmers for a specific language, or how many lines of code are written in each. However, it does help give us a general idea of language popularity and usage.

Python’s journey to number one

According to the TIOBE Index:

[Python] was already programming language of the year 2018, but its popularity keeps growing. This is mainly due to the lack of programmers in the world and the ease of learning this language if compared to other languages. C is also doing well thanks to the rise of Internet of Things. Why Java and C# are doing well is unclear, but it would be the first time that C# becomes the programming language of the year. Let’s see what will happen next month!

Next month, the TIOBE Index will announce the top programming language of 2019. Will Python take the throne again? So far, it is the top contender for the title, with Java, C, and C# not far behind.

SEE ALSO: PyCharm 2019.3 offers support for Python 3.8 and more interactivity

While Python is commonly used as a general programming language, its capabilities in computer science are where it truly shines. Thanks to the rising interest in machine learning and data science as specialized areas, Python will likely continue its rise up the charts and be a safe bet to learn.

In June 2019, the TIOBE Index claimed Python may possibly overtake Java and C if it keeps up its rate of continuous growth.

Meanwhile, the 2019 State of the Octoverse revealed that Python outranked Java for the first time. GitHub’s data showed that Python jumped in usage and is now the second most popular language, right underneath JavaScript.


Source: GitHub

Of course, comparing Java and Python is like comparing apples and oranges. Even if Python becomes more common than Java, it still will not outright replace Java and its specific use cases.

Programming in 2020

What does the future hold? On December 4, 2019, Dice published an article predicting the top 7 programming languages that will be vital in 2020.

Their predictions include Swift and Kotlin leading the mobile frontier. For mobile developers, especially those developing for Android, Kotlin should already be a top language to learn. The likelihood of it continuing to grow has strong evidence backing it.

SEE ALSO: Amazon’s new ML service Amazon CodeGuru: Let machine learning optimize your Java code

David Winer, Kotlin Product Manager, published a post on the Android Developers Blog regarding Kotlin-first development.

Winer stresses that in 2020, Android will work alongside JetBrains to improve the Kotlin development experience. According to Winer, currently, nearly 60% of the top 1,000 Android apps contain Kotlin code.

Our teams are making the compiler more extensible with a new backend, and making your builds faster with a significantly faster frontend. We’re also working with many of the largest annotation processors to make compilation faster for Kotlin code. You can also expect more Kotlin-first updates to Android, including more Jetpack libraries that make use of Kotlin features such as coroutines.

For more information about Kotlin’s 2020 plans, read about what features version 1.4 will include.

Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is the editor for She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey. She currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband and cat where she enjoys reading, writing, and medieval reenactment. She is also the editor for Conditio Humana, an online magazine about ethics, AI, and technology.

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