C++ enters the top three of the April 2019 TIOBE Index

Top 10 programming languages: C++ gains popularity, Python on the rise, Java still on top

Sarah Schlothauer
© Shutterstock /Piotr Snigorski

According to the TIOBE Index for April 2019, C++ is currently seeing a steady rise in popularity. It moves into the number three spot behind C and Java. Compared to C++’s early days when it dominated the market and programming world, it is not as widespread, however C++ proves that it still has some kick in its step.

Every month, we take a look at the trending ebb and flux of programming language usage. The TIOBE Programming Community index charts the popularity of various programming languages, showing what’s still popular among developers. This month C++ entered the top three.

This index helps developers make informed choices about what languages to adopt and keep track of what technologies are rising or falling. Read more about their methodology for indexing programming languages here and which languages they currently track.

Here’s the top 20 list for April 2019:


The TIOBE Index for April 2019. Source.

C++ rises up the charts

This month TIOBE saw a rise in C++ popularity. It is back in the number three spot, moving Python back down to number 4.

TIOBE notes that this shift is not because Python is becoming less popular, as the opposite is true. Python continues its climb in usage and was even named the programming language of the year at the tail end of 2018.

The reason for C++ taking the number three is simply that is becoming more and more popular. While the language no longer dominates the programming landscape, it remains a developer favorite for many use cases.

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C++ is still far away from its popularity in the beginning of this century when it had a market share of more than 15%. The complexity and the delay of releasing the new language definition C++0x pulled the language back at that time. That new language standard, eventually named C++11 after its release in 2011, has made the language much simpler, safer and more expressive at the same time. It took some extra years before the C++11 standard was adopted because the community had to wait for proper compiler support. But now that the C++11, C++14 and C++17 standards are supported by the most important C++ compilers, i.e. Gcc, Clang and Visual Studio, the popularity of C++ is reviving.

Small changes

This month, the TIOBE Index saw minor changes in language popularity when compared with last month, or even last year. Assembly language has been rising a bit overall, entering the top ten position this month. Last month it occupied the number 12 spot and last year it was number 14.

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Objective-C also jumped a few positions up the chart compared to its standings in 2018. This month it takes the number 11 spot, compared to last year at number 18.

Behind them comes MATLAB, gaining a few positions compared to last month.

The top two spots continue to go to Java and C, which has been a constant in the charts.

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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