This article was posted by David Smith on revolution analytics.
IEEE Spectrum has just published its third annual ranking with its 2016 Top Programming Languages, and the R Language is once again near the top of the list, moving up one place to fifth position.
As David said last year (when R moved up to take sixth place), this is an extraordinary result for a domain-specific language. The other four languages in the top 5 (C, Java, Python amd C++) are all general-purpose languages, suitable for just about any programming task. R by contrast is a language specifically for data science, and its high ranking here reflects both the critical importance of data science as a discipline today, and of R as the language of choice for data scientists.
IEEE Spectrum ranks languages according to a large number of factors, including search rankings and trends, social media mentions, and job posting. (You can adjust the weighting of these factors to generate your own rankings using this interactive tool.) It also includes scholarly citations of the languages, a factur that influenced R's rise in this ranking