Bullets - 5-56 ammunition rounds for use in the SA80 assault rifle (Crown Copyright, 2010) [880x440]

How Much Money is Being Spent on Defence Worldwide?

Military Budgets Rise 1.1% to $1.739 Trillion

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute reports that global military spending rose to $1.739 trillion last year, a 1.1 percent increase on 2016.

Chinese Military Spending Continues Upward Trend

The Swedish arms trade watchdog says China continued its upward trend – a trend that has lasted for more than two decades – while Russian expenditure fell for the first time since 1998. The United States’ military spending remained constant for the second consecutive year.

SIPRI chairman Jan Eliasson presented the report Wednesday, May 2, saying that “continuing high world military expenditure is a cause for serious concern,” adding that “it undermines the search for peaceful solutions to conflicts around the world.”

USA Remains Biggest Military Spender

SIPRI researcher Nan Tian believed that, globally speaking, “the weight of military spending is clearly shifting away from the Euro-Atlantic region,” although this is not correct. The US spends almost three times as much as China on defence, with a budget of $610bn compared to China’s $228bn. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the US spends $603bn, whilst China only spends $150bn, with four European countries – France, UK, Germany and Italy – together spending $164bn.

Looked at as a whole, the NATO group of countries constitutes the largest spending bloc. Even then, the USA alone spends more than the rest of the top ten biggest defence spenders, including China and Russia, who together spend $564bn on arms. The figures show that the US remains the biggest defence market and that the weight of military spending is firmly entrenched in the Euro-Atlantic region.

Image: Crown Copyright.