Military Spending by Country

Military spending: how much does the military cost each country, listed

How would you spend $1.7tn? The latest arms trade numbers show the US is still number one, but with China and Russia catching up fast. Find out how much each country spends

Soldiers from Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA)

Soldiers from Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Special Operations Forces march in formation during a training session at the 60th National Day Parade Village on the outskirts of Beijing September 15, 2009 Photograph: Joe Chan / Reuters/REUTERS

Is the global arms trade recession-proof? Almost, it appears. While government spending is being cut across the globe, military spending is staying remarkably steady.

The world’s countries spent $1.7tn on their militaries last year, according to new figures published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri). It’s barely changed from the year before, masking decreases in the west countered by big increases in China, Russia and some Middle eastern countries. The key numbers show that:

 

Military spending interactive Military spending interactive. Click image to explore it

 

• The US remains by far the biggest military spender, with a defence budget of $711bn last year
• It’s followed by China, which spent an estimated $143bn on its armed forces in 2011. China has increased its military spending by 170% in real terms since 2002, the leading research body says
• Russia spent nearly $72bn on arms last year, overtaking Britain ($62.7bn) and France ($62.5bn). Russia is planning further increases, with draft budgets showing a 53% rise in real terms up to 2014
• India has increased military spending by 66% since 2002. While both internal conflicts and the long-running dispute with Pakistan remain key issues, India views China as a rival for regional power
• Vietnam has increased military spending by 82% since 2003, and has invested heavily in its navy in recent years, partly due to tensions with China in the South China Sea

Richard Norton-Taylor writes today that

China’s increased military spending has caused concern among its neighbours and the US, the dominant Pacific power. The recent announcement of a US “pivot” towards Asia is in part the response to such concerns, Sipri says.

It adds: “China’s extensive and growing trade relations with the countries in its neighbourhood have been marred by disputes – eg the border dispute with India, a dispute over the Senkaku (Diaoyu) islands with Japan, and contested maritime borders with several nations in the South China Sea – all of which have led to increased tensions.”

However, the report says talk of an “arms race” in the region may be premature, as both data and analysis reveal a mixed pattern of trends in military expenditure and arms acquisition, with China far from being the only driving factor.

Sipri have given us the full historical dataset, going back to the late 1980s.

Data summary

Military spending by countryAll prices in $m, 2010 prices unless otherwise stated. Click heading to sort table. Download this data

Country
1988
2010
2011
2011 current prices
% of GDP, 1988
% of GDP, 2010

SOURCE: SIPRI

Figures are in US $m., at constant 2010 prices and exchange rates, except for the last figure, which is in US$m. at 2011 prices and exchange rates
“. .” = data unavailable. “Blank” = country did not exist or was not independent during all or part of the year in question

