According to calculations by research firm IDC, there are 29 million 'ICT-skilled' workers in the world, including professional software developers and 18 million IT workers in operations and management.
The analyst said that worldwide the US accounts for 19 percent of software developers (both professional and hobbyists), followed by China with 10 percent, and offshore outsourcing powerhouse India with 9.8 percent.
The US also accounts for 22 percent of ICT-skilled workers worldwide, followed by India with 10.4 percent and China with 7.6 percent.
Slicing the numbers slightly differently, Asia-Pacific accounts for 36 percent of all ICT-skilled workers in the world, followed by the Americas with 33 percent and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) with 31 percent.
Asia-Pacific also accounts for 37 percent of the professional developers in the world, followed by the Americas with 33 percent and EMEA with 30 percent. Asia-Pacific is also home to 36 percent of all software developers in the world, followed by EMEA with 34 percent and the Americas with 30 percent.
But when it comes to hobbyists, EMEA leads with 39 percent, followed by Asia-Pacific with 34 percent and the Americas with 27 percent.
That's still a pretty small number of people with IT skills compared to the roughly seven billion people living on the planet, of course. IDC's analysis covers 90 countries accounting for 97 percent of the world's GDP.
Al Hilwa, IDC's application development software programme director said the numbers of both developers and ICT-skilled workers are expected to grow over the next few years, but shifts in how IT is being delivered through cloud services will favour growth in developers over other ICT-skilled workers. Also, the number of hobbyist developers is on the rise thanks to the emerging app economy.
According to UK professional e-skills, more than 1.5m people are employed in the IT and telecoms workforce: 863,000 of them work in the IT and telecoms industry itself and 674,000 work as IT or telecoms professionals in other industries. It estimates that half a million new entrants are required to fill tech skills roles in the UK over the next five years.
Steve Ranger is the UK editor of TechRepublic, and has been writing about the impact of technology on people, business and culture for more than a decade. Before joining TechRepublic he was the editor of silicon.com.