The number of developers involved with development of mobile apps reached 12 million in 2016, according to Evans Data Corp’s ( “Global Development Population and Demographics Study.”

It also found that the number of developers writing for mobile devices has increased by more than five times since Evans began measuring developer participation in mobile development in 2006, when just slightly less than two million developers were targeting mobile. At 12 million, the population of developers targeting mobile is more than half of the total worldwide population of 21 million developers.
The study, which is now in its 20th edition, estimates not only current software developer populations across four major regions and 40 different countries, but also overlays global primary research onto the population numbers to show numbers of developers forecast to adopt technologies now and in the future. For example, the number of mobile developers who target Android first is 5.9 million vs 2.8 million that target iOS as a first platform.

Most developers target multiple mobile platforms, so secondary platform targets differ and often include competing platforms. When you look at initial target by region, 2.2 million developers target Android first in the APAC region vs just over 500,000 for iOS, but in North America the order is reversed, with iOS targeted first by more than 200K developers over those targeting Android first.

“Mobile development has really become ubiquitous” said Janel Garvin CEO of Evans Data. “Mobile devices are everywhere, but while most modern applications support mobile devices, not all developers are working on the client target side. Some are server or backend oriented or are concentrating more on the application logic or more and more on newer machine learning implementations, so watching the number of mobile developers move from just under two million 10 years ago to 12 million today just provides a reflection of the use of mobile devices today.”

For the general developer population, estimates and projections for growth to 2020 show APAC [Asia Pacific] growing faster than other regions. Growth in India and China are predicted to keep APAC’s developer population the highest globally for the next several years.