According to IDC, China and India will experience the highest growth in professional software developers between 2003 and 2008 with compound annual growth rates (CAGR) of 25.6% and 24.5% respectively. The Asia/Pacific region will surpass North America in the overall number of professional developers beginning in 2006 while the Middle East and Africa will experience the highest regional growth with an 18.3% CAGR between 2003 and 2008. North America continues to lead all other regions of the world in the highest penetration of professional developers by a wide margin. IDC forecasts that the total number of professional developers worldwide will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9.8% between 2003 and 2008, reaching 14.9 million in 2008. This forecast is based on worldwide population statistics, changes in literacy, and growth in IT spending.