Software Development Statistics

Software Development Statistics image

No industry is growing as fast as software development. In a world where companies can create tools that will automate tasks, reduce costs and improve customer experience, software is what brings it all together. We have prepared some essential software development statistics to demonstrate the magnitude of this phenomenon. Let’s check them out.

Software Development Statistics (Editor’s Choice)

  • In 2019, the number of software engineers stood at 23.9 million.
  • In 2020, the global software market was worth around $390 billion.
  • The median annual salary for software developers in the US is $110,140.
  • By 2029, software developer employment will grow 22% in the US alone.
  • Around 87% of companies are experiencing a talent gap.
  • The most complex software costs up to $1 million to develop.
  • JavaScript is the most used programming language with 49.47% usage.

Demographics of Software Developers

1. In 2019, computer systems design and related services held 33% of all software developer jobs in the USA.

This was by far the largest field of employment for this group. The runner-up was manufacturing with 11%, according to software development jobs statistics. Software publishers held 9% of jobs. Another 5% worked in the management of companies and enterprises. Finally, 4% had jobs in insurance carriers and related services.


2. In 2019, there were 23.9 million software engineers in the world.

There are different estimates on the number of software developers in the world. The figure above comes from Evans Data Corporation. SlashData, meanwhile, shows a somewhat smaller number of 19 million developers. Both resources, however, have similar projections for 2023/2024, when we should have around 28 million software developers.

(Evans Data Corporation, SlashData)

3. Software engineer statistics show that 53.9% of all software engineers in the US are white.

For comparison purposes, the next biggest ethnic group in the industry is Asian, with 31.2%. The Hispanic or Latino ethnicity makes up around 7.3% of the total number of developers. Further down on the list are Black or African American, and Native American and Alaska Native ethnicities with 4.7% and 0.1%, respectively. The number of white developers, however, has been declining, while the Asian ethnicity in the field has climbed to cross 30%.


4. The average software engineer in the US is 40+ years old.

If we look at the software engineer age distribution, facts about software developers show that most engineers are 40 or older, with this age group accounting for 46% of the population. Alternatively, some 18% are between 20 and 30 years old. Those between 30 and 40 years make up for about 37% of the population.


5. Men comprise 91.5% of software engineers worldwide.

One of the key software developer statistics is that the industry is still a man’s world. Despite the changing situation, it’s still predominantly male. For reference, women comprise only 8.5% of all software engineers. And it’s not just that. Women earn less than men in the field as well. For example, for an average salary of $86,611 a man earns annually, a woman earns $79,035.

(Zippia, Statista)

6. About 25% of software engineers hold computer science degrees.

Another two common degrees are computer engineering and electrical engineering with 5% and 4%, respectively. Typically, software engineers have the same level of education if we look at the latest software engineering statistics. In most cases, it’s a bachelor’s degree (80%). Some 5% have some type of associate’s degree, while 16% hold a master's degree. Many software developers gain practical knowledge by enrolling in internships during their studies.

(Career Explorer)

7. With 51,540 positions, Washington has the highest concentration of software development jobs in the US.

At the same time, this is the state with the highest paying jobs for this branch — $131,430 a year on average. New Jersey is second on the list of the best states for the job, software engineer facts show. It has 43,760 positions in the field and an annual mean wage of $107,040.

Colorado, Delaware, and Virginia complete the list of the top five states with the highest software job concentration. Yet, if we look at it money-wise, the District of Columbia, Washington, California, Maryland, and New York have the highest annual mean wages.


US States With the Highest Concentration of Software Development Jobs & Annual Mean Wages

Software Development Industry Statistics & Figures

8. The global software market was worth around $390 billion in 2020.

Equally, its annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2021 and 2028, according to some estimates, is 11.3%. But what is driving the market? Business transformation and proliferation of technology use in everyday operations of many companies are pushing the software development industry. For one, the automation of processes across industries like healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and transportation are creating a significant impulse to foster growth.

(Grand View Research)

9. The US holds 33% of the global tech market.

To support that, let’s just look at this field’s worth of $1.6 trillion in 2021 alone. Despite the US tech and software development market size, most of the technology spending takes place overseas. To be exact, spending out of the US is 67% of the total. Europe is another major player, responsible for one out of five tech dollars spent globally. Similarly, China has risen to earn a reputation as a major player, offshore software development statistics show.


