World Facts

Military Spending By Country

The United States, China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and India spend more on their respective militaries than anywhere else on Earth.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), global military spending totaled 1.7 trillion dollars in 2017. The countries who spent the largest percentage of this money are listed below:

5. India - $63.9 billion

In 2017, India spent the fifth largest sum of money on military expenses, with a total of 63.9 billion dollars spent. In previous years, this was a position that was held by France. However, in 2017, India surpassed France to gain this position. A growth in economy, a large population and army, and tense relations with neighboring countries are all reasons behind this increase in spending.

4. Russia - $66.3 billion

Russia, one of the world’s largest exporter of arms, spent $84.5 billion dollars on arms, military personnel, procurement and other military costs in 2017. This is the world's fourth largest number.

3. Saudi Arabia - $69.4 billion

Saudi Arabia is the world's third largest military spender. In 2017, Saudi Arabia spent 69.4 billion dollars on military-related expenses. This number marks an increase in Saudi Arabian military spending compared to previous years, an increase that was prompted to some extent by increased conflicts across the Middle East. A higher revenue from oil sales and surpluses in financial reserves maintained by the country may also have contributed.

2. China - $228 billion

China spent $228 billion dollars on the military in 2017, making them the biggest military spender in the world after the United States. Research has shown that there is a direct relationship between economic growth and military spending, and China’s spending has tended to reflect this very pattern over the past five years. Although China is a major arms exporter, it tends to import an almost equal amount of weapons as well. An interesting side effect of China’s military spending has been a concurrent increase in defense spending by surrounding countries, including Vietnam and Japan. China also has the biggest active military in the world with 2,183,000 soldiers.

1. United States - $610 billion

At $610 billion, the United States spends more money on the military than any other country in the world. The country's large budget goes to purchasing arms, to paying salaries to personnel, and to other military expenses. The USA’s spending represents 34% of total global military expenditure, although this figure is likely to decrease as a result of the Budget Control Act. Regardless, the United States will still likely account for a larger share of global military spending than any other country for many years to come.

Top Ten Countries Who Spend the Most on the Military

RankCountryMilitary Spending (Billions)
1 United States610
2 People's Republic of China[a]228
3 Saudi Arabia[a][b]69
4 Russia66
5 India64
6 France58
7 United Kingdom47
8 Japan45
9 Germany44
10 South Korea39

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