It’s difficult to determine with any real certainty how many people use a particular programming language. Sure, there are lots of popular programming-language rankings out there (such as the TIOBE Index or Stack Overflow’s exhaustive annual Developer Survey), but those often make assumptions about languages’ user base based on complicated formulas and multiple data sources.
Then there’s SlashData’s State of the Developer Nation, which attempts to take the most comprehensive look at how many technologists use some of the world’s most popular programming languages. It relies on two metrics: an independent estimate of the number of software developers around the world (24.3 million in the first quarter of 2021), and extrapolations from its “large-scale, low-bias surveys.”
Python is also strong, thanks in large part to its increasing use in cutting-edge technologies: “The rise of data science and machine learning (ML) is a clear factor in Python’s popularity. Close to 70 percent of ML developers and data scientists report using Python. For perspective, only 17 percent use R, the other language often associated with data science.”
If you’re just beginning your programming journey, keep all of this in mind as you decide which languages to pursue. Learning a popular programming language can unlock all kinds of opportunities.