Global military spending is booming

Total world military expenditure rose to $1822 billion in 2018, representing an increase of 2.6 per cent from 2017, according to new data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

The five biggest spenders in 2018 were the United States, China, Saudi Arabia, India and France, which together accounted for 60 per cent of global military spending. Military spending by the USA increased for the first time since 2010, while spending by China grew for the 24th consecutive year. The comprehensive annual update of the SIPRI Military Expenditure Database is accessible from today at www.sipri.org.

Total global military spending rose for the second consecutive year in 2018, to the highest level since 1988—the first year for which consistent global data is available. World spending is now 76 per cent higher than the post-cold war low in 1998.* World military spending in 2018 represented 2.1 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) or $239 per person. ‘In 2018 the USA and China accounted for half of the world’s military spending,’ says Dr Nan Tian, a researcher with the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure (AMEX) programme. ‘The higher level of world military expenditure in 2018 is mainly the result of significant increases in spending by these two countries.’

The comprehensive annual update of the SIPRI Military Expenditure Database is accessible from today at www.sipri.org.