We assess the advancement of physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling and simulation (M&S) over the last 20 years (start of 2000 to end of 2019) focusing on the trends in each decade with the relative contributions from different organizations, areas of applications, and software tools used. Unlike many of the previous publications which focused on regulatory applications, our analysis is based on PBPK publications in peer‐reviewed journals based on a large sample (>700 original articles). We estimated a rate of growth for PBPK (>40 fold/20 years) that was much steeper than the general pharmacokinetic modeling (<3 fold/20 years) or overall scientific publications (∼3 fold/20 years). The analyses demonstrated that contrary to commonly held belief, commercial specialized PBPK platforms with graphical‐user interface were a much more popular choice than open‐source alternatives even within academic organizations. These platforms constituted 81% of the whole set of the sample we assessed. The major PBPK applications (top 3) were associated with the study design, predicting formulation effects, and metabolic drug–drug interactions, while studying the fate of drugs in special populations, predicting kinetics in early drug development, and investigating transporter drug interactions have increased proportionally over the last decade. The proportions of application areas based on published research were distinctively different from those shown previously for the regulatory submissions and impact on labels. This may demonstrate the lag time between the research applications versus verified usage within the regulatory framework. The report showed the trend of overall PBPK publications in pharmacology drug development from the past 2 decades stratified by the organizations involved, software used, and area of applications. The analysis showed a more rapid increase in PBPK than that of the pharmacokinetic space itself with an equal contribution from academia and industry. By establishing and recording the journey of PBPK modeling in the past and looking at its current status, the analysis can be used for devising plans based on the anticipated trajectory of future regulatory applications.