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 13.73 2016
3 Saudi Arabia 9.85 2016
4 Congo 7.17 2016
5 Algeria 6.42 2016
6 Kuwait 5.92 2016
7 Israel 5.66 2016
8 United Arab Emirates 5.64 2014
9 Russia 5.40 2016
10 Bahrain 4.59 2015
11 Jordan 4.58 2016
12 Lebanon 4.53 2015
13 Namibia 4.16 2016
14 Syrian Arab Republic 4.10 2007
15 Myanmar 4.08 2015
16 Armenia 4.08 2016
17 Yemen 3.97 2014
18 Ukraine 3.67 2016
19 Azerbaijan 3.64 2016
20 Iraq 3.63 2016
21 Djibouti 3.63 2008
22 Pakistan 3.62 2016
23 Brunei 3.54 2016
24 Colombia 3.39 2016
25 Singapore 3.35 2016
26 Botswana 3.30 2016
27 United States 3.28 2016
28 Morocco 3.21 2016
29 Kyrgyz Republic 3.15 2016
30 Cuba 3.08 2015
31 Iran 2.97 2016
32 Angola 2.96 2016
33 Mauritania 2.90 2016
34 Turkmenistan 2.90 1999
35 Sudan 2.83 2016
36 Chad 2.79 2016
37 Mali 2.63 2016
38 Korea 2.61 2016
39 Central African Republic 2.60 2010
40 Greece 2.58 2016
41 India 2.47 2016
42 Vietnam 2.44 2016
43 Sri Lanka 2.44 2016
44 Tunisia 2.32 2016
45 France 2.26 2016
46 Niger 2.21 2016
47 Burundi 2.21 2016
48 Ecuador 2.20 2016
49 Georgia 2.19 2016
50 Zimbabwe 2.15 2016
51 Estonia 2.15 2016
52 Australia 2.00 2016
53 Poland 1.98 2016
54 China 1.92 2016
55 Guinea 1.91 2016
56 Chile 1.87 2016
57 Togo 1.86 2016
58 Uruguay 1.85 2016
59 Serbia 1.85 2016
60 Cambodia 1.85 2016
61 Portugal 1.84 2016
62 United Kingdom 1.82 2016
63 Swaziland 1.81 2016
64 Lesotho 1.78 2016
65 Cyprus 1.76 2016
66 Senegal 1.73 2016
67 Turkey 1.71 2016
68 Bolivia 1.68 2016
69 Egypt 1.67 2016
70 Uganda 1.66 2016
71 Guinea-Bissau 1.65 2015
72 Norway 1.62 2016
73 Honduras 1.59 2016
74 Montenegro 1.54 2016
75 The Gambia 1.53 2015
76 Nepal 1.53 2016
77 Italy 1.50 2016
78 Qatar 1.50 2010
79 Lithuania 1.49 2016
80 Latvia 1.48 2016
81 Romania 1.47 2016
82 Timor-Leste 1.47 2016
83 Thailand 1.44 2016
84 Bangladesh 1.44 2016
85 Gabon 1.43 2016
86 Zambia 1.42 2016
87 Bulgaria 1.42 2016
88 Malaysia 1.41 2016
89 Guyana 1.40 2016
90 Dem. Rep. Congo 1.38 2016
91 Croatia 1.37 2016
92 Finland 1.36 2016
93 Kenya 1.32 2016
94 Brazil 1.32 2016
95 Peru 1.29 2016
96 Seychelles 1.29 2016
97 Philippines 1.28 2016
98 Burkina Faso 1.28 2016
99 Belarus 1.27 2016
100 Libya 1.26 2008
101 Paraguay 1.25 2016
102 Albania 1.24 2016
103 Tajikistan 1.22 2015
104 Rwanda 1.21 2016
105 Spain 1.20 2016
106 Cameroon 1.20 2016
107 Netherlands 1.19 2016
108 Belize 1.19 2016
109 Germany 1.18 2016
110 Côte d'Ivoire 1.17 2016
111 Venezuela 1.16 2014
112 Slovak Republic 1.15 2016
113 Denmark 1.15 2016
114 Benin 1.14 2016
115 Tanzania 1.14 2016
116 New Zealand 1.13 2016
117 Trinidad and Tobago 1.08 2016
118 South Africa 1.07 2016
119 Sweden 1.03 2016
120 Mozambique 1.03 2016
121 Czech Republic 1.00 2016
122 Hungary 1.00 2016
123 Canada 0.99 2016
124 Bosnia and Herzegovina 0.97 2016
125 Macedonia 0.97 2016
126 Fiji 0.96 2016
127 Argentina 0.96 2016
128 Japan 0.93 2016
129 Panama 0.92 1999
130 Mongolia 0.91 2016
131 Slovenia 0.90 2016
132 Afghanistan 0.89 2016
133 Indonesia 0.88 2016
134 Belgium 0.87 2016
135 El Salvador 0.87 2016
136 Jamaica 0.82 2016
137 Kazakhstan 0.80 2016
138 Sierra Leone 0.80 2016
139 Switzerland 0.70 2016
140 Ethiopia 0.67 2016
141 Austria 0.66 2015
142 Dominican Republic 0.64 2016
143 Cabo Verde 0.63 2016
144 Malawi 0.61 2016
145 Madagascar 0.59 2016
146 Liberia 0.58 2016
147 Mexico 0.58 2016
148 Nicaragua 0.55 2016
149 Uzbekistan 0.54 2003
150 Malta 0.52 2016
151 Luxembourg 0.50 2016
152 Moldova 0.44 2016
153 Nigeria 0.43 2016
154 Papua New Guinea 0.41 2016
155 Guatemala 0.39 2016
156 Ghana 0.38 2016
157 Ireland 0.33 2016
158 Lao PDR 0.19 2013
159 Mauritius 0.19 2016
160 Equatorial Guinea 0.17 2016
161 Iceland 0.12 2012
162 Haiti 0.09 1995
163 Somalia 0.00 2016

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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.