Military expenditure (% of GDP) - Country Ranking

Definition: Military expenditures data from SIPRI are derived from the NATO definition, which includes all current and capital expenditures on the armed forces, including peacekeeping forces; defense ministries and other government agencies engaged in defense projects; paramilitary forces, if these are judged to be trained and equipped for military operations; and military space activities. Such expenditures include military and civil personnel, including retirement pensions of military personnel and social services for personnel; operation and maintenance; procurement; military research and development; and military aid (in the military expenditures of the donor country). Excluded are civil defense and current expenditures for previous military activities, such as for veterans' benefits, demobilization, conversion, and destruction of weapons. This definition cannot be applied for all countries, however, since that would require much more detailed information than is available about what is included in military budgets and off-budget military expenditure items. (For example, military budgets might or might not cover civil defense, reserves and auxiliary forces, police and paramilitary forces, dual-purpose forces such as military and civilian police, military grants in kind, pensions for military personnel, and social security contributions paid by one part of government to another.)

Source: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Yearbook: Armaments, Disarmament and International Security.

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 Eritrea 20.87 2003
2 Oman 13.39 2014
3 Saudi Arabia 10.71 2014
4 Libya 7.99 2014
5 Israel 5.92 2014
6 United Arab Emirates 5.70 2014
7 Algeria 5.56 2014
8 Angola 5.40 2014
9 Congo 4.97 2014
10 Lebanon 4.96 2014
11 Yemen 4.59 2013
12 Azerbaijan 4.56 2014
13 Russia 4.55 2014
14 Bahrain 4.36 2014
15 Jordan 4.33 2014
16 Sudan 4.29 2006
17 Iraq 4.26 2014
18 Namibia 4.20 2014
19 Syrian Arab Republic 4.10 2007
20 Armenia 3.93 2014
21 Guinea 3.85 2014
22 Myanmar 3.69 2014
23 Morocco 3.68 2014
24 Kuwait 3.63 2014
25 Djibouti 3.63 2008
26 Cuba 3.51 2013
27 United States 3.50 2014
28 Pakistan 3.49 2014
29 Kyrgyz Republic 3.40 2014
30 Singapore 3.14 2014
31 Colombia 3.14 2014
32 Brunei 3.09 2014
33 Ukraine 3.06 2014
34 Turkmenistan 2.90 1999
35 Ecuador 2.90 2014
36 Mauritania 2.86 2014
37 Chad 2.82 2014
38 Korea 2.64 2014
39 Central African Republic 2.60 2010
40 Zimbabwe 2.59 2014
41 Sri Lanka 2.57 2014
42 Georgia 2.51 2014
43 India 2.48 2014
44 Seychelles 2.42 2014
45 Botswana 2.40 2014
46 Greece 2.35 2014
47 Iran 2.33 2014
48 Vietnam 2.29 2014
49 France 2.25 2014
50 Turkey 2.23 2014
51 Lesotho 2.19 2014
52 Guinea-Bissau 2.10 2014
53 Timor-Leste 2.09 2014
54 Serbia 2.08 2014
55 Burundi 2.01 2014
56 Chile 1.99 2014
57 United Kingdom 1.98 2014
58 Estonia 1.93 2014
59 China 1.93 2014
60 Poland 1.90 2014
61 Bolivia 1.90 2014
62 Tunisia 1.90 2014
63 Swaziland 1.84 2014
64 Togo 1.84 2014
65 Mali 1.81 2014
66 Australia 1.81 2014
67 Portugal 1.79 2014
68 The Gambia 1.72 2014
69 Egypt 1.71 2014
70 Cambodia 1.66 2014
71 Zambia 1.64 2014
72 Honduras 1.64 2014
73 Burkina Faso 1.63 2014
74 Nepal 1.61 2014
75 Croatia 1.59 2014
76 Cyprus 1.54 2014
77 Senegal 1.53 2014
78 Côte d'Ivoire 1.52 2014
79 Montenegro 1.51 2014
80 Qatar 1.50 2010
81 Uruguay 1.48 2014
82 Italy 1.47 2014
83 Bulgaria 1.47 2014
84 Norway 1.47 2014
85 Malaysia 1.45 2014
86 Peru 1.45 2014
87 Venezuela 1.43 2013
88 Thailand 1.42 2014
89 Paraguay 1.40 2014
90 Romania 1.35 2014
91 Brazil 1.35 2014
92 Albania 1.35 2014
93 Kenya 1.34 2014
94 Afghanistan 1.33 2014
95 Belarus 1.33 2014
96 Finland 1.32 2014
97 Guyana 1.27 2014
98 Malawi 1.27 2014
99 Cameroon 1.25 2014
100 Uganda 1.24 2014
101 Spain 1.23 2014
102 Germany 1.19 2014
103 Denmark 1.18 2014
104 Netherlands 1.18 2014
105 Rwanda 1.15 2014
106 Sweden 1.15 2014
107 Gabon 1.14 2014
108 New Zealand 1.14 2014
109 Tajikistan 1.13 2014
110 South Africa 1.11 2014
111 Philippines 1.09 2014
112 Macedonia 1.09 2014
113 Equatorial Guinea 1.07 2014
114 Kazakhstan 1.06 2014
115 Belize 1.05 2014
116 Dem. Rep. Congo 1.04 2014
117 Tanzania 1.03 2014
118 Bosnia and Herzegovina 1.03 2014
119 Mozambique 1.02 2014
120 Sierra Leone 1.01 2014
121 Niger 1.01 2012
122 Canada 1.00 2014
123 Japan 1.00 2014
124 Slovak Republic 1.00 2014
125 Czech Republic 0.99 2014
126 Slovenia 0.98 2014
127 Belgium 0.98 2014
128 Benin 0.97 2014
129 Latvia 0.96 2014
130 Fiji 0.96 2014
131 El Salvador 0.93 2014
132 Argentina 0.91 2014
133 Lithuania 0.88 2014
134 Mongolia 0.87 2014
135 Hungary 0.87 2014
136 Jamaica 0.87 2014
137 Indonesia 0.78 2014
138 Austria 0.76 2014
139 Ethiopia 0.73 2014
140 Liberia 0.71 2014
141 Nicaragua 0.69 2014
142 Dominican Republic 0.68 2014
143 Trinidad and Tobago 0.68 2014
144 Mexico 0.67 2014
145 Papua New Guinea 0.66 2014
146 Switzerland 0.66 2014
147 Madagascar 0.66 2014
148 Malta 0.56 2013
149 Uzbekistan 0.54 2003
150 Cabo Verde 0.54 2014
151 Ghana 0.48 2014
152 Ireland 0.47 2014
153 Luxembourg 0.43 2014
154 Guatemala 0.42 2014
155 Nigeria 0.41 2014
156 Moldova 0.35 2014
157 Mauritius 0.26 2014
158 Lao PDR 0.20 2013
159 Iceland 0.12 2012
160 Bangladesh 0.00 2014
161 Somalia 0.00 2014
162 Haiti 0.00 2014
162 Costa Rica 0.00 2014
162 Panama 0.00 2014

