Monthly Summary of Selected R Trends, Activities and Insights – October 2018 Monthly Summary of Selected R Trends, Activities and Insights – October 2018
In October, the spike in activities observed in September across the R ecosystem was maintained. In the following article, a summary... Monthly Summary of Selected R Trends, Activities and Insights – October 2018

In October, the spike in activities observed in September across the R ecosystem was maintained. In the following article, a summary of selected R trends, activities, and insights in October, 2018, are presented as the R language keeps trending.

Data for the trends and activities summarized here were obtained from popular websites used by the R community such as Google, GitHub, StackOverflow, Rstudio, METACRAN, and R-Bloggers

  1. StackOverflow

Activity increased at StackOverflow in October for the R language compared to September.

  • Number of StackOverflow Questions tagged R: 4,793 (up 8.4 percent from September)
  • Number of Answers for R questions:  4,657 (up 11 percent from September)
  • Number of Comments for R questions:  8,892 (up 7.7 percent from September)
  • Page Views for R questions: 184, 626 (up 18 percent from September)

Source: https://data.stackexchange.com

The chart below shows distribution of the questions, answers and comments for R at StackOverflow

R trends

  1. R/Packages Downloads

The data for this section is obtained through the API of METACRAN’s service.

METACRAN obtains the download summaries from the RStudio  CRAN mirror taken from http://cran-logs.rstudio.com/. This is one very popular download mirror for the R language due to the popularity of the RStudio IDE for R.

Base R downloads138,659 (up 18 percent from September)

The chart below shows the distribution of base R downloads among the computer operating systems from which R was downloaded.

R trends


The chart in Figure 3 shows the number of downloads by R versions. From the chart, it is clear that there are users of R that still make use of older R versions e.g. version 2.x.x series. Most users are always upgrading to newer versions of R.

R trends

R Packages Downloads:

R Packages Downloads:  74,333,034 (27%  up from September)

Package downloads suddenly increased this October.

Below, a chart shows the daily download variation of R packages in October.


R trends

Ratio of Base R downloads to R Package downloads: 1 : 536 (visualized below).

R trends

Thus, for each download of base R, there are over 536 extension packages downloaded. The use of R still depends largely on extension packages.

Top Packages (October, 2018)

Sum of Downloads for Top 50 packages:  25,909,490  (up 20 percent from September)

Download contribution of Top 50 packages amongst other 13,000+ CRAN packages: 34.8 percent

(i.e,  ~35% of total R package downloads came from Top 50 packages in October)

R trends

Below is a chart that shows the top 50 downloaded packages based on their download counts.

R trends

Sum of Downloads for Top 100 packages:  39,311,430 (up 20.3 percent from September)

Download contribution of Top 100 amongst other 13,000+ CRAN packages52.8 percent

(i.e, about 53 percent of R package downloads came from Top 100)

Top 10 Packages and their Primary Maintainers:

S/N Package Primary Maintainers Downloads
1 tidyverse Hadley Wickham 1,051,568
2 Rcpp Dirk Eddelbuettel 918,418
3 rlang Lionel Henry 815,018
4 ggplot2 Hadley Wickham 780,179
5 stringi Marek Gagolewski 713,549
6 digest Dirk Eddelbuettel 684,873
7 glue Jim Hester 654,930
8 dplyr Romain Francois 653,958
9 R6 Winston Chang 634,335
10 fansi Brodie Gaslam 624,390


Hadley Wickham and Dirk Eddelbuettel dominate the top 10 by both number of packages and downloads from the list above.

Tidyverse became top most downloaded package from Rstudio’s CRAN mirror with about 1 million downloads this October.

  1. GitHub

The Top 10 R repositories that appeared on GitHub’s trends in October are:

  1. ProgrammingAssignment2
  2. esquisse
  3. tidytuesday
  4. ggplot2
  5. dplyr
  6. r4ds
  7. shiny
  8. dataanalytics
  9. bookdown
  10. myBooks

The chart below shows the number of stars for gotten in October for top 10 repositories that trended in October based on data from https://github.com/trending/r?since=monthly on November 1, 2018.

  1. R Meetings/Events

The RStudio Community website provides a weekly list of R user-group meetings and conference events curated from meetup.com and elsewhere. The data found on this website is the basis for the following analysis.

There were 126 events in about 26 countries (up 25 percent from September)

61 of those events (~50 percent) were held in the United States of America.

S/N Country Events
1 Australia 5
2 Austria 1
3 Belgium 1
4 Brazil 1
5 Canada 5
6 Costa Rica 1
7 Denmark 2
8 Ethiopia 1
9 Finland 1
10 France 3
11 Germany 3
12 India 2
13 Ireland 1
14 Malaysia 1
15 Mexico 1
16 Netherlands 2
17 New Zealand 1
18 Nigeria 4
19 Philippines 1
20 Poland 3
21 South Africa 2
22 Spain 2
23 Switzerland 3
24 Taiwan 2
25 United Kingdom 16
26 United States 61

A world map showing the distribution of R events:


Event distribution across the 26 countries in a bar  chart:

A weekly summary of events compared with countries for the month is shown in the bar chart below.


47 events out of 126 (37 percent of events) were R-Ladies events

  1. R-Bloggers

R-bloggers.com is the most popular news aggregation website for blog posts related to the R language. There were about 263 blog posts at R-bloggers.com in September — an average of about 8 posts per day.

  1. Google Trends

The chart below show Google Trends for the R language in October with search trends dipping only during the weekends.

Based on interest by region, the Top 5 countries in October with highest search activity on Google are:

  1. Philippines
  2. China
  3. South Korea
  4. Helena
  5. Switzerland

Source: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=2018-10-01%202018-10-31&q=%2Fm%2F0212jm

  1. R Language Ranking:

TIOBE Index: 14th in October, 2018

Redmonk: 14th in June, 2018

  1. R Consortium

Call for proposals is closed and decision is due December 1, 2018.


R Central is a developing aggregation website for news, trends and activities around the R language. It provides a dashboard  which is suitable as a browser homepage that lists posts from popular sources like CRAN, R-devel, Twitter, Rbloggers, Crantastic, RWeekly, Microsoft, RConsortium, StackOverflow and several others.

Reference Links

Web: https://r-central.com

Twitter: @rcentrrall

R Central

R Central

R Central is an aggregation website for news, trends, and activities around the R language, providing a dashboard suitable as a homepage that listing posts from popular sources.