Military expenditure (current USD) - Country Ranking - Asia

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 China 249,997,000,000.00 2018
2 Saudi Arabia 67,554,670,000.00 2018
3 India 66,510,290,000.00 2018
4 Russia 61,387,550,000.00 2018
5 Japan 46,617,960,000.00 2018
6 Korea 43,069,970,000.00 2018
7 United Arab Emirates 22,755,070,000.00 2014
8 Turkey 18,967,110,000.00 2018
9 Israel 15,946,790,000.00 2018
10 Iran 13,194,150,000.00 2018
11 Pakistan 11,375,530,000.00 2018
12 Singapore 10,841,000,000.00 2018
13 Indonesia 7,437,197,000.00 2018
14 Kuwait 7,296,267,000.00 2018
15 Thailand 6,829,203,000.00 2018
16 Oman 6,710,013,000.00 2018
17 Iraq 6,317,977,000.00 2018
18 Vietnam 5,500,000,000.00 2018
19 Bangladesh 3,894,695,000.00 2018
20 Philippines 3,769,741,000.00 2018
21 Malaysia 3,469,828,000.00 2018
22 Lebanon 2,775,558,000.00 2018
23 Syrian Arab Republic 2,494,887,000.00 2011
24 Myanmar 2,030,466,000.00 2018
25 Jordan 1,957,746,000.00 2018
26 Qatar 1,876,758,000.00 2010
27 Yemen 1,714,831,000.00 2014
28 Azerbaijan 1,708,941,000.00 2018
29 Sri Lanka 1,681,434,000.00 2018
30 Kazakhstan 1,613,589,000.00 2018
31 Bahrain 1,396,808,000.00 2018
32 Armenia 608,854,700.00 2018
33 Cambodia 543,205,200.00 2018
34 Nepal 398,521,500.00 2018
35 Brunei 346,588,700.00 2018
36 Georgia 316,508,400.00 2018
37 Afghanistan 198,086,300.00 2018
38 Kyrgyz Republic 121,163,600.00 2018
39 Turkmenistan 111,923,100.00 1999
40 Mongolia 96,067,490.00 2018
41 Tajikistan 95,763,180.00 2015
42 Uzbekistan 54,133,700.00 2003
43 Lao PDR 22,677,720.00 2013
44 Timor-Leste 20,610,000.00 2018

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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). Data on military expenditures as a share of central government expenditures use data on central government expenditures from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Therefore the data may differ from comparable data published by national governments. 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 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. For additional details please refer to the military expenditure database on the SIPRI website: https://sipri.org/databases/milex