OCaml vs Haskell

OCaml vs Haskell

If you are interested in web applications, systems programming, static analysis, formal methods, fintech, and building automation tools, you should learn Ocaml.

OCaml is a general-purpose, high-level multi-paradigm programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety.

OCaml mixes power and pragmatism in a way that makes it ideal for building complex software systems.

On the other hand, if you are interested in building system tools, compilers, blockchain platforms, web applications, cryptography applications, fintech, etc. you should learn Haskell.

Haskell is a general-purpose, purely functional programming language. It was designed for research, teaching, and industrial applications.

Comparing programming languages and choosing which one to learn or use for your next project can be tricky.

There are many factors to consider in order to choose the right programming language for the job you want to do.

Popularity, opportunities, type of projects, salaries, resources, learning curve, etc. are some of the factors that many people consider when comparing programming languages and choosing which one to learn or use.

Here are some of the comparisons and considerations you should make when choosing to learn a new programming language.


Comparing the popularity of programming languages is not an easy task because each programming language is different.

Although the usage of many programming languages may intersect, different fields and projects may require the use of different programming languages.

Plus, other programming languages have been around for a longer time than others, giving them more time to be tried and tested, so, bear that in mind.

If you want to learn a programming language solely for its popularity among developers, you should learn Haskell over OCaml.

Generally, Haskell is more popular than OCaml. As of May 2023, the TIOBE index ranks Haskell as the 36th most popular programming language while OCaml does not show up in the top 50.

According to a Stack Overflow survey of 2022, Haskell is the 29th most commonly used programming language, it is used by 2.22% of developers

On the other hand, OCaml is the 41st most commonly used programming language, it is used by 0.59% of developers according to the same survey.

Further, Haskell is loved by many developers than OCaml within their respective communities.

As of 2022, Haskell is loved by 56.44% of developers versus 43.56% of developers who dreaded it..

On the other hand, OCaml is loved by 46.92% of developers versus 53.08% of developers who dreaded it (Stack Overflow survey 2022).

Ultimately, if your choice of which programming language to learn depends on popularity, you should learn Haskell.


Another popular criterion that many people use to compare programming languages and as an incentive to learn a new programming language is salary.

Salaries for developers differ from one company to the other and from one country to the other.

Experience is another factor that comes into play as far as salaries are concerned.

The more experience you have with a certain technology or programming language, the more likely you are of getting a higher salary.

Generally, OCaml developers get higher salaries than Haskell developers.

According to a Stack Overflow survey of top-paying programming languages, OCaml developers get an average salary of $86,948 per year.

On the other hand, Haskell developers get an average salary of $80,250 per year, about $6,600 less than OCaml developers.

Here are 10 Programming Languages that Pay more than $90,000

So, if the salary is your major incentive for learning a programming language, you should learn OCaml over Haskell.

You are more likely to get a higher salary as an OCaml developer than as a Haskell developer.

Also read Should web developers know Haskell


Both OCaml and Haskell are functional programming languages known for their expressive and powerful features.

OCaml is generally easy to learn and work with than Haskell. OCaml has a simpler and more straightforward syntax that resembles traditional imperative languages.

OCaml also has a more gradual learning curve and is often considered a good starting point for learning functional programming.

On the other hand, Haskell is known for its strong type system and advanced type inference capabilities.

It enforces pure functional programming paradigms, which can be challenging for programmers not familiar with functional concepts.

Haskell’s type system can be complex, but it offers powerful guarantees and helps catch many errors at compile-time.

The good news is that there are plenty of helpful resources for both Haskell and OCaml to help you learn the languages.

The Haskell and OCaml communities are very active and helpful, in case you get stuck with something.



OCaml provides interoperability with C through its Foreign Function Interface (FFI).

This feature allows you to call C functions directly from OCaml and vice versa, enabling integration with existing C libraries and systems.

OCaml is known for its efficient native code compilation through an optimizing native code compiler.

It can produce highly optimized machine code, making it suitable for performance-critical applications.

OCaml also has the bytecode compiler which supports operation on any 32- or 64-bit architecture when native code generation is not available.

Other amazing features of OCaml include pattern matching, automatic garbage collection, profile to measure performance, Algebraic data types, immutable programming, and more.

OCaml is used by many companies such as Facebook, Microsoft, Docker, Ahref, Bloomberg, Jane Streen, LexiFi, ReScript, 4Sigma, BeSport, CacaoWeb, CryptoSense, Dassault Systeme, Medit, Nomadic Labs, Shiro Games, XenServer, and many others.


Haskell is a purely functional programming language; this means that functions generally have no side effects.

Haskell’s notable features include statically typed, type inference, concurrency, lazy evaluation, pattern matching, list comprehension, etc.

These and many other features make Haskell a popular choice for industrial applications.

Haskell is used by Facebook to implement its anti-spam programs. The Cardano blockchain platform is implemented in Haskell.

The Target stores’ supply chain optimization software is also written in Haskell.

Other companies that use Haskell include GitHub, New York Times, Bluespec, Standard Chartered, Microsoft, Google, Hasura, Bitnomial, Intel, Siemens, Serokell, Foxhound Systems, Stack Builders, AT&T, Scarf, Fission, Mercury, and many others.


OCaml offers great runtime performance without compromising on developer experience:

The bytecode compiler generates small, highly portable executables blazingly fast; the native code compiler produces highly-efficient machine code.

Haskell, on the other hand, is often associated with high-level abstractions and purity, which can introduce some overhead.

Haskell’s lazy evaluation strategy and emphasis on immutability may affect its runtime performance in certain cases.

However, Haskell compilers like GHC (Glasgow Haskell Compiler) incorporate sophisticated optimization techniques that can significantly improve performance, and Haskell programs can be highly optimized when written with care.


Yes, OCaml is generally faster than Haskell. OCaml has a reputation for having efficient native code compilation.

Its compiler produces highly optimized machine code, allowing OCaml programs to run quickly.

OCaml’s emphasis on imperative programming and mutability (although immutability is the default) can also contribute to its potential performance advantage in certain scenarios.


Once you have compared the languages and evaluated all the factors, you can choose which programming language to learn or use depending on the factors that are on your side and what you want to build.

If you are interested in web applications, systems programming, fintech, static analysis, automation tools, and potentially fetch a higher salary, you should learn OCaml.

If you want to work on building system tools, compilers, blockchain platforms, web applications, cryptography applications, fintech, etc. you should learn Haskell.