How Many Developers are There Per County in America?

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We've recently been trying to answer the question 'How Many Developers are there in America?', using the 2016 American Community Survey and BLS Standard Job Classification System

In a previous article, we gave some answers: somewhere between 3.3 and 4.2 million workers required software proficiency at work in (full-year) 2015.  Also in the last article we looked at some state-wide totals of developers; in this piece we'll drill down to county-level estimates.

How Many Developers are There Per County in America?

We've broken down the county developer count in the same way as the last article.  See our How Many Developers Are There in America? article for a discussion of which job categories are included in each category.

We've generally gone from 'almost certainly require development' in Category 1 to 'very high likelihood of proficiency required' in Category 3.  This article won't rehash the discussion, but we've included our raw data export at the end of the article so you can choose whichever category you'd like to use to rerun these numbers.

Since county sizes aren't uniform (by land area or population), we've graphed and sorted the results by both number of developers and by proportion of total workers with software proficiency.  A table ranking the percentage of developers by county and the number of developers in counties follows the choropleths.

Percentage of Workforce with Software Proficiency, by County

Developer Percentage per County in the United States for 2016
Developer Percentage per County, our Category 3 (Click to Zoom)

And here are the top 50 counties, ranked by the percentage of the workforce with software proficiency.  (This is 'Category 3' from the first article.)

County RankCounty NamePercentage of Workforce with Software Proficiency
1Santa Clara, California11.2912%
2Falls Church City, Virginia11.0587%
3Loudoun, Virginia10.8064%
4Fairfax, Virginia9.0009%
5Howard, Maryland8.5295%
6Fairfax City, Virginia8.3496%
7Arlington, Virginia8.2198%
8King, Washington7.5109%
9Broomfield, Colorado7.4841%
10San Francisco, California7.4743%
11Collin, Texas7.3806%
12Williamson, Texas7.2800%
13Prince William, Virginia7.0731%
14Alameda, California6.9123%
15Douglas, Colorado6.8771%
16Somerset, New Jersey6.8237%
17Forsyth, Georgia6.7095%
18Boulder, Colorado6.5193%
19District of Columbia, District of Columbia6.4580%
20Wake, North Carolina6.2627%
21Middlesex, Massachusetts6.2068%
22Middlesex, New Jersey6.1705%
23Travis, Texas6.1489%
24Gilpin, Colorado6.0298%
25Clear Creek, Colorado6.0297%
26Alexandria City, Virginia5.9659%
27Elbert, Colorado5.8074%
28Madison, Alabama5.7859%
29San Mateo, California5.7387%
30Montgomery, Maryland5.6938%
31Calvert, Maryland5.5876%
32St Marys, Maryland5.5876%
33Mercer, New Jersey5.5482%
34Charles, Maryland5.4697%
35Anne Arundel, Maryland5.4478%
36Hudson, New Jersey5.3435%
37Dane, Wisconsin5.3323%
38Delaware, Ohio5.3287%
39Stafford, Virginia5.3165%
40Fredericksburg City, Virginia5.3164%
41Linn, Iowa5.2076%
42Hillsborough, New Hampshire5.1569%
43Johnson, Kansas5.0439%
44Spotsylvania, Virginia4.9761%
45Caroline, Virginia4.9761%
46King George, Virginia4.9760%
47Limestone, Alabama4.9587%
48Platte, Missouri4.9083%
49Washington, Oregon4.8967%
50Hennepin, Minnesota4.8331%

Not too many surprises here - Santa Clara County shakes out on top, followed by a number of counties in the immediate vicinity of Washington, D.C.  Many other counties peppering the list are near Seattle, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Boston.  Platte, Missouri and Linn, Iowa were interesting inclusions, though (at least for us - let us know if you live around there).

Number of Workers with Software Proficiency, by County

Number of Developers per County in 2016
Number of Developers per County in 2016, our Category 3 (Click to Zoom

And here are the top 50 counties by numbers of workers with software proficiency.  Again, this maps to 'Category 3' in our initial definitions.

County RankCounty NameWorkers with Software Proficiency
1Santa Clara, California118289
2Los Angeles, California106417
3King, Washington93871
4Cook, Illinois82080
5Alameda, California62874
6Fairfax, Virginia60819
7San Diego, California59611
8Middlesex, Massachusetts58604
9Maricopa, Arizona56931
10Orange, California53476
11Harris, Texas50266
12Travis, Texas42782
13San Francisco, California40853
14Collin, Texas37292
15Dallas, Texas37132
16Hennepin, Minnesota36223
17Wake, North Carolina35938
18Montgomery, Maryland34557
19New York, New York32856
20Kings, New York32422
21Sacramento, California27873
22Oakland, Michigan26798
23District of Columbia, District of Columbia26749
24Middlesex, New Jersey26554
25Queens, New York25983
26Mecklenburg, North Carolina25448
27San Mateo, California25091
28Fulton, Georgia24319
29Loudoun, Virginia23707
30Prince Georges, Maryland23348
31Tarrant, Texas22798
32Allegheny, Pennsylvania22789
33Franklin, Ohio22239
34Du Page, Illinois22206
35Contra Costa, California21680
36St Louis, Missouri20396
37Hudson, New Jersey20305
38Bexar, Texas20234
39Williamson, Texas20220
40Wayne, Michigan20026
41Norfolk, Massachusetts19103
42Denton, Texas19041
43Miami-Dade, Florida18620
44Cobb, Georgia18438
45Hillsborough, Florida18253
46Salt Lake, Utah18027
47Anne Arundel, Maryland18003
48Dane, Wisconsin17774
49Prince William, Virginia17744
50Cuyahoga, Ohio17680

Not too many surprises - but it's interesting to see other counties bubble to the top (such as Cook County, Illinois) when ranking by the number of developers.  The top 27 sees all 4 counties in the 'Inner' Bay Area in California, Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara and San Francisco.  We also see many counties near Washington, D.C., Boston, and Dallas.

Can I Have the Data?

We're made even higher resolution data available in the Developers per ZIP Code article.  You can find the input CSV further down the page, and a calculator that divides the weights for you.

It contains counties as well.

Developers per County in 2015

It was interesting to slice the numbers in this way - while there weren't a ton of surprises from our perspective, this exercise did bubble some unexpected counties up to the top.  It also revealed what we all expected: California has a ton of developers, centered in the places you've heard developers live.

One possible interesting result from this study: software folks know, but there isn't much general press on how many software professionals are now located in and around Washington, D.C.  There are many data centers, plenty of technical talent, and a healthy start-up ecosystem near the US capital.



PK started DQYDJ in 2009 to research and discuss finance and investing and help answer financial questions. He's expanded DQYDJ to build visualizations, calculators, and interactive tools.

PK lives in New Hampshire with his wife, kids, and dog.

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