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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.