Python bests Java for number 2 spot on GitHub’s list of most popular languages

Python surpassed Java, PHP, C#, C++, and others to become the second most popular programming language, according to GitHub’s annual “The State of the Octoverse” report.

GitHub, which is owned by Microsoft, noted that over the past year, “developers collaborated in more than 370 primary languages” on the platform. GitHub ranked each language by the number of unique contributors to repositories (public and private) tagged with a primary language. While JavaScript still tops the 2019 list, Python moved from 4th to 3rd in 2015 and 3rd to 2nd this year. GitHub attributed Python’s rise in popularity to the growth of “core data science packages power by Python.”


GitHub top languages over time.


GitHub Octoverse: Top languages

  1. JavaScript
  2. Python
  3. Java
  4. PHP
  5. C#
  6. C++
  7. TypeScript
  8. Shell
  9. C
  10. Ruby

GitHub’s Octoverse report isn’t the only survey that shows the recent popularity growth of Python…a 20-year-old programming language. As of October 2019, it ranks first on the PYPL PopularitY of Programming Language Index, which tracks popularity based on Google searches for language tutorials. And according to the 2019 Stack Overflow Developer Survey, Python is the “fastest-growing major language today.” Python also ranked second (behind Rust) on Stack Overflow’s list of most loved languages and first on the list of most wanted languages.

Google Dart tops GitHub’s list of fastest growing languages

When it comes to GitHub’s list of fastest growing languages, Python makes the top 10, but Dart and Rust take the first and second spots. Dart’s top spot on this list is interesting given that the language developed by Google and first released in 2011, topped Codementor’s 2018 list of coding languages developers should avoid learning. One reason for Dart’s turn around is likely Google’s subsequent release of Flutter, a cross-platform development toolkit which uses Dart. In September 2019, Google announced an update to the Dart SDK and the release of Flutter 1.9. The new Dart SDK included a technical preview of ML Complete, which added AI-powered code completion powered by Google’s TensorFlow Lite deep-learning framework.

GitHub Octoverse: Fastest growing languages