The most popular programming languages on Reddit

Today we are going to do a quick analysis on which programming languages are the most popular on Reddit.

There are many ways to do this, but the easiest is to see the number of subscribers to each sub-reddit. Each subreddit has a subscribe button:

subscribe_redditSo I made a list of all the languages I knew (or could think of). I then removed any similarish ones (like Delphi and Pascal).

The next step is to find the subreddit of each. Some had more than one, in which case we use the one with more subscribers.

So without much further ado, here are the results.

The least popular languages


I put in brainfuck just to mess with you. The others results arent that surprising. Cobol, which I’m surprised even has a subreddit, Tcl which most of you won’t have heard of. Same with Delphi and Smalltalk. Visual Basic is the most popular in the least popular list, if that makes sense.

The most popular programming languages

most_pop_langThe first thing you note is that Python towers above everything else. I don’t know if this is due to the fact Reddit was written in Python, or if Python really is such a popular language.

Javascript and Java come next, which isn’t really surprising. Lisp may be on the lower end, but it still has almost 10,000 subscribers (not to mention, there are separate sub-reddits for Common Lisp, Scheme etc). A surprise was that C isn’t there, but those of you unlucky to program in C (and that includes me) will know that C doesn’t have much in the way of  “activity”. It isn’t a hot language with new features, cool blogs and conferences.

Next, we look at the top 5 languages in the list above:

top5_langPython takes the pie again (haha, pun) with 36% share of the top 5 languages. Ruby is the smallest with 10%, but remember this is 10% of the top 5.

Now, Ruby is more popular as a web framework language (Rails), so next we’ll have a brief look at the top web frameworks.

This time, I didn’t spend too much time finding frameworks, choosing ten of the most popular ones (by which I mean, the ones most talked about):

most_pop_frameRails is at the top here, which isn’t surprising. But Django is surprising, as from looking at Rails on Stackoverflow, it has twice as many questions as Django. And yet, here they look equal.

A better method may be to compare the languages across multiple sources. That is left as an exercise for the reader.


1. This isn’t very scientific.

Of course it isn’t.

2. Can I see the source code?

Yes, you may. Here it is.

3. You forgot My-Favourite-Language

If it changes the results above, let me know, and I’ll update the graphs.

4. Can I see the raw data?

The data for the languages is here. For the frameworks, you’ll have to run the code.

PS: If you are interested in Python for data analysis, I’m creating a free video course on the topic. Sign up to be notified when it is ready.

5 thoughts on “The most popular programming languages on Reddit”

    1. I thought about WordPress, but doing a little reading tells me it’s a CMS. Unlike a pure web framework, you can’t build anything you want with it (not counting plugins). That’s why I left it out, though I did consider it.

  1. Since these results were generated by Python, they may be biased in favor of that language. May I suggest you do the same study with a Brainfuck script, just to be sure ?

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