Welcome back: Fortran rejoins list of top 20 popular programming languages

The TIOBE index is one of the metrics used to determine the popularity of a programming language. It does not indicate which programming language is the best or which has the most lines of code written in it. Rather, it utilizes information related to search queries that were issued across various engines and sites such as Google, Wikipedia, Bing, Amazon, YouTube, and more to determine the popularity of a particular programming language.

The April 2021 edition of the TIOBE index is now live and it marks the surprise return of an ancient programming language, Fortran, in the top 20 list.

Code on a screen

Notably, Objective-C has finally dropped from the top 20 rankings. This is not surprising considering Apple announced Swift as its replacement back in 2014. What's really surprising is the return of Fortran to the top 20 index. Fortran first appeared back in 1957, and is obviously not widely used anymore. Back in April 2020, the language ranked 34, but has been consistently climbing in terms of popularity and is now back in the top 20.

The programming languages included in the TIOBE top 20 index are listed below:

  1. C
  2. Java
  3. Python
  4. C++
  5. C#
  6. Visual Basic
  7. JavaScript
  8. Assembly Language
  9. PHP
  10. SQL
  11. Classic Visual Basic
  12. Delphi/Object Pascal
  13. Ruby
  14. Go
  15. Swift
  16. R
  17. Groovy
  18. Perl
  19. MATLAB
  20. Fortran

The top five positions have remained mostly consistent in the past few years or so, but other interesting observations also include Assembly Language which has broken the top 10 barrier, and is now ahead of PHP and SQL.

Other entries in the top 50 programming languages on the TIOBE index also include SAS, Scratch, COBOL, Scala, T-SQL, Rust, Kotlin, and more. TIOBE says that its index can be used to determine how up to date your programming knowledge is, and can also be utilized to decide which programming language to use when developing a new software. You can find out more details over here.

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