Before we look at the numbers, I’d like to note a few things about the data and how the frameworks are grouped. I recently published a large reference guide for JavaScript frameworks. The groupings — Big Three, Historically Significant and Notable — come from that guide. I find it’s a useful way of breaking them into manageable chunks.

In that guide there are also two frameworks included under, “Notable” that are not addressed here: Elm and ReasonReact. Those two have factors that make their daily npm download data (which is what we’ll see below) a poor or confusing indicator of usage. It was simply not an apples-to-apples comparison with the other frameworks listed here.

We’ll look at the most recent data available at the time I wrote this article and compare it to a year previous. This is something I do every three months or so. The numbers are for daily downloads and are sourced from npm trends.

The Big Three

These three frameworks — React, Angular and Vue — are currently the most popular. Although all three are going strong, Vue has a lot of momentum. Last year it topped all other JavaScript frameworks in new GitHub stars, but still trails React and Angular in usage as seen in the chart below. You can click on all the charts in this post to view them larger.

Framework Jan. 29, 2017 Jan. 28, 2018 Percent change
React 708,421 1,786,699 152.2%
Angular 229,375 609,087 165.5%
Vue 60,283 299,840 397.4% 🚀

We see Vue with the highest growth rate, and if current trends continue, Vue will overtake Angular as the second most used framework sometime in late 2018 or early 2019.

Historically Significant

This is a group that contains three older and highly influential projects. In 2012, these were the “Big Three”. They have since seen their popularity fade relative to newer frameworks. Despite no longer being in the top three, they all continued to see growth over the past year.

Framework Jan. 29, 2017 Jan. 28, 2018 Percent change
AngularJS 169,245 310,622 83.5%
Backbone 139,392 190,721 36.8%
Ember 72,966 91,179 25%

You’ll notice that in the data here AngularJS actually has more downloads than Vue. This is down to some weird variability in the numbers. Late last year Vue passed AngularJS. As you can see in the chart, AngularJS had an unusual surge at the end the period being measured. It won’t change the long term trend of Vue being more widely used, however.


This is a group of frameworks that I really love. They aren’t as popular as the “Big Three”, but they’re all good. In fact, a few of them are excellent and deserve more consideration than they get. The chart here is a bit noisy with three of the frameworks bunched together at about 7500 downloads per day.

Framework Jan. 29, 2017 Jan. 28, 2018 Percent change
Preact 8293 29,385 254.3% 🚀
Inferno 2057 7744 276.5% 🚀
Aurelia 5151 7689 49.2%
Polymer 4223 7356 74.1%
Svelte 521 1831 251.4% 🚀

There are three that stand out here: Inferno, Preact and Svelte. They all have outstanding growth rates that are only exceeded by Vue. Obviously Preact is the leader in this group, being the most popular alternative to React.

If you’d like to learn more about these three frameworks, I have an article about why you might want to use them. Spoiler: they're all really fast.

And Finally…

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