10. Asia Pacific is one of the fastest-rising regions for the software testing market, with an 8% CAGR through 2026.

The main driver of this fast growth is higher adoption rates of digitalization in India and China. Namely, the government in India promotes schemes to encourage investments and digitalization of the country. For instance, its emphasis is also on IT training, turning India into the largest hub for software outsourcing, IT and software industry trends show.

(Global Market Insights)

11. The number of developers in Europe is around 5.5 million.

By looking at the number of software developers by country, Germany leads with 837,389 people working in these jobs. The UK is the runner-up with 813,500 developers, followed by France with 467,454. At the other end of the spectrum are Hungary and Norway, with 79,075 and 79,112 developers, respectively, software development job statistics show.


European Countries With the Highest Number of Developers

12. The median annual software developers salary in the US is $110,140.

The median software developers’ salary is well above the US national average. However, not all earn the same — the bottom 10% is paid around $65,210 annually, while the top 10% earns $170,100.

Different areas of work often come with different compensations. For instance, developers working with software publishers have the highest median annual wage of $124,050. Those in manufacturing meanwhile earn $119,280.


Current Trends in Software Development

13. By 2029, software developer employment will grow 22% in the US alone.

There are currently 1.46 million software developers in the US, although this number varies based on the different criteria set by various organizations. For instance, if we count CAD programmers, hardware engineers, mathematicians, economists, and all those who write code, we’ll get a number of 4.2 million. Meanwhile, the predicted growth stays unchanged, and it is set to increase with 316,000 new positions by 2029. The BLS points to the smartphone industry, health and medical insurance, and reinsurance carriers, as well as computer security concerns as some of the main drivers behind the projected demand for this line of work.


14. By 2025, the Internet of Things will include over 75 billion devices around the globe.

For reference, that is three times more compared to 2019. IoT, which refers to the interconnectivity of computers in various machines and gadgets using the Internet, is one of the newest software industry trends. Its applications stretch to the healthcare industry and greatly benefit remote work organizations.


15. About 80% of the world’s 500 top companies use offshore teams for their daily activities.

India is the number one destination globally for workforce outsourcing. Similarly, with the growing demand for this type of work, new markets are emerging across Asia and Latin America. For instance, the Philippines is turning into an important offshoring recruiting location. Yet, offshore software engineering statistics suggest that none of these countries will outrank India anytime soon, given the nation’s competitive prices, attractive IT policies, and great services.

(The Scalers)

16. About 69% of businesses have adopted cloud-computing technology.

Research confirms that cloud computing is gaining momentum, with another 18% of companies that haven’t implemented such solutions looking to do it. Thanks to this trend in software development, organizations see 53% faster revenue growth.

(The Scalers)

17. Around 87% of companies are experiencing a talent gap.

In 2020, there was a tremendous gap between 1.4 million open tech positions in the US and only 400,000 graduates from computer science. Recent survey results meanwhile show that 44% of companies expect a skill gap in the next five years, while 43% already have it. Software development outsourcing statistics suggest that many companies need to look elsewhere to bridge this gap, which is where business process outsourcing companies come in.

(McKinsey, Daxx)

18. Around 84% of developers consider themselves active contributors to open-source software.

Plenty of engineers actively participate and contribute to open-source code, a popular software development trend, which refers to software with a source code that anyone can use, modify or improve. In fact, only 3% never contributed, and another 13% do it less than once per year, software development statistics show.

(The New Stack)

19. Linux is the most popular software development platform worldwide.

Linux has been successfully holding the top spot over the years, and it’s the number one software development platform for 55.9% of professional developers. At the same time, Windows has seen an increase in popularity, with 51.2% of developers using it. If you know your facts about software engineering, you know that Linux has been leveraging its open-source nature for years now. Today, most Android phones run on Linux kernels, similar to the Internet of Things devices.

(Stack Overflow)

The Most Popular Software Development Platforms Worldwide

20. Python is the fastest-growing programming language, with 70% of ML developers using it.

For reference, this programming language is open source, and currently, over six million software engineers are using it. That includes those focused on machine learning (ML). Typically, this way, they have better access to ML libraries like PyTorch, NumPy, TensorFlow. Similarly, Python is good for backed systems automation, software industry statistics confirm. Although not the fastest-growing, Java ranks as the third largest programming language community, currently counting 9.4 million Java developers.


