C challenges Java in language popularity survey

Monthly Tiobe Index has C and longtime leader Java in a virtual tie and Swift finally cracking the top 10

C challenges Java in language popularity survey
Getty Images

After nearly five years as the leader of the Tiobe index of programming language popularity, Java is now in a virtual dead heat with C. C trails Java by a mere fraction of a percent, according to the Tiobe Index of November 2019.

While Java is still ranked number one, with a rating of 16.246 percent, C is right behind it at 16.037 percent, a difference of just .209 percentage points. Tiobe reasons that C’s fortunes are on the upswing because of its use in Internet of Things development. The company speculates that C could have the number one ranking by the end of the year. Java has held Tiobe’s top spot since April 2015.

Elsewhere in the Tiobe rankings, the Apple-developed Swift language continued to outpace its predecessor, Objective-C. Swift now ranks 10th, with a rating of 1.653 percent. Objective-C ranks 12th place, with 1.195 percent.

Tiobe’s index is based on a formula that assesses searches on languages in popular search engines such as Google, Bing, and Wikipedia. 

The Tiobe Index top 10 programming languages for November:

  1. Java, 16.246 percent
  2. C, 16.037 percent
  3. Python, 9.842 percent
  4. C++, 5.605 percent
  5. C#, 4.316 percent
  6. Visual Basic.NET, 4.229 percent
  7. JavaScript, 1.929 percent
  8. PHP, 1.72 percent
  9. SQL, 1.69 percent
  10. Swift, 1.653 percent