Quarter of British 16-24-year-olds have written code

A quarter of 16 to 24 year-olds in the UK have written a computer program, according to figures released by EU statistics body Eurostat.In early 2011, a quarter of young adults said they had written a program using a specialised programming language, Eurostat researcher Anna Lööf told ZDNet UK on Monday.

A quarter of 16 to 24 year-olds in the UK have written a computer program, according to figures released by EU statistics body Eurostat.

In early 2011, a quarter of young adults said they had written a program using a specialised programming language, Eurostat researcher Anna Lööf told ZDNet UK on Monday.

"'Specialised programming language' refers to high-level computer languages such as BASIC, Pascal or for instance SAS programming, which might only be familiar to programmers, system analysts and so forth," said Lööf.

The figures, which were collected by the UK Office for National Statistics in January, February and March 2011, were taken from 3009 people in the UK.

Although more young people claim to have coded, there has been a Europe-wide decline in the percentage of graduates with computing degrees, according to Eurostat.

In the EU, between 2005 and 2009, the percentage of people taking tertiary computing qualifications dropped from four percent of graduates in 2005, to 3.4 percent in 2009, according to the figures. Over the same time period the UK had one of the greatest percentage-drops of IT graduates in the EU — from 5.9 to four percent.

The statistics were published to coincide with European e-Skills week, which is actually happening over two weeks, from 19 to 30 March.