As I build up my database of programming languages I hope to be able to answer questions like:

  • is the rate of new language creation accelerating, slowing down, or constant?
  • what spurs the creation of new programming languages?
  • can we predict how many new languages will be released next year? in 5 years? in 10 years?

At the moment I am tracking 533 computer languages and I currently have creation years for more than half of those, including for 271 of the most popular ones.

Here is a simple line graph of the cumulative number of languages I have by year.

Vis1

I will wait until I have more data to do more serious analysis (for example: the dip in the growth rate toward the end is likely due to my incomplete dataset and not indicative of a trend change).

But until I can provide a more comprehensive analysis, I thought I’d share my first look.

Update (12/10/2017): a number of readers have pointed out that some of the languages on this list are not programming languages. Future posts like this will be sure to exclude those.

Data used in this article as csv:

language,releaseYear
plankalkul,1948
g-code,1950
flow-matic,1955
regex,1956
fortran,1957
lisp,1958
algol,1958
cobol,1959
ibm-rpg,1959
mad,1959
jovial,1960
sako,1960
si,1960
teco,1963
ascii,1963
apl,1964
basic,1964
pl-i,1964
simula,1965
bcpl,1966
mumps,1966
logo,1967
spss,1968
b,1969
gml,1969
pascal,1970
forth,1970
scheme,1970
isbn,1970
lse,1971
c,1972
prolog,1972
smalltalk,1972
intercal,1972
ml,1973
sql,1974
diff,1974
sed,1974
tcp,1974
z-notation,1974
lex,1975
yacc,1975
sas,1976
s,1976
awk,1977
bourne-shell,1977
idl,1977
m4,1977
datalog,1977
pearl,1977
modula-2,1978
tex,1978
x86,1978
dbase,1979
ada,1980
scribe,1980
udp,1980
karel,1981
maple,1982
postscript,1982
turing,1982
abap,1983
vhdl,1983
turbo-pascal,1983
matlab,1984
objective-c,1984
transact-sql,1984
verilog,1984
common-lisp,1984
rpl,1984
asn-1,1984
simulink,1984
cpp,1985
clipper,1985
stata,1985
ampl,1985
arm,1985
bibtex,1985
bison,1985
ia-32,1985
latex,1985
mips,1985
erlang,1986
labview,1986
oberon,1986
eiffel,1986
fjolnir,1986
gas,1986
gdb,1986
gnuplot,1986
mathcad,1986
object-pascal,1986
sgml,1986
perl,1987
sparc,1987
unicode,1987
wolfram,1988
mathematica,1988
octave,1988
tcl,1988
picolisp,1988
bash,1989
coq,1989
http,1989
z-shell,1990
haskell,1990
j,1990
scilab,1990
pl-sql,1991
python,1991
visualbasic,1991
qbasic,1991
antlr,1992
gzip,1992
opengl,1992
powerpc,1992
lua,1993
r,1993
k,1993
applescript,1993
brainfuck,1993
html,1993
pdf,1993
utf-8,1993
vba,1993
cilk,1994
racket,1994
delphi,1995
java,1995
javascript,1995
php,1995
ruby,1995
visual-foxpro,1995
cfml,1995
mysql,1995
qt,1995
vbscript,1996
ocaml,1996
asp,1996
css,1996
drakon,1996
jscript,1996
lilypond,1996
postgresql,1996
puredata,1996
rest,1996
squeak,1996
supercollider,1996
uml,1996
xml,1996
c--,1997
mmx,1997
modelica,1997
rdf,1997
rpm,1997
curl,1998
actionscript,1998
soap,1998
vml,1998
vvvv,1998
autoit,1999
asterisk,1999
netlogo,1999
tom-oopl,1999
unlambda,1999
xpath,1999
alice,2000
csharp,2000
cmake,2000
drupal,2000
geo-ml,2000
sqlite,2000
subversion,2000
wsdl,2000
xbl,2000
d,2001
visualbasicnet,2001
processing,2001
json,2001
nsis,2001
protobuf,2001
svg,2001
tinyc,2001
yaml,2001
scratch,2002
gosu,2002
jsharp,2002
restructuredtext,2002
textile,2002
groovy,2003
boo,2003
autohotkey,2003
q,2003
amqp,2003
llvmir,2003
sawzall,2003
whitespace,2003
wordpress,2003
scala,2004
asymptote,2004
markdown,2004
nginx,2004
owl,2004
solr,2004
tiddlywiki,2004
fsharp,2005
sagemath,2005
django,2005
git,2005
haxe,2005
linotte,2005
mercurial,2005
mql,2005
puppet,2005
rails,2005
powershell,2006
aws,2006
hexagon,2006
jquery,2006
ooxml,2006
sass,2006
scss,2006
vala,2006
wml,2006
yii,2006
apex,2007
clojure,2007
cuda,2007
cython,2007
linq,2007
lolcode,2007
thrift,2007
xcore,2007
xquery,2007
nim,2008
geojson,2008
pandas,2008
pig,2008
pure,2008
sparql,2008
umple,2008
go,2009
coffeescript,2009
less,2009
mongodb,2009
opencl,2009
redis,2009
rust,2010
azure,2010
risc-v,2010
dart,2011
kotlin,2011
elixir,2011
google-cloud,2011
schemaorg,2011
stripe,2011
swagger,2011
webgl,2011
julia,2012
elm,2012
qalb,2012
typescript,2012
asmjs,2013
ats,2013
crystal,2014
hack,2014
swift,2014
idris,2014
solidity,2014
graphql,2015
webassembly,2015

Reproducibility Notes: The data in this post comes from the CodeLani database. It is possible to build a continually updating version of this article that updates as more data comes in.