Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Incredible map shows the countries spending the most on their militaries

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun13,2024

Military spending around the world hit almost £2trillion last year with the US, Russia and China the biggest spenders, the latest figures show. Total global military expenditure reached £1.97tn ($2.443tn) in 2023, a 6.8 percent increase in real terms from 2022, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Spending globally rose for the ninth consecutive year with particularly large increases in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Oceania.

Nan Tian, Senior Researcher at SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme, said: “The unprecedented rise in military spending is a direct response to the global deterioration in peace and security.

“States are prioritising military strength, but they risk an action–reaction spiral in the increasingly volatile geopolitical and security landscape.”

The figures, which were released on Monday (April 22), show Russia‘s military spending rose to an estimated £88bn ($109bn) – a 57 percent increase since 2014, when the country illegally annexed Crimea.

Ukraine was the eighth biggest spender in the world last year as spending rocketed 51 percent to reach £52.3bn ($64.8bn), SIPRI’s figures show. Military spending by the war-torn country made up 58 percent of total government spending.

When combining its own spending with military aid from Ukraine‘s allies, the country spent the equivalent of about 91 percent of Russia‘s spending.

In 2023, the 31 NATO military alliance members accounted for £1.084tn ($1.341tn), equal to 55 percent of the world’s military expenditure.

Military spending by the US rose 2.3 percent to reach £740.5bn ($916bn) in 2023, representing 68 percent of total NATO military spending.

Most European NATO members increased their military expenditure last year, with a combined share of the NATO total at 28 percent, the highest in a decade. The remaining four percent came from Canada and Turkey.

Britain spent £60.6bn ($74.9bn) compared with France (£49.5bn), Germany (£54bn), Poland (£25.5bn) and Spain (£19.1bn) in 2023.

Lorenzo Scarazzato, a researcher with SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme, said: “For European NATO states, the past two years of war in Ukraine have fundamentally changed the security outlook.

“This shift in threat perceptions is reflected in growing shares of GDP being directed towards military spending, with the NATO target of two percent increasingly being seen as a baseline rather than a threshold to reach.”

A decade after NATO members formally committed to a target of spending two percent of GDP on the military, 11 out of 31 NATO members met or surpassed this level in 2023. This is the highest number since the commitment was made.

After the US, China was the world’s second largest military spender in 2023, with an estimated £239bn ($296bn), a six percent increase on 2022. It was the 29th consecutive year on year rise in Beijing’s military expenditure and accounts for half of all such spending in Asia and Oceania.

The Asian giant’s spending has driven up that of neighbours including Japan and Taiwan which allocated £40.5bn ($50.2bn) and £13.4bn ($16.6bn) to military spending respectively in 2023. This represents 11 percent growth for both countries since 2022.

Xiao Liang, a researcher at SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme, said: “China is directing much of its growing military budget to boost the combat readiness of the People’s Liberation Army.

“This has prompted the governments of Japan, Taiwan and others to significantly build up their military capabilities, a trend that will accelerate further in the coming years.”

The Middle East saw the highest annual growth rate in the troubled region for the past decade. Estimated military spending increased by nine percent to £161.5bn ($200bn), according to SIPRI.

Spending by Israel, which is at war with Hamas in Gaza after the October 7 attacks, increased 24 percent to reach £22.3bn ($27.5bn).

Diego Lopes da Silva, Senior Researcher at SIPRI, said: “The large increase in military spending in the Middle East in 2023 reflected the rapidly shifting situation in the region — from the warming of diplomatic relations between Israel and several Arab countries in recent years to the outbreak of a major war in Gaza and fears of a region-wide conflict.”

SIPRI’s figures also show India was the fourth largest military spender globally in 2023. At £67.5bn ($83.6bn), its military spend was 4.2 percent higher than in 2022.

The largest percentage increase in military spending by any country in 2023 was in the Democratic Republic of the Congo – up 105 percent. There has been protracted conflict between the government and non-state armed groups in the country.

South Sudan recorded the second largest percentage increase of 78 percent amid internal violence and spillover from the Sudanese civil war, according to SIPRI.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “Incredible map shows the countries spending the most on their militaries”
  1. Isn’t it concerning that military spending is rising so drastically across various regions, leading to a global arms race? Shouldn’t countries focus more on peaceful resolutions instead?

  2. Incredible map! The countries need to prioritize peace over military strength in order to protect global security. The escalating military expenditures only contribute to a vicious cycle of tensions and conflicts.

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