World total 1,511,141 1,622,888 1,624,506 1,727,513
Algeria 672 5,671 8,170 8,665 1.7 3.6
Libya . . . . . . . . . . . .
Morocco 1,734 3,161 3,186 3,342 4.1 3.5
Tunisia 347 563 583 614 2.3 1.4
Angola . . 3,501 3,281 3,647 . . 4.2
Benin 69 . . . . . . 2.3 . .
Botswana 193 352 344 371 4.9 2.4
Burkina Faso 57 124 129 139 1.9 1.3
Burundi 44 . . . . . . 3.1 . .
Cameroon 197 354 321 347 1.3 1.6
Cape Verde 11 8 9 10 1.9 0.5
Central African Rep. . . 52 . . . . . . 2.6
Chad . . 226 226 242 . . 2.7
Congo . . 134 . . . . . . 1.1
Congo, Dem. Rep. . . 184 211 239 . . 1.3
Côte d’Ivoire 185 388 325 357 1.2 1.6
Djibouti 70 . . . . . . 7.0 . .
Equatorial Guinea . . . . . . . . . . . .
Eritrea . . . . . . . .
Ethiopia 563 298 286 328 8.1 0.9
Gabon . . 125 . . . . . . 0.9
Gambia 2 . . . . . . 0.9 . .
Ghana 26 125 96 98 0.3 0.4
Guinea . . . . . . . . . . . .
Guinea-Bissau . . . . . . . . . . . .
Kenya 853 603 507 516 2.9 1.9
Lesotho 29 71 54 57 3.8 3.1
Liberia . . 8 . . . . 2.4 0.9
Madagascar 66 57 64 72 1.3 0.7
Malawi 21 . . . . . . 1.5 . .
Mali 55 177 180 194 2.2 1.9
Mauritania 48 . . . . . . 4.5 . .
Mauritius 9 14 9 10 0.2 0.1
Mozambique 72 . . . . . . 5.3 . .
Namibia 397 403 427 3.9
Niger . . 47 . . . . . . 0.9
Nigeria 543 1,990 2,215 2,410 0.8 1.0
Rwanda 41 74 74 75 1.6 1.3
Senegal 111 200 . . . . 2.0 1.6
Seychelles 15 9 9 9 4.3 1.3
Sierra Leone 8 25 24 26 0.7 1.2
Somalia . . . . . . . . . . . .
South Africa 6,335 4,631 4,827 5,108 4.0 1.3
South Sudan . . . . 597 . .
Sudan 847 . . . . . . 3.6 . .
Swaziland 16 124 115 123 1.1 3.0
Tanzania 100 250 253 255 1.4 1.2
Togo 65 57 55 59 3.1 1.7
Uganda 69 280 247 253 2.5 1.6
Zambia 317 276 285 306 2.4 1.7
Zimbabwe 198 98 147 153 5.0 1.3
Belize 5 15 15 16 1.0 1.1
Costa Rica 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0
Cuba . . . . . . . . . . . .
Dominican Rep. 141 359 325 341 0.9 0.7
El Salvador 552 224 211 222 7.7 1.1
Guatemala 349 170 182 200 0.4
Haiti 8 0 0 0 0.1 0.0
Honduras . . 170 170 185 . . 1.1
Jamaica . . 106 . . . . . . 0.8
Mexico 2,284 5,414 5,723 6,022 0.5 0.5
Nicaragua . . 44 53 55 . . 0.7
Panama 150 0 0 0 2.1 0.0
Trinidad & Tobago . . . . . . . . . . . .
Canada 19,339 23,109 23,082 24,659 2.0 1.5
USA 540,415 698,281 689,591 711,421 5.7 4.8
Argentina 4,397 3,476 3,167 3,295 2.0 0.9
Bolivia . . 328 316 352 . . 1.7
Brazil 19,902 34,384 31,576 35,360 2.1 1.6
Chile 2,913 6,579 7,392 8,040 5.0 3.2
Colombia 2,177 10,422 10,290 10,957 1.5 3.6
Ecuador 420 2,094 2,209 2,308 2.0 3.6
Guyana 4 29 28 30 2.0 2.1
Paraguay . . 154 206 250 . . 0.9
Peru . . 1,958 1,978 2,098 . . 1.3
Uruguay 833 788 803 902 3.2 2.0
Venezuela . . 3,363 3,115 2,385 . . 0.9
Kazakhstan 1,502 1,648 1,794 1.1
Kyrgyzstan 202 . . . . 4.4
Tajikistan . . . . . . . .
Turkmenistan . . . . . . . .
Uzbekistan . . . . . . . .
Brunei 349 391 373 414 6.6 3.2
Cambodia 66 175 177 192 1.3 1.6
China, P. R. . . 121,064 129,272 142,859 . . 2.1
Indonesia 1,405 4,663 5,220 5,709 0.9 0.7
Japan 46,447 54,641 54,529 59,327 1.0 1.0
Korea, North . . . . . . . . . . . .