21. JIRA is the most commonly used software project management tool, with a 39.03% share.

The majority of the companies have started adopting agile methodology in the last couple of years, turning to project management solutions. According to data on the usage of various tools, Atlassian’s package with several items is by far the number one tool. It includes Jira, Confluence, and Bitbucket. Following with an 18.24% market share is Microsoft Project, and afterward Airtable with 6.01%.


Interesting Facts About Software Developers & Software

22. It takes approximately 500 hours to create a basic application with a simple set of functionalities and features.

According to some rough estimations, there are three different segments of custom software development. First, we have apps with the simple functionalities mentioned above. Aside from 500 hours for their design, some rough costs revolve around $50-70,000. Second, in line with the custom software development statistics, medium complex apps can take up to 1,200 hours to build. Finally, the process for those apps with complicated integrations, architecture, security, etc., could last over 1,200 hours.

(Flat Rock Outsourcing)

23. In 2020, only 18% of the organizations had accepted agile methodology across the whole organization.

On the other hand, 77% haven’t implemented it in all the teams’ activities. Moreover, 5% of organizations didn’t adopt Agile in any form. Although 95% of organizations have some sort of agile software development, statistics show there is a lot of room for improvement. Those who have been using Agile for some time now, however, confirm it provides great adaptability.

(Knowledge Hut)

24. Bad requirements are the reason behind 39% of project failures.

According to the PMI, 14% of all IT projects fail. But this refers only to complete catastrophes. Many more don’t meet their goals (31%), while others exceed budgets (43%). In more than a third of cases, bad requirements are to blame. Software development project failure statistics confirm that it’s hard to build anything if we don’t have its objectives, features defined. Therefore it’s important to involve all relevant stakeholders to discuss and define the requirements to the finest details. Of course, for external development, you have to choose a reputable software development firm to minimize the chances of misunderstandings.


25. The new Denver airport baggage handling software project delayed airport opening by 16 months.

Back in the 1990s, the city of Denver planned on expanding the airport capacities by building an additional building. The project comprised a new automated baggage handling system. The complexity of the new airport building, however, undermined the efforts of the baggage handling system. This pushed the airport opening date further and cost a city an additional $1.1 million per day during the delay. So this is not only an example of a software development late project, but statistics show that added costs eventually accumulated to $560 million, forcing the authorities to completely dismantle the system.


26. Unnecessary meetings impact missed deadlines for software development 16.25% of the time.

The latest Global Developer Survey by GitHub states that missing a deadline results from a combination of factors, though. For example, meetings that could have been avoided (16.25%) and the use of outdated tools (6.16%) are two of those factors. In many other cases, a breakdown in communication between product owners and developers causes a breach of software development deadlines, statistics show. Nevertheless, the two main reasons are poor directions (47%) and unrealistic deadlines (21.29%).


The Most Common Reasons Why Software Development Projects Are Not Finished On Time

27. Today, JavaScript is the most used programming language with 49.47% usage.

When we look at the software facts and statistics for the previous two years, it’s clear this has been like this for some time now. For reference, in 2020 and 2019 both, JavaScript has been the number one programming language (59.08% and 54.24%). However, these figures indicate there has been a slight decline. The main reason for this is the rising popularity of other coding languages, like Typescript. For instance, its usage rate has been growing steadily over the years, from 15.83% in 2019 to 27.30% in 2021. In fact, it broke into the third position on the list of the most used languages.


28. For tech companies, willingness to learn remains one of the top criteria for hiring developers in 2021.

Recent research has shown that big tech companies focus on four main pillars when deliberating which developer to hire. Willingness to learn comes in first for 40.78%. Next, cultural fit plays a vital part in the process with 38.65%, software development trends show. Finally, technical skills evaluation comes in fourth with 34.40% importance.


Top Criteria for Hiring Software Developers

29. With 43.5%, job satisfaction is the highest among developers in the gaming industry.

There are many interesting facts about software engineers, and this one should not come as a surprise. The gaming industry is one of the hardest ones to break into, but once you are there, it makes sure you stay there. Further, the Internet and education areas employ “the happiest” developers (around 38%).

Alternatively, a software developer feels the least happy in the government, telecommunications, and finance sectors. Rates of happiness in all three of these hover around 26%.

(Healthcare IT Leaders)

The Bottom Line

We’ve come to the end of our collection of the most interesting software development statistics, intending to provide you with an overview of this fascinating field. This information might help you establish a clearer picture of all the trends and elements of the software creation process. Ultimately, it would be great if this article made you consider becoming a software developer. After all, it’s a position bound to stay relevant in many years to come.

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