The Top Languages Of 2013
Written by Mike James   
Thursday, 02 January 2014

Every January it is traditional to compare the state of the languages as indicated by the TIOBE index. So what's up and what's down this year?

The simple answer is not much!

The top ten languages at the end of 2013 are more or less the same top languages that we reported on at the end of 2012. Even the small changes in the ratings can mostly be explained by simple changes in the way the index is calculated. 

 This years top ten are:

Jan 2014

Jan 2013


Programming Language



1 1 C 17.871% +0.02%
2 2 Java 16.499% -0.92%
3 3 Objective-C 11.098% +0.82%
4 4 C++ 7.548% -1.59%
5 5 C# 5.855% -0.34%
6 6 PHP 4.627% -0.92%
7 7 (Visual) Basic 2.989% -1.76%
8 8 Python 2.400% -1.77%
9 10 JavaScript 1.569% -0.41%
10 22 Transact-SQL 1.559% +0.98%


You can see that the only changes are JavaScript moves up to number nine and T-SQL powers in from last year is 22. 


There is no obvious reason. The TIOBE blog speculates that it might be because nothing much happened and so any level of interest in T-SQL is going to have a disproportionate effect.

This seems reasonable but if you have any other ideas please comment.

You also need to remember that the nature of the TIOBE index is such that you cannot give any importance to small changes or even to absolute positions except in very general terms. 

The single language that fell out of the top ten is revealed in the next part of the results languages 11 to 20. 


Jan 2014

Jan 2013


Programming Language



11 12 Visual Basic .NET 1.558% +0.52%
12 11 Ruby 1.082% -0.69%
13 9 Perl 0.917% -1.35%
14 14 Pascal 0.780% -0.15%
15 17 MATLAB 0.776% +0.14%
16 45 F# 0.720% +0.53%
17 21 PL/SQL 0.634% +0.05%
18 35 D 0.627% +0.33%
19 13 Lisp 0.604% -0.35%
20 15 Delphi/Object Pascal 0.595% -0.32%


You can see that Perl has slipped out of the top ten moving from 9 to 13.  Ruby is down one place which should in no way be used as evidence that it is a "dying" language which is what many blog posts at the end of the year are trying to suggest. Rails may not be as popular in the coming year, but Ruby still has its attractions.

Both Lisp and Delphi dropped lower and this seems reasonable given the newer language choices available. Big rises however are in F# and D - perhaps we are getting more interested in the exotic languages that normally live in the top 50 rather than top ten. Another big drop is Bash, which managed to squeeze in at number 20 last year but isn't even in the top 50 this year. Also notice that PL/SQL made a move up - is this connected to TSQL?




For whatever reason, T-SQL is named this year's language of the year by TIOBE.

More Information

TIOBE Current Index

Related Articles

The Top Languages of 2011 

Language of the year 2010


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Last Updated ( Thursday, 02 January 2014 )