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Development Relevance: Although national defense is an important function of government and security from external threats that contributes to economic development, high military expenditures for defense or civil conflicts burden the economy and may impede growth. Data on military expenditures as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) are a rough indicator of the portion of national resources used for military activities and of the burden on the economy. Data on military expenditures as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) are a rough indicator of the portion of national resources used for military activities and of the burden on the economy. As an "input" measure military expenditures are not directly related to the "output" of military activities, capabilities, or security. Comparisons of military spending among countries should take into account the many factors that influence perceptions of vulnerability and risk, including historical and cultural traditions, the length of borders that need defending, the quality of relations with neighbors, and the role of the armed forces in the body politic.

Limitations and Exceptions: Data on military expenditures are not compiled using standard definitions and are often incomplete and unreliable due to countries' reluctance to disclose military information. Even in countries where the parliament vigilantly reviews budgets and spending, military expenditures and arms transfers rarely receive close scrutiny or full, public disclosure (see Ball 1984 and Happe and Wakeman-Linn 1994). However, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has adopted a definition of military expenditure derived from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) former definition (in use until 2002; see Definitions). In the many cases where SIPRI cannot make independent estimates, it uses the national data provided. Because of the differences in definitions and the difficulty in verifying the accuracy and completeness of data, data on military expenditures are not always comparable across countries. However, SIPRI puts a high priority on ensuring that the data series for each country is comparable over time.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: SIPRI military expenditure data includes military and civil personnel, including retirement pensions and social services for military personnel; operation and maintenance; procurement; military research and development; and military aid (in the military expenditures of the donor country). Excluded are civil defense and current expenditures for previous military activities, such as for veterans' benefits, demobilization, and weapons conversion and destruction. This definition cannot be applied for all countries, however, since that would require more detailed information than is available about military budgets and off-budget military expenditures (for example, whether military budgets cover civil defense, reserves and auxiliary forces, police and paramilitary forces, and military pensions). SIPRI data for the most recent years include two types of estimate which apply to all countries: (a) figures for the most recent years are for adopted budgets, budget estimates or revised estimates, and are revised, more often than not, in subsequent years; and (b) the deflator used for the latest year in the series is an estimate SIPRI's primary source of military expenditure data is official data provided by national governments. These data are derived from budget documents, defense white papers, and other public documents from official government agencies, including government responses to questionnaires sent by SIPRI, the UNODA, or the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Secondary sources include international statistics, such as those of NATO and the IMF's Government Finance Statistics Yearbook. Other secondary sources include country reports of the Economist Intelligence Unit, country reports by IMF staff, and specialist journals and newspapers. The data on military expenditures as a share of GDP are SIPRI estimates. The SIPRI military expenditure figures are presented on a calendar-year basis. The only exception is the USA, for which statistics report data on a fiscal-year basis. Calendar-year data are calculated on the assumption of an even rate of expenditure throughout the fiscal year. The ratio of military expenditure to GDP is calculated in domestic currency at current prices and for calendar years. The SIPRI military expenditure figures are presented on a calendar-year basis. The only exception is the USA, for which statistics report data on a fiscal-year basis. Calendar-year data are calculated on the assumption of an even rate of expenditure throughout the fiscal year.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual

General Comments: Data for some countries are based on partial or uncertain data or rough estimates.