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SIPRI military expenditure data, 2019

World military expenditure increase by 2.6%


  • World military expenditure increased in 2018 by 6 per cent in real terms, and is now estimated at $1822 billion.
  • The top 10 spenders in 2018 compared to 2017: 1. USA (+4.6%); 2. China (+5.0%); 3. Saudi Arabia (-6.5%); 4. India (+3.1%); 5. France (-1.4%); 6. Russia (-3.5%); 7. UK (+1.0%); 8. Germany (+1.8%); 9. Japan (approx. no change); 10. South Korea (5.1%).


Increases USA and China, Decrease in Saudi Arabia and Russia


  • US military spending rose for the first time since 2010. The US spending in 2018 was $649 billion. The US remains by far the largest spender in the world, accounting for 36% of global military spending in 2018.
  • African military spending decreased by 4%, North Africa declined by 5.5% while sub-Saharan Africa went down 11%.
  • Spending in the Americas was up by 4.4%. In Central America and Caribbean it increased by 8.8% compared to 2017; N. America’s spending grew by 4.4% and in S. America it was up by 3.1%.
  • Spending in Asia and Oceania continue to rise, especially in East Asia (increases in China and South Korea). At $250 billion, China accounted for 14% of world spending in 2018.
  • European spending increase by 1.4% since 2017. Central and Western Europe both increased their military spending amid continued threat perceptions towards Russia. In Eastern Europe, spending decreased mainly due to fall in Russia spending for two consecutive years.
  • Military spending by states in the Middle East for which data is available fell in 2018, by 1.9%. Saudi Arabia decreased its spending by 6.5% while Turkey had the largest relative annual increase (24%) of the top 15 spenders in 2018.
  • Total spending by all 29 NATO members was $963 billion or 53% of global military spending.
  • Top 15 increases 2017–18: Burkina Faso (+52%); Jamaica (+40%); Armenia (+33%); Bosnia and Herzegovina (+26%); Turkey (+24%); Latvia (+24%); Bulgaria (+23%); Ukraine (+21%); Zimbabwe (+19%); Lithuania (+18%); Czechia (+18); Nigeria (+18%); Romania (+18%); Uganda (+17%); Kazakhstan (+16%).
  • Top 15 decreases 2017–2018: South Sudan (-50%); Sudan (-49%); Benin (-28%); Congo, Republic of the (-27%); Trinidad and Tobago (-18%); Angola (-18%); Iraq (-16%); Bahrain (-11%); Gabon (-10%); DRC (-10%); Iran (-9.5%); Myanmar (-8.9%); Lesotho (-8.8%); Sri Lanka (-8.4%); Malaysia (-8.2%).







Regional details


Region Change in military expenditure since 2017 Top 5 spenders in 2018 Big increasers and decreasers

(>10% in real terms 2017-2018)

Americas Moderate increase USA, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Mexico Increasers: Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Mexico

Decreasers: Trinidad and Tobago

Africa Decrease Algeria, Sudan, South Africa, Morocco, Angola Increasers: Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo

Decreasers: South Sudan, Sudan, Benin, Republic of the Congo, Angola, Gabon, DRC

Middle East Highly uncertain Saudi Arabia, UAE (2014), Turkey, Israel, Iran Increasers: Turkey

Decreasers: Iraq, Bahrain

Asia and Oceania Moderate increase China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia Increasers: Kazakhstan, Cambodia, Pakistan


Europe Minor    increase France, Russia, UK, Germany, Italy Increasers: Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Latvia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Lithuania, Czechia, Romania, Slovakia, Belarus, Ireland, Albania