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By 2017, India Will Have More Developers than the U.S.

The U.S. is the current leader in software developers, but India’s large youth population will catapult its developer base 90% by 2018.

By 2017, India Will Have More Developers than the U.S.

In news that won’t surprise Thomas Friedman, India is expected to produce more software engineers than the U.S. by 2017, according to a new report.

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The total number of developers globally is expected to increase to 26.4 million by 2019, a 45% increase from today’s 18.2 million engineers, according to Evans Data Corp. At 3.6 million, the U.S. is the current leader in engineers, but India, which has 2.75 million coders, is projected to skyrocket 90% by 2018 to 5.2 million developers, compared with the U.S.’s 4.5 million.

Much of this can be attributed to India’s economic growth, existing infrastructure, and demographics. Roughly half the country’s 1.2 billion population is under the age of 25. A report published earlier this year said India is set to become the world’s youngest country by 2020. The 15-34 age group totaled 430 million in 2011 and is forecast to balloon to 464 million by 2021.

All of this is especially interesting when looking at today’s engineering landscape. Hiring in Silicon Valley is notoriously cutthroat, and companies are finding there aren’t enough developers (President Obama, too, has noted as much). Meanwhile, a shortage of H-1B visas has halted the hiring of foreign-born engineering talent.

[Image: Flickr user Ishan Manjrekar]

About the author

Based in San Francisco, Alice Truong is Fast Company's West Coast correspondent. She previously reported in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and most recently Hong Kong, where she (left her heart and) worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

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