The Most Popular JavaScript Frameworks of 2022

In May 2021, Stack Overflow conducted the 2021 Developer Survey to learn what tools developers are using, how they’re learning them, and what they think about them. Over 80,000 developers took part in the survey, 69.7% of whom are developers by trade.

JavaScript is the most popular programming language in the survey. This article highlights the learnings about JavaScript and its frameworks. Hopefully it will shed some light on what technology to keep an eye on in 2022.

According to Stack Overflow’s Developer Survey, JavaScript continues to maintain its position as the most popular programming language, with over 68% of respondents saying they use it extensively for development. Along with HTML and CSS, JavaScript is one of the core technologies on the web.

JavaScript is also used in other development environments such as Node.js for backend development, Apache CouchDB and Adobe Acrobat. The use of JavaScript has also spread to mobile, gaming, and desktop development. Its growing acceptance can be attributed to the fact that it’s easy to learn and implement, and has a lot of support from its developer community.


Data showing JavaScript as the most popular programming languages
Image credit: Stack Overflow

In the JavaScript ecosystem, the list of JavaScript frameworks is constantly growing. Frameworks are a collection of ready-made JavaScript code used to simplify development. When choosing a framework, consider your project characteristics, the strengths of the framework, and its learning curve.

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Below are the five most popular JavaScript frameworks.

1. React JS


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React has surpassed jQuery as the most popular web framework in 2022, with over 40% of professional developers saying they use it extensively. It is an open-source JavaScript library developed by Facebook and used to build highly responsive user interfaces. It’s declarative and component-based, which means you can reuse components to create complex user interfaces in a short amount of time.

For new developers, React is easier to learn and use compared to other frameworks like Angular. It has extensive documentation, guides, and a growing community that shortens the learning curve. React is constantly evolving, which can be a disadvantage as developers have to keep relearning new features. Examples of large websites built with React include Airbnb, Dropbox, Asana, and BBC.


Related: What is ReactJS and what can it be used for?

2.jQuery


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jQuery was the second most popular web framework. It is an open source JavaScript library used to make it easier to interact with the DOM (Document Object Model). It helps you to easily navigate through the DOM tree.

jQuery is easy to learn and has been around since 2006 and therefore has a large developer community. However, jQuery cannot compete with modern web frameworks with advanced features. It’s useful for simple applications, but can result in a large code base when used to build large applications.

3. Angular


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Angular (26.23%) was the third most popular JavaScript framework after jQuery (34.52%). It is an open source framework introduced by Google in 2016. It can be used in frontend or backend to build dynamic Single Page Apps (SPAs) and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) with faster page loads.


Angular offers features such as bi-directional data binding, which allows real-time synchronization between model and view, has built-in dependency injection, and supports TypeScript. However, it has a steeper learning curve compared to React. Examples of websites built with Angular are Freelancer, IBM, and PayPal.

See also: An Introduction to Angular

4. express


Express home page

Express (aka Express.js) ranked fourth among web frameworks with 23.6%. It is a minimal and fast JavaScript framework for backend development. It is used with Node.js, a JavaScript runtime environment, to quickly create efficient web applications.

Related: A Beginner’s Guide to RESTful APIs in Node.js

Express provides an easy way to manage routing, set up middleware packages, and integrate plugins into your server-side code. With Express, you can build RESTful APIs to integrate with other apps and dynamically serve static HTML files to the web. Examples of companies using Express in the codebase are Twitter, Intuit, and Accenture.

5.Vue.js


Vue.js home page

Vue.js was the fifth most popular JavaScript framework. It’s an open-source framework designed to enhance the functionality of front-end frameworks like Angular and React. For example, it has both the virtual DOM used in React and a two-way binding like in Angular.

With Vue.js you can create PWAs and SPAs quickly and efficiently. Vue.js is a good first JavaScript for beginners as it has good documentation and is easy to learn. Examples of websites built with Vue.js are Upwork, Adobe, and Grammarly.

Related: What is Vue.js? An overview for beginners

Svelte was the most popular frontend JavaScript framework

It’s worth noting that Svelte took the top spot as the most popular web framework, according to 71.47% of respondents, beating React with 69.28%.


Data showing Svelte is the most popular web framework

Svelte is lightning fast compared to React and other dominant frameworks like Angular and Vue.js. This is attributed to the fact that Svelte compiles the code down to optimized vanilla JavaScript and you don’t have to ship the overhead framework code. With Sapper, which is similar to Next.js in React, and Svelte Native for mobile development, Svelte is likely to continue to grow in popularity.


Examples of companies using Svelte for their websites are The New York Times, Nesta and Rakuten.

AngularJS was the most feared web framework

While Svelte was the most popular framework, AngularJS was the least popular. It was feared by 76.82% of those surveyed. Perhaps that’s because Google ended long-term support for AngularJS as of December 2021 after providing it for over three years. If you use AngularJS in your application, you need to migrate to Angular or other frameworks because over time your application may crash due to lack of updates.

Choosing a JavaScript framework

The popularity of a framework might indicate a large development ecosystem that can facilitate learning. However, this shouldn’t be the only factor you should consider when choosing a framework. Always consider where you plan to use this framework. The design and features of your application should come first before choosing a development tool. Next, explore the framework to learn more about its capabilities and complexities.

This article has highlighted the top five most popular JavaScript frameworks according to StackOverflow’s 2021 Developer Survey. It provides a good starting point for making a decision about the technology you will use to build your solution.


6 JavaScript frameworks worth learning
6 JavaScript frameworks worth learning

There are many JavaScript frameworks to help with development. Here are some you should know.

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