South African software developer salaries ranked best in the world

Taking purchasing power into account, South African developer salaries beat those in US and European markets.

By - March 23, 2016 Share on LinkedIn
IT money tech salary

Stack Overflow recently published the results of its annual developer survey, which ranked South African developer salaries as the best in the world when adjusted for purchasing power.

This represents an improvement from last year, when South Africa came in second – behind the Ukraine.

More than 50,000 respondents from 173 countries completed Stack Overflow’s 2016 developer survey.

Of the developers who responded, 473 were from South Africa.

It used The Economist’s 2016 Big Mac Index for the adjustment, which Stack Overflow said is a good way to compare purchasing power for developers living in different countries.

“In South Africa beef is cheap (other consumer goods are, too), and the average developer there can afford more than 25,000 Big Macs per year,” said Stack Overflow.

The mean salary of developers with 5 or more years of experience was used for the calculation.

The table below details the results of the survey.

Country Salary (mean) Salary (median) Local Big Mac Price Big Macs per Year (mean)
South Africa $45,383 $35,000 $1.77 25,713
United States $106,120 $105,000 $4.93 21,530
Ukraine $33,023 $35,000 $1.54 21,444
Australia $80,093 $75,000 $3.74 21,426
China $54,667 $45,000 $2.72 20,072
Denmark $81,778 $85,000 $4.32 18,930
New Zealand $70,727 $65,000 $3.91 18,089
Ireland $76,747 $75,000 $4.25 18,058
United Kingdom $75,654 $65,000 $4.22 17,925
Israel $74,400 $75,000 $4.29 17,447

Money matters to South African devs

Stack Overflow also asked developers to rank their job priorities, such as salary, work-life balance, company culture, colleagues, and flexible working hours.

It found that developers tend to value salary in countries where the mean developer salary is relatively low.

While developers in Nordic countries are less interested in money, South Africans are more interested in the size of their pay cheque.

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