Codementor Blog

How Much Do Freelance Developers Cost Around the World? (2017)

Publish July 7, 2017
Last Updated July 7, 2017
How much do freelance developers cost

We surveyed 5,302 freelance developers from around the world to understand how much it costs to hire remote freelance developers from different cities, countries, and world regions, in 2017. Our study also compared freelance rates by tech stack and years of experience. Our hope is that companies can use this data to see what the most and least expensive cities, countries and regions are to find remote developers. They can then factor in tradeoffs around time zone, language, communication, and team management to find solutions that fit within their budget and work operationally.

Cost of Freelance Developers by World Region

Geography makes a big difference

First, we wanted to understand how much average hourly rates differ in different regions throughout the world. The least expensive regions showed average rates about 30% - 40% less than the most expensive regions. Note that these are average rates across hundreds or thousands of developers, there is also considerable variation in rates within regions not shown here.

Geography makes a big difference
United States, and Australia/New Zealand share the top spot for most expensive freelance developers.

Distribution in this survey

Here we show how many freelance developers were included in our survey by region. Note: There were regions where we were fortunate enough to gather many data points (e.g. United States, Western Europe), but also regions with fewer datapoints (Northern Africa, Australia + NZ). We are thankful to all developers who shared their rates with us.

Distribution in this survey

Cost of Freelance Developers by Country

There are pros and cons to hiring developers from different countries: time zone, language, communication, and more. Here we show the top 10 highest and lowest average hourly rates of developers from the 122 countries represented in this study. To prevent large outliers, we only included countries with at least 20 developers.

Most Expensive: Australia and Switzerland

Australia had the highest average hourly rate of developers, although they only had 72 developers in the dataset (versus 1800+ developers in the U.S.).

Country Most Expensive: Australia and Switzerland
The 10 least expensive countries have, on average 28% lower hourly rates than the 10 most expensive.

Least Expensive: Pakistan and Ukraine

Pakistan and Ukraine have the lowest average rates of countries with at least 20 developers available. Their rates are 40% less than Australia and Switzerland.

Country Least Expensive: Pakistan and Ukraine

Cost of Freelance Developers by City

Some companies are looking for remote developers, but want to make sure they are in their exact time zone or could even be available for in-person meetings. To help in those situations, here is a list of the top 10 most and least expensive cities to find remote developers by average hourly rate. Cities with less than ten developers listed were excluded.

Most Expensive: Munich and Palo Alto

Seven of the top 10 most expensive cities had average hourly rates of over $80 per hour, with Munich in the top spot at $91 per hour.

City Most Expensive: Munich and Palo Alto
The ten least expensive cities have, on average 54% lower hourly rates than the ten most expensive.

Least Expensive: Lahore and Cairo

Five out of the ten least expensive cities are in South Asia, with over half of the top 10 least expensive having average rates in the $30s per hour. Also, note there were many cities with rates even lower ($20s per hour and below) but we only included cities with over ten developers listed for these rankings.

City Least Expensive: Lahore and Cairo

Cost of Freelance Developers by Tech Stack

JavaScript is the most popular language

Our data shows hundreds of developers available with expertise across a wide range of languages and tech stacks. Front end web development is the most popular with more developers reporting expertise in JavaScript and HTML/CSS than any other tech stack by a wide margin.

Java is the most popular language
Location is a far bigger determinant of developer cost than tech stack or programming language.

Rates don't vary much by tech stack

There was very little difference in hourly rates by language or tech stack, with all of them falling between $70 - $90 an hour. This suggests that location is a far bigger determinant of developer cost than tech stack or programming language.

Rates don't vary much by tech stack

These developers are experienced

Finally, we also analyzed years of experience, shown here for the different tech stacks. It’s important to emphasize that we asked for years of experience for the developer in general, not just for that particular tech stack. So for newer tech stacks like node.js, for example, a developer may have 10 years of experience, primarily in Javascript and added node.js to their repertoire only 2 years go. In this survey they are still recorded as having 10 years of experience.

These developers are experienced

How Much Would Developers Cost For Your Project ?

This data shows average costs of developers across regions, cities, and by tech stack. As always, hidden behind averages are the important details.

Finding the right developer with the perfect mix of expertise, time zone, communication skills, and other qualities can transform your ability to move your project forward quickly and affordably.

Our CodementorX team can help find the perfect fit for you.