Korea, South 13,262 27,572 28,280 30,799 4.5 2.7
Laos . . 16 . . . . . . 0.3
Malaysia 1,293 3,859 4,223 4,587 2.4 1.6
Mongolia . . 55 70 81 6.3 1.1
Myanmar . . . . . . . . 2.1 . .
Philippines 1,959 2,438 2,225 2,417 2.5 1.2
Singapore 2,622 8,323 8,302 9,475 4.8 3.7
Taiwan 8,474 9,067 8,888 9,717 5.0 2.1
Thailand 3,170 4,846 5,114 5,521 2.9 1.5
Timor Leste 31 24 27 4.9
Viet Nam 840 2,672 2,487 2,675 7.1 2.5
Afghanistan . . 576 781 878 . . 3.8
Bangladesh 456 1,298 1,367 1,436 1.0 1.1
India 16,705 46,086 44,282 48,889 3.6 2.7
Nepal 60 255 241 259 0.9 1.4
Pakistan 3,657 5,661 5,685 6,282 6.2 2.8
Sri Lanka 434 1,500 1,403 1,557 2.4 3.0
Australia 13,228 23,221 22,955 26,706 2.1 1.9
Fiji 43 51 . . . . 2.2 1.6
New Zealand 1,797 1,606 1,566 1,792 2.0 1.2
Papua New Guinea 77 42 49 61 1.3 0.4
Albania . . 190 185 197 5.6 1.6
Armenia 395 384 414 4.2
Austria 3,285 3,513 3,305 3,589 1.3 0.9
Azerbaijan 1,476 2,794 3,104 2.9
Belarus 768 709 598 1.4
Belgium 7,939 5,233 5,136 5,593 2.6 1.1
Bosnia-Herzegovina 220 226 246 1.2
Bulgaria . . 894 722 790 . . 1.9
Croatia 1,016 1,037 1,091 1.7
Cyprus 525 478 494 537 5.7 2.1
Czech Rep. 2,498 2,254 2,479 1.3
Czechoslovakia 7,678 . .
Denmark 4,519 4,504 4,515 4,859 2.1 1.5
Estonia 330 336 371 1.7
Finland 2,515 3,400 3,656 3,978 1.6 1.4
France 65,266 59,098 58,244 62,535 3.6 2.3
Georgia 454 371 426 3.9
German DR 10,804 . .
Germany 63,629 45,075 43,478 46,745 2.9 1.4
Greece 6,968 7,162 7,502 8,155 4.2 2.3
Hungary 4,262 1,351 1,287 1,385 3.8 1.0
Iceland 0 . . . . . . 0.0 . .
Ireland 774 1,274 1,207 1,302 1.2 0.6
Italy 35,274 35,532 31,946 34,501 2.3 1.7
Latvia 260 267 295 1.1
Lithuania 410 405 444 1.1
Luxembourg 173 . . . . . . 1.1 . .
Macedonia, FYR 130 121 132 1.4
Malta 40 59 59 64 1.2 0.7
Moldova 18 18 21 0.3
Montenegro 75 80 88 1.9
Netherlands 12,850 11,277 10,945 11,781 2.8 1.4
Norway 5,221 6,390 7,083 7,744 2.9 1.5
Poland 7,982 8,781 9,149 9,705 2.5 1.9
Portugal 3,346 4,821 4,285 4,670 2.7 2.1
Romania 8,966 2,086 1,945 2,145 4.3 1.3
Russia 331,111 58,644 64,123 71,853 15.8 3.9
Serbia 845 805 949 2.2
Slovak Rep. 1,130 968 1,058 1.3
Slovenia 772 668 715 1.6
Spain 14,611 14,744 13,984 15,178 2.0 1.0
Sweden 7,155 5,886 5,960 6,811 2.6 1.3
Switzerland 6,602 4,115 4,618 5,436 1.7 0.8
Turkey 9,918 17,649 18,687 17,871 2.9 2.4
UK 53,751 58,099 57,875 62,685 4.1 2.6
Ukraine 3,710 3,747 4,078 2.7
Yugoslavia (former) . . . .
Bahrain 243 776 883 878 5.0 3.4
Egypt 5,246 4,289 4,107 4,285 6.5 2.0
Iran 1,776 . . . . . . 2.0 . .
Iraq . . 3,581 5,568 5,845 . . 2.4
Israel 12,659 14,242 15,209 16,446 15.6 6.5
Jordan 966 1,367 1,310 1,368 9.4 5.0
Kuwait 3,361 4,715 5,178 5,640 8.2 3.6
Lebanon 278 1,633 1,657 1,754 1.2 4.2
Oman 2,397 4,895 4,074 4,291 18.3 8.5
Qatar . . . . . . . . . . . .
Saudi Arabia 19,743 45,245 46,219 48,531 15.2 10.1
Syria 1,168 2,346 2,490 2,495 7.3 4.1
UAE . . 16,062 . . . . . . 6.9
Yemen . . . . . . . .
Yemen, North 702 . .
Yemen, South . . . .

 

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