Software has an enormous impact on our individual lives, but the impact on the economy, GDP and employment is even greater than expected, according to a study from BSA - The Software Alliance, an international alliance that advocates on behalf of the software industry. The Economic Impact of Software research study shows that, as of 2014, the software industry was responsible for a total of $1.07 trillion of U.S. value-added GDP, and directly drove $475.3 billion of that amount. The software industry directly employed 2.5 million people in the U.S., but when including indirect and induced impacts, that number rose to 9.8 million jobs, according to the research.
BSA worked with The Economist Intelligence Unit to compile the data, using publicly available data from the EIU itself, IMPLAN, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau. To estimate the total contributions of the software industry to the U.S. economy, the EIU analyzed the direct contributions and estimated indirect and induced impacts using various economic multipliers.
"What's so interesting is how widespread the impact is. We expected states like California and Washington, but even states like Nebraska, Alabama and Utah showed a significant impact on their economies from software. And so much is happening in the industry: Cloud, artificial intelligence, big data, predictive analytics, virtual reality, enterprise, 3D printing -- there are so many innovations happening, and they're happening in every state," says Victoria Espinel, president and CEO of BSA - The Software Alliance.
While every state is directly affected by the software industry, here are the top 10 states where software's having the greatest impact based on direct contribution to GDP, direct number of software jobs created and total number of software, software-related and software-adjacent jobs created.