Countries Who Spend the Most on the Military Per Capita

A number of countries spend a significant amount on their military per capita.
A number of countries spend a significant amount on their military per capita.

Countries normally have military forces which they use to defend their states from external attack, protect their citizens, and their allies. The military forces are made up of three groups namely those on active duty, the reserve forces, and paramilitary forces. The military who are on active duty serve full-time in their military capacity. The reserve forces, on the other hand, are those who are trained but do not serve unless there is need for extra support in the military service. The paramilitary forces are militants who are not considered as part of the official military forces that serves the country. Countries spend so much money to train militants, pay them, acquire equipment, and maintain intelligence networks.

Countries who spend the most on military per capita

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia spends 6,909 USD per capita on their military operations. It is the country that spends the highest amount per capita on military in the world. It even beats Israel and United States which are known to engage in many wars around the globe. Saudia Arabia’s military forces are 251,500 in total including 227,000 on active duty and 24,500 that offer paramilitary services. One of the reasons why Saudi Arabia spends a lot of cash on military is because it has invested in high technology military arsenals which it imports from France, United States, and Britain. The equipments include combat aircrafts and helicopters, tanker aircrafts, and armored vehicles.


The Singapore Armed Forces is the military arm of the Defense Forces in Singapore. The total number of military forces is 504,100 inclusive of 72,500 on active duty, 312,500 reserve forces, and 119,100 paramilitary forces. Singapore uses 2,385 USD per capita in financing its military forces activities; an amount which is he highest in the whole of the Asia-Pacific region. Most of its budget is spent on sophisticated and massive weaponry, research, development and experimentation, and sophisticated military systems.


The total expenditure of Israel on the military which is 649,500 in total is 1, 882 USD per capita. The number is based on 176,500 active militants, 465,000 reserve forces, and 8,000 paramilitary forces. Israel’s budget for the defense forces has been fluctuating over the years. However, the highest spending was witnessed in the 1980s when the country spent 24% of its GDP on military services. Again in 2010, an amount of NIS 53.2 billion was spent. Due to signing peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt and by the initiative of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel has significantly cut down its budget on the defence forces.

Are Countries Likely to Spend Even More in the Future?

Yes, countries will most likely spend more of their budgets on the military. More sophisticated equipment and technologies exist today and the future knows no limits to the advancement of military firearms. Furthermore, there’s a need to train more militants due to the increased rate of security risks in the world today. One of the high ranking risks is terrorism which has engulfed the whole world with great fear.

Countries Who Spend the Most on Military Per Capita

RankCountryPer Capita Military Spending (USD)
1Saudi Arabia6,909
4United States1,859
8United Kingdom1,066

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