Where do Debian Developers Come From?

In a study not likely to cause controversy, Christian Perrier has published the results of his analysis of the number of Debian developers per country. He ran the analysis last year for the first time, so one can see the progress or recession in the last year. No matter where you call home, the numbers are quite interesting.

The land that gave the world Linus Torvald also gives the world the most Debian developers per million population. Ranked number one last year as well, Finland is home to 3.92 active developers per one million souls. In second place is Switzerland with 2.83 per million. New Zealand holds a very respectable third place with 2.51 per million. The United Kingdom beats out the United States with their 1.03 developers per million to .53. In last place is the Ukraine, China, and India. Making their first showing this year is Ecuador with one new developer or .07 developers per million people. Sweden, who ranked third last year, fell to sixth this year. Ireland has gained three new developers bringing their total to nine which allows them to hold ninth place, up from 13.

Looking at the raw numbers gives a different picture. In that case, the United States comes in first with 165 active developers with Germany following closely behind with 148. France comes in third with 84 active developers and the UK is home to 64. The winners in the per million case, Finland and Switzerland, provide 21 and 22 developers respectively.

The analysis find that Debian consists of 873 total active developers.


Susan Linton is a Linux writer and the owner of tuxmachines.org.


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Still, China and India are way underrepresented

Gunnar Wolf's picture

Remember that India is world-known for having invested heavily into building an IT services infrastructure. China is behind India, yes, but they are still a country very present in for-hire software development.

Now, looking at the absolute numbers: The first five countries in Debian Developers (db.debian.org won't give you information on Maintainers, only on developers - And I am inclduing retired/removed accounts) out of a total of 1406 entries ldap gives me (yes, I am a DD), I see only 7 registered in India, 3 in Taiwan, 3 in Hong Kong, and 7 in mainland China.

The five countries with more (in absolute numbers) registered DDs are the USA (356), Germany (211), France (108), United Kingdom (102) and a tie between Canada and Australia (56).

It's controversial because it's useless.

Anonymous's picture

Of course China and India numbers will be badly skewed.
If only the guy had compared the number of Debian developers against the (estimated) number of computer users, or internet users, or computer programmers in the country, it could be interesting...

where are the statistics

Anonymous's picture

yeah,it's interesting to see this.

where are the statistics

Anonymous's picture

yeah,it's interesting to see this.