Developer Population to Grow to Nearly 19 Million by 2010
May 21, 2007 Timothy Prickett Morgan
According to estimates made by Evans Data, which watches the segments of the IT space that relate to programmers like a hawk, the worldwide population of programmers is expected to explode to nearly 19 million by the end of the decade.
That pool of programmers would be 45 percent larger than in 2006, when just north of 13 million programmers were in the world–with the largest portion in North America, but with a sizable number in Europe and a growing share coming out of the Asia/Pacific area.
Right now, 15 countries account for over two-thirds of the programmer population worldwide. But by 2010, Evans Data is projecting that the programmer population will grow in India and China by 23 percent, and that by 2010, Brazil, Russia, India, and China–the four horseman of the apocalypse if you are trying to keep your IT job in North America or Europe–will have 30 percent of the developer population, which is up from 21 percent in 2006. By 2010, Evans Data is projecting that the Asia/Pacific region will have 43 percent of the programmers in the world, and says that in 2007, the Asia/Pacific region will be home to about as many programmers as those who live in Europe, and will presumably soon pass Europe to be the second largest pool of programmers after North America.
While the executive summary of the 2007 Global Developer Population Study did not say this, it is hard to imagine with all of the offshoring and outsourcing of coding being done by companies based in the United States that North America will be able to hold the number one spot for much longer after 2010. The Asia/Pacific region will grow by 83 percent from 2006 to 2010, according to the Evans Data study, but the North American region will see only 15 percent growth in the same time. And that includes H-1B visas, too.