Most popular functional programming language in 2023

December 14, 2023

It’s time for yearly popularity ranking of functional programming languages.

As we soon step into 2024, let’s embark on a journey to explore the most popular functional programming languages in 2023. From the elegance of immutability to the power of higher-order functions, these languages are not just tools; they’re enablers of efficient, scalable, and maintainable code. Join us as we unveil the landscape of functional programming and discover the languages that are capturing the hearts and minds of developers in 2023.

We have looked into PYPL, TIOBE index and Google Trends now in December to rank the following functional programming languages in popularity: Agda, Clojure, Elixir, Elm, Erlang, F#, Idris, Julia, Haskell, Kotlin, Lisp, OCaml, PureScript, Racket, Reason/ReasonML, Rust, Scala, Scheme, Standard ML and Swift.


TIOBE index FP ranking

According to TIOBE index the languages ranks like this:
Kotlin (15)
Swift (17)
Rust (18)
F# (26)
Julia (32)
Scala (36)
Lisp (39)
Haskell (40)
ML (41)
Scheme (43)

The other languages that does rank in the TIOBE index from 51 to 100 are just in alphabetical order: Clojure, Elm. Erlang, OCaml and Racket.
Note, no Elixir in TIOBE for December.


PYPL index FP ranking

According to PYPL index the languages ranks like this:
Swift (9)
Rust (11)
Kotlin (13)
Scala (22)
Julia (24)
Haskell (27)

That’s it, no more functional programming language rank according to PYPL.


Google Trends ranking

These are the 5 most googled for functional programming languages in the world 2023, and there popularity in December 2023:
Rust (1)
Kotlin (2)
Swift (3)
Scala (4)
Haskell (5)



Based on the ranking, if you are coming from the C/C++ community and want to learn functional programming, look at Swift or Rust.
If you are coming from the Java community and want to learn functional programming, look at Scala or Kotlin.

And if you are a FP developer and think the list should change next year and for the comming years?
Help spread functional programming languages and paradigms by joining MeetUps, conferences, listening to PODs and more.

We at Ada Beat will continue to support the MeetUp Func Prog Sweden throughout 2024.

Disclaimer, we choose to rank these functional programming languages based on our own list of FP Languages.

Check out the Ada Beat Functional Programming blog for more topics, including functional programming principles, summaries of MeetUps, language specific articles, and much more. Whether you’re interested in functional programming theory or practical application, we have something for everyone.