I try to find an answer of a very difficult question. The question is:

How many developers and how many software companies are there in the world?

For example if I check the Statistic Austria page I can see that in Austria there are 8383 companies with 35522 employees defined as "Computer programming, consultancy and related activities" and another 4102 companies with 15171 employees defined as "Information service activities".

This statistic is good, but it is only for Austria. Is there a similar for Europe, USA, Worldwide?

  • Far too vague a question. For example, how do you define a software developer? Is it only people who get paid to write software, or does it include people who write code but dont do it specifically as a job? Commented Nov 17, 2010 at 22:05
  • 3
    This sounds like one of those interview questions; "How many piano repairmen are there in San Diego?"
    – Tarka
    Commented Nov 17, 2010 at 22:07
  • check out this: stackoverflow.com/questions/453880/… similar question voted high by community members!
    – user7876
    Commented Nov 17, 2010 at 22:11
  • 7
    The answer is 42.
    – Job
    Commented Nov 17, 2010 at 23:22
  • 3
    Now that this has been edited into shape, there's no reason why it's not a valid answerable question - hopefully others agree and will vote to re-open. Commented Nov 18, 2010 at 18:15

3 Answers 3


Most developed countries keep statistics, although they all use slightly different standards for what they measure, so it's hard to compare.

For the United States, there are 1,336,300 programmers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The United Kingdom has 333,000 "software professionals," according to the Office for National Statistics.

In Canada there are 387,000 people working in IT according to Statistics Canada.

Japan has 1,016,929 people working in "information services" according to Official Statistics of Japan

The BLS maintains a detailed list of online statistics agencies

With a bit more research you can probably gather data for the rest of the world; if you do, please edit this answer (I will make it community wiki) so that we can develop a single source of information.


answer: In 2005, there were about 680,000 enterprises in the EU27 whose main activity was in ICT manufacturing and service industries, with 5.9 million people employed... http://ftp.jrc.es/EURdoc/JRC49951.pdf


In Mexico there is 538,292, IT Professionals according to INEGI (statics of Mexico) in his "Boletín de Política Informática No. 5, 2002" here is the file. The paper shows the jobs and some other info hope it helps. Maybe you can made a sum of all the others. And get the total of programers in all the world.

  • 1
    Is that a statistic? Developers or software companies? It would help if you linked to the source, and you clarified this answer a little. Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 8:22

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