In a new study, Evans Data says that the developer population in established economies is expected to decline by 35 percent this year compared with last year, as InformationWeek reports. Despite this dearth of developers, however, we continue to see an explosion of open-source projects and social-Web applications.

It’s very possible, of course, that a dwindling number of developers is pushing more of its development work to the public eye of the Web, creating the appearance of more development activity even as the total number of lines of code written declines. Rising unemployment might be contributing to this.

In other words, perhaps that out-of-work Citigroup developer, who used to spend all of his/her time as one developer among many contributing to a big intranet application, has now launched an open-source project (or two) to ease the burden of unemployment?