As per data released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), with a total expenditure of USD 71 billion in 2019, India is now the third biggest military spender in the world. With China at the second spot, this is also the first time that two Asian countries have figured in the top 3.
According to SIPRI, the total global military expenditure rose to USD 1917 billion in 2019 - this is 3.6 percent higher than 2018 figures. Further, global expenditure on military in 2019 accounted for 2.2 percent of the GDP, as per the report – this equates to approximately USD 249 per person.
We take a look at the top 10 military spenders:
Heading the list is the United States - the country's military spending grew by 5.3 per cent to a total spend of USD 732 billion. This is nearly the total amount that the top ten combined have spent. The US also accounts for 38 per cent of the global spend. This is also the second year of growth in spending, as the country saw a 22 per cent decline in spending between 2010 and 2017. The growth in expenditure, as per researchers off SIPRI, is due to perceived return to competition between the great powers. However, the country’s military spend remains 15 per cent lower than its peak in 2010. The country’s military burden is 3.4 per cent of the GDP, as opposed to 4.9 per cent in 2010. Image by Image credit: Military_Material from Pixabay China recorded a 5.1 per cent increase from 2018 with a military expenditure of USD 261 billion in 2019. This accounts for 14 per cent of the world’s total expenditure. At 85 per cent, China’s increase in military spend from 2010 is also the highest among the top 15 countries. China’s expenditure growth has closely matched its growth in GDP, since 1994, as per SIPRI. The country's military burden remains unchanged between 2010 and 2019, at 1.9 per cent. Image by Image credit: PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay India jumped one place to enter the number three spot for the first time, in 2019. India’s military expenditure, which is the highest in South Asia, grew by 6.8 per cent from 2018 to USD 71.1 billion in 2019. Over the last 30 years (1990-2019), India’s military expenditure has grown by over 259 per cent, and by 37 per cent over the decade (2010-19). However, its military burden fell from 2.7 per cent of GDP in 2010 to 2.4 per cent of the GDP in 2010. As per Siemon T. Wezeman, SIPRI Senior Researcher, India’s tensions and rivalry with Pakistan and China are major drivers for its increased spending. By One half 3544 - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2325920 Image credit: Russia increased its military expenditure to USD 65.1 billion – a 4.5 per cent increase from 2018. At 3.9 per cent of GDP, the country's military burden is amongst the highest in Europe. Its military spend in 2019 was 30 per cent higher than in 2010 and 175 per cent higher than in 2000. Russia also accounted for 88 per cent of the military spending in Eastern Europe, as per SIPRI. Overall, it accounts for 3.4 per cent of the world’s total expenditure. By Maxim Maksimov - http://russianplanes.net/EN/ID52033, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16170721 Image credit: While Saudi Arabia dropped two places from the third spot in 2018, it remains the highest spender when military budget as a share of GDP is considered. At USD 62 billion, Saudi Arabia was the largest spender in the Middle East, in 2019. In 2015, Saudi Arabia's spending peaked, which put the country in the third spot. However, its spending dropped by 28 per cent in 2016, climbed by 15 per cent between 2016 and 2018 and dropped again by 16 per cent from 2018 to 2019. Its total military burden in 2019 was 8 per cent of the GDP. As per the report, this drop is, however, unexpected given the continued military operations in Yemen and increased tensions with Iran after a missile attack caused damage to its oil industry in September 2019. By User:MatthiasKabel - commons file, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60525782 Image credit: France has the highest military expenditure in Western Europe– spending USD 50.1 billion in 2019, amounting to 2.6 per cent of total global expenditure. The last decade (2010-19) saw military expenditure rising by 3.5 per cent. The rise in military spending in 2019 has been attributed to France's adoption of the Military Planning Law for 2019-25, aimed at bringing the country’s spending on the military at par with NATO’s minimum target of 2.0 per cent. Currently, France’s military burden is 1.9 per cent of its GDP. Germany, which replaced the United Kingdom in the seventh position, increased its military spending by 10 per cent last year bringing it to USD 49.3 billion. This was the highest since 1993 and was also the biggest increase among the top 15 military spending countries. According to SIPRI, the growth in military spending can be partly attributed to “perception of an increased threat from Russia, shared by many North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) member states.” Its military burden is 1.3 per cent of the GDP. Image by Image credit: CaptainMeo from Pixabay The United Kingdom dropped down to the eighth spot this year, with a military expenditure of USD 48.7 billion, which remains unchanged from 2018. The UK’s military spending is also just 1.7 per cent of the country’s GDP, hence, breaching the NATO minimum target of 2 per cent. According to reports, successive rounds of defence budget cuts have seen the country’s military expenditure dropping. Image by Image credit: Steve Bidmead from Pixabay At USD 47.6 billion, Japan spends a comparatively lesser amount on its military. At 0.9 per cent of the GDP, Japan's military burden is also the lowest amongst the top 15 countries. However, factoring other expenses such as peacekeeping operations, coastguard budgets and other security-related details, the Japanese Defence Ministry states that the country spends around 1.1-1.3 per cent of its GDP on defence. Japan accounts for 2.5 per cent of world military expenditure. Rounding off the top 10 military spenders is another Asian country – South Korea, which spent USD 43.9 billion in 2019, a 7.5 per cent increase from 2018 and a 36 per cent increase from 2010. South Korea’s share of military spending to GDP is 2.7 per cent, higher than the global military burden. By 대한민국 국군 Republic of Korea Armed Forces - 2014.2.14. 2014 코브라골드 연합훈련2014 Cobra Gold Combined Exercise 14th, Feb, 2014, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36996419 Image credit: