For the fourth time, Python has won Tiobe’s programming language of the year award, given to the language gaining the most popularity in one year.

In winning the designation for 2020, Python jumped 2.01 percentage points last year in the Tiobe Index of language popularity, edging out C++, which increased 1.99 percentage points. Easy-to-learn Python, Tiobe said, has become the favorite in fields such as machine learning and data science while also being used for web development, back-end programming, mobile applications, and embedded systems.

Overall, Python remains the third most popular language behind C and Java in the January 2021 edition of the index, which is based on a formula assessing searches in popular search engines. Python had leapfrogged Java for second place in the November index but fell back to third place in December.

Java had been the number one language in the index until falling behind C last May, with Tiobe speculating that the Covid-19 pandemic had sparked a surge in C-based development related to C’s use in medical devices. With a rating of 11.96 percent this month, Java lost nearly five percentage points from its January 2020 ranking.

Other languages that gained last year include C (1.66 points), Groovy (1.23 points), and R (1.1 points). The top 10 in the Tiobe index for January 2021 are as follows:

  1. C, with a rating of 17.38 percent
  2. Java, 11.96 percent
  3. Python, 11.72 percent
  4. C++, 7.56 percent
  5. C#, 3.95 percent
  6. Visual Basic, 3.84 percent
  7. JavaScript, 2.2 percent
  8. PHP, 1.99 percent
  9. R, 1.9 percent
  10. Groovy, 1.84 percent

In the alternative Pypl Popularity of Programming Language index, which looks at how often language tutorials are searched in Google, the top 10 for January 2021 are as follows:

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