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 Libya 15.48 2014
3 Saudi Arabia 8.77 2018
4 Oman 8.17 2018
5 United Arab Emirates 5.64 2014
6 Algeria 5.27 2018
7 Kuwait 5.06 2018
8 Lebanon 4.99 2018
9 Armenia 4.78 2018
10 Jordan 4.68 2018
11 Israel 4.35 2018
12 Syrian Arab Republic 4.06 2010
13 Pakistan 4.03 2018
14 Yemen 3.97 2014
15 Russia 3.93 2018
16 Ukraine 3.78 2018
17 Azerbaijan 3.77 2018
18 Djibouti 3.69 2008
19 Bahrain 3.60 2018
20 Uzbekistan 3.56 2018
21 Namibia 3.35 2018
22 Colombia 3.17 2018
23 United States 3.16 2018
24 Singapore 3.14 2018
25 Morocco 3.10 2018
26 Mauritania 3.02 2018
27 Myanmar 2.92 2018
28 Turkmenistan 2.90 1999
29 Cuba 2.87 2017
30 Mali 2.87 2018
31 Botswana 2.78 2018
32 Iraq 2.73 2018
33 Iran 2.67 2018
34 Korea 2.62 2018
35 Congo 2.55 2018
36 Turkey 2.50 2018
37 Guinea 2.47 2018
38 Niger 2.45 2018
39 India 2.42 2018
40 Greece 2.39 2018
41 Ecuador 2.38 2018
42 Brunei 2.37 2018
43 Vietnam 2.30 2018
44 France 2.29 2018
45 Sudan 2.28 2018
46 Cambodia 2.21 2018
47 Zimbabwe 2.17 2018
48 Chad 2.13 2018
49 Tunisia 2.09 2018
50 Burkina Faso 2.06 2018
51 Estonia 2.06 2018
52 Latvia 1.98 2018
53 Poland 1.98 2018
54 Togo 1.97 2018
55 Lithuania 1.96 2018
56 Uruguay 1.95 2018
57 Georgia 1.94 2018
58 Romania 1.93 2018
59 Serbia 1.91 2018
60 Australia 1.89 2018
61 Sri Lanka 1.89 2018
62 Chile 1.89 2018
63 Burundi 1.88 2018
64 China 1.87 2018
65 Senegal 1.85 2018
66 Lesotho 1.81 2018
67 United Kingdom 1.78 2018
68 Portugal 1.78 2018
69 Angola 1.78 2018
70 Honduras 1.71 2018
71 Guyana 1.69 2018
72 Bulgaria 1.69 2018
73 Guinea-Bissau 1.64 2015
74 Norway 1.61 2018
75 Kyrgyz Republic 1.57 2018
76 Cyprus 1.57 2018
77 Montenegro 1.55 2018
78 Gabon 1.53 2018
79 Somalia 1.53 1989
80 Eswatini 1.50 2018
81 Qatar 1.50 2010
82 Bolivia 1.50 2018
83 Brazil 1.47 2018
84 Croatia 1.47 2018
85 Seychelles 1.44 2018
86 Nepal 1.44 2018
87 Uganda 1.43 2018
88 Central African Republic 1.41 2018
89 Zambia 1.40 2018
90 Finland 1.40 2018
91 Bangladesh 1.36 2018
92 Côte d'Ivoire 1.36 2018
93 Jamaica 1.35 2018
94 Italy 1.33 2018
95 Thailand 1.33 2018
96 Spain 1.27 2018
97 Belarus 1.27 2018
98 Belize 1.26 2018
99 Canada 1.25 2018
100 Cameroon 1.25 2018
101 Egypt 1.25 2018
102 Netherlands 1.24 2018
103 Germany 1.23 2018
104 Rwanda 1.23 2018
105 Kenya 1.22 2018
106 Tajikistan 1.22 2015
107 Tanzania 1.21 2018
108 Slovak Republic 1.21 2018
109 Peru 1.19 2018
110 Denmark 1.18 2018
111 Albania 1.18 2018
112 New Zealand 1.16 2018
113 Philippines 1.13 2018
114 Czech Republic 1.12 2018
115 Bosnia and Herzegovina 1.11 2018
116 Hungary 1.08 2018
117 The Gambia 1.07 2018
118 Sweden 1.04 2018
119 El Salvador 1.03 2018
120 Mozambique 0.99 2018
121 Afghanistan 0.98 2018
122 Malaysia 0.98 2018
123 South Africa 0.98 2018
124 Slovenia 0.97 2018
125 Kazakhstan 0.95 2018
126 North Macedonia 0.95 2018
127 Paraguay 0.93 2018
128 Belgium 0.93 2018
129 Japan 0.92 2018
130 Fiji 0.92 2018
131 Benin 0.86 2018
132 Argentina 0.85 2018
133 Malawi 0.85 2018
134 Sierra Leone 0.80 2018
135 Trinidad and Tobago 0.78 2018
136 Liberia 0.77 2018
137 Mongolia 0.76 2018
138 Dominican Republic 0.74 2018
139 Austria 0.74 2018
140 Indonesia 0.72 2018
141 Switzerland 0.68 2018
142 Dem. Rep. Congo 0.67 2018
143 Ethiopia 0.64 2018
144 Luxembourg 0.61 2018
145 Timor-Leste 0.61 2018
146 Nicaragua 0.61 2018
147 Madagascar 0.60 2018
148 Cabo Verde 0.55 2018
149 Mexico 0.54 2018
150 Nigeria 0.51 2018
151 Malta 0.49 2018
152 Venezuela 0.49 2017
153 Ghana 0.41 2018
154 Guatemala 0.35 2018
155 Moldova 0.35 2018
156 Ireland 0.33 2018
157 Papua New Guinea 0.27 2018
158 Lao PDR 0.19 2013
159 Equatorial Guinea 0.18 2016
160 Mauritius 0.16 2018
161 Haiti 0.00 2018
162 Panama 0.00 2018
162 Costa Rica 0.00 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). 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.