Top 5 countries that spent the most on military in 2021

Apr 26, 2022

By: Vaamanaa Sethi

The total global military spending increased by 0.7 percent in real terms in 2021.

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World military spending reached an all-time high of $2.1 trillion.

This was the seventh consecutive year that spending increased.

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Top five spenders

The five largest spenders in 2021 together accounted for 62 percent of total expenditure, according to a report by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

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Global GDP share

As a result of a sharp economic recovery in 2021, the world military expenditure as a share of world gross domestic product (GDP) fell from 2.3 percent in 2020 to 2.2 percent in 2021.

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United States

The US government spent $801 billion on its military in 2021, a drop of 1.4 percent from 2020. The US military burden decreased slightly from 3.7 percent of GDP in 2020 to 3.5 percent in 2021.

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The world’s second largest spender allocated $293 billion to its military in 2021, an increase of 4.7 percent compared to 2020. The 2021 Chinese budget was the first under the 14th five-year plan, which runs until 2025, according to the report.

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India spent $76.6 billion on its military, which ranked third highest in the world. This was up by 0.9 percent from 2020 and by 33 percent from 2012. The Indian government spent 2.8 percent of its GDP on military in 2020, a 0.3 percent increase from 2019, according to World Bank data.

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United Kingdom

The UK spent $68.4 billion on defence last year, which was three percent more than 2020. According to the World Bank data, the UK spent 2.2 percent of its GDP on military in 2020, which is 0.2 percent more than 2019.

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Russia increased its military expenditure by 2.9 percent in 2021, to $65.9 billion, at a time when it was apparently planning to invade Ukraine. This was the third consecutive year of growth and Russia’s military spending reached 4.1 percent of its GDP in 2021.

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