Languages Closely Tied At Top of TIOBE Index
Written by Sue Gee   
Monday, 17 July 2023

Having overtaken Java in the TIOBE Index, C++ now seems to be threatening to dislodge C from the number two slot, JavaScript moves into 6th place, its highest ever and COBOL re-enters the Top 20 after a long time. 

The TIOBE Index is updated on a monthly basis. While its chart always has the appearance of being busy, in fact the language rankings are fairly stable and can be virtually static for long periods. So July 2023 is notable for there being some churn and what is immediately striking is how close the ratings for the top four languages are:

tiobe churn

More information on the year-on-year changes are given in this table: 

tiobe July23

C++ was the only one of the top four languages to see a positive year-on-year change in its percentage rating - adding 0.79% to stand at 10.8%. Python had the smallest loss of the entire Top 20, -0.01% leaving it with a share of 13,42% while Visual Basic had the greatest  -2.07%. This, combined with JavaScript gaining 1.34%, led to JavaScript overtaking it to occupy #6, its highest ever ranking in the TIOBE Index.

tiobe JS

As we have often commented, given its status as the most widely used programming language, JavaScript's position on the TIOBE index has always been anomalous. As its chart shows it has had a rating up to 4% in the past. JavaScript's lowest position, #14, was in October 2014 when its share dropped to 1.77%. Now it has risen three months in a row going from a share of 2.1% in April to 3.11% in July. 

COBOL, one of the very early programming languages and one that is very deeply embedded into long-standing office systems, has also had a 3-month rise going from a share of 0.41% in April to 0.86% in July which moved it into #20 on the index. COBOL had its highest position, #8, in August 2001, very close to the start of the chart and its lowest, #47, a decade later when its share was 0.28%. 

tiobe Cobol

What causes such a rise when other languages decline? The methodology of the TIOBE index means that it is based simply on the volume of search on the name of the language. So there must have been more chatter about JavaScript and Cobol relative to other languages since April and your guess on this is as good as mine!

 tiobesq 

More Information

TIOBE Index

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 09 August 2023 )