Slow Developer Growth in the USA?

A recent Evans Data survey was discussed in an InfoWorld article “Software developer growth slows in North America”. It tells us that the worldwide software developer population is expected to grow from 14.5 million now to 19.5 million in 2010. North America will account for only 18 percent of those jobs in 2010, down from 23 percent today. While the North American share of the developer work force will decrease, the Asia-Pacific share will increase to close to 45 percent from 37 percent today. The share of developers from EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) will also slip from 35 percent to 30 percent , and the share from Latin America will remain flat at 6 percent. The growth rate for the developer population in Asia-Pacific over the next three to five years is expected to be 15 percent, 8 to 10 percent in EMEA, but only 3 to 4 percent in North America.

A 4 percent growth rate is not bad when the overall population is growing at around one percent. In 2005, a Business Week article mentioned that recent growth rate in computer jobs was 7.5 %. If the InfoWorld article title seems negative for North America and Europe, but we should not forget that demographic trends for both regions are also signalling a slow growth of working population that starts already from a smaller base. This is the contrary of the Asia region where there are already more than 2 billion people with a younger age pyramid. If you are interested by this topic. The US Census Bureau has an interesting Web site with a database containing statistical tables of demographic data for 228 countries and areas of the world.