How Many Software Engineers were there in Combined Statistical Areas (CSA) in 2016?

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CSAs, or Combined Statistical Areas, are large rolled-up geographic classifications for America maintained by the United States Census Bureau.  We've recently published a few posts on the distribution of developers and engineers in America using 2016 Census Data - today we extend the series to 166 CSAs.

In this post we've included an interactive table which breaks down the number and concentration of engineers and developers in the United States for the full year of 2015 (2016 data).  By our estimates, 75.8% of all professional developers in the United States lived in one of these CSAs in the 2015 workyear.

Software Engineer and Developer Concentration by Combined Statistical Area (CSA)

Note a couple of interesting features of the table:

  • Clicking on the column header allows you to sort ascending/descending
  • You can toggle the visibility of columns below the table
    • A number are turned off by default

Prefer your data raw?  Download here.

Other Geographic Breakdowns for Software Engineer and Developer Concentration

As we mentioned in the introduction, this continues a series of posts on developer concentration (of course I'm interested - I'm an engineer...).  Here's some quick links to other geographic breakdowns:

Keep an eye on this space - our next post will zoom out just a bit and look at CBSAs, or Core Based Statistical Areas.  These are areas which cover at least 10,000 people in population, and break down metropolitan influence even further than CSAs.

Methodology for CSA Developer Distribution

Work on this piece started with the data from the Developers in America by Zip Code post.  Next, we downloaded crosswalks from the University of Missouri's Geographic Correspondence Engine for ZIP/ZCTA to CSA (and CBSA), using 2012 population estimates.

After that, it's a simple run through the data to convert from ZIP codes to CSAs.

What do the Developer Category Breakdowns Mean?

You can't please everyone with your category definitions, so 'Category 1', 'Category 2' and 'Category 3' contain progressively more liberal definitions of 'developer'.  Here are the exact census job code break downs:

Category 1
1000 Computer Scientists and Systems Analysts/Network systems Analysts/Web Developers
1010 Computer Programmers
1020 Software Developers, Applications and Systems Software
1060 Database Administrators
Category 2
1400 Computer Hardware Engineers
1410 Electrical and Electronics Engineers
2840 Technical Writers
4930 Sales Engineers
7900 Computer Control Programmers and Operators
Category 3
0820 Budget Analysts
0830 Credit Analysts
0840 Financial Analysts
1200 Actuaries
1220 Operations Research Analysts
1230 Statisticians
1240 Mathematical science occupations, nec
1800 Economists and market researchers
5920 Statistical Assistants

If you'd like a more/less strict breakdown, you can enable (and/or disable) columns below the table.

Developer and Software Engineer Distribution by CSA

Actually, this is a pretty fun way of breaking it down.  By screening out a number of the locations under the Washington, D.C., Seattle, and San Francisco/San Jose sphere of influence you start to see some (at least to us) outliers by "Developer Percentage of Workforce" for Category 3:

  • Madison-Janesville-Beloit, WI
  • Huntsville-Decatur-Albertville, AL
  • Bloomington-Pontiac, IL

Sure, those are generally smaller metros - but I don't think I would have put them in my top ten CSAs for concentration before working through the numbers.  If you're from a smaller CSA - or you see something interesting in the data - we'd love to see what you're seeing on the ground and in the numbers!



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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