Military expenditure (% of general government expenditure) - 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 Belarus 31.90 2018
2 Eritrea 31.14 2003
3 Saudi Arabia 24.59 2018
4 Armenia 20.86 2018
5 Oman 19.00 2018
6 Pakistan 18.51 2018
7 Singapore 17.09 2018
8 United Arab Emirates 17.04 2014
9 Iran 15.78 2018
10 Lebanon 15.56 2018
11 Myanmar 15.20 2018
12 Jordan 15.02 2018
13 Turkmenistan 14.96 1999
14 Chad 14.64 2018
15 Mali 14.29 2018
16 Yemen 14.28 2014
17 Algeria 13.81 2018
18 Syrian Arab Republic 13.62 2010
19 Korea 12.35 2018
20 Colombia 11.63 2018
21 Sudan 11.54 2018
22 Russia 11.40 2018
23 Mauritania 11.19 2018
24 Israel 11.06 2018
25 Kuwait 11.01 2018
26 Azerbaijan 10.99 2018
27 Bahrain 10.93 2018
28 Libya 10.82 2014
29 Morocco 10.48 2018
30 Congo 10.44 2018
31 Bangladesh 10.16 2018
32 Sri Lanka 10.14 2018
33 Guinea 9.88 2018
34 Niger 9.49 2018
35 Angola 9.40 2018
36 Cambodia 9.17 2018
37 Gabon 9.17 2018
38 Djibouti 9.11 2008
39 United States 9.01 2018
40 Senegal 8.80 2018
41 Namibia 8.80 2018
42 India 8.74 2018
43 Ukraine 8.71 2018
44 Botswana 8.56 2018
45 Central African Republic 8.45 2018
46 Burundi 8.43 2018
47 Iraq 8.40 2018
48 Vietnam 8.10 2018
49 Burkina Faso 8.01 2018
50 Brunei 7.80 2018
51 Chile 7.41 2018
52 Togo 7.11 2018
53 Turkey 7.10 2018
54 Uganda 7.08 2018
55 Tanzania 6.91 2018
56 Tunisia 6.89 2018
57 Guinea-Bissau 6.88 2015
58 Georgia 6.61 2018
59 Honduras 6.46 2018
60 Ecuador 6.37 2018
61 Thailand 6.34 2018
62 Cameroon 6.03 2018
63 Côte d'Ivoire 5.98 2018
64 Romania 5.96 2018
65 Lithuania 5.84 2018
66 Uruguay 5.76 2018
67 Zambia 5.66 2018
68 Zimbabwe 5.61 2018
69 Peru 5.57 2018
70 China 5.49 2018
71 Dem. Rep. Congo 5.47 2018
72 Philippines 5.44 2018
73 Eswatini 5.25 2018
74 Latvia 5.19 2018
75 Estonia 5.13 2018
76 Australia 5.12 2018
77 Greece 4.92 2018
78 Qatar 4.90 2010
79 Paraguay 4.82 2018
80 Bulgaria 4.81 2018
81 Kenya 4.81 2018
82 Kazakhstan 4.77 2018
83 Poland 4.76 2018
84 Rwanda 4.68 2018
85 United Kingdom 4.62 2018
86 Nepal 4.50 2018
87 Guyana 4.39 2018
88 Kyrgyz Republic 4.39 2018
89 Serbia 4.38 2018
90 Jamaica 4.37 2018
91 Indonesia 4.29 2018
92 Cyprus 4.26 2018
93 Malaysia 4.26 2018
94 El Salvador 4.24 2018
95 Egypt 4.14 2018
96 Dominican Republic 4.14 2018
97 France 4.10 2018
98 Albania 4.08 2018
99 Portugal 4.08 2018
100 Nigeria 4.05 2018
101 Brazil 3.90 2018
102 Seychelles 3.88 2018
103 Bolivia 3.88 2018
104 Belize 3.87 2018
105 Ethiopia 3.85 2018
106 Lesotho 3.82 2018
107 Tajikistan 3.82 2015
108 Benin 3.72 2018
109 Afghanistan 3.72 2018
110 Madagascar 3.54 2018
111 Norway 3.41 2018
112 The Gambia 3.31 2018
113 Montenegro 3.24 2018
114 Mozambique 3.18 2018
115 Sierra Leone 3.15 2018
116 Canada 3.12 2018
117 Malawi 3.11 2018
118 Croatia 3.10 2018
119 Spain 3.09 2018
120 North Macedonia 3.06 2018
121 New Zealand 3.03 2018
122 Slovak Republic 3.01 2018
123 South Africa 2.95 2018
124 Netherlands 2.90 2018
125 Guatemala 2.88 2018
126 Germany 2.82 2018
127 Italy 2.77 2018
128 Czech Republic 2.76 2018
129 Bosnia and Herzegovina 2.74 2018
130 Fiji 2.71 2018
131 Finland 2.65 2018
132 Japan 2.53 2018
133 Mongolia 2.51 2018
134 Slovenia 2.48 2018
135 Trinidad and Tobago 2.41 2018
136 Denmark 2.31 2018
137 Hungary 2.23 2018
138 Nicaragua 2.17 2018
139 Sweden 2.15 2018
140 Mexico 2.08 2018
141 Switzerland 2.07 2018
142 Argentina 2.05 2018
143 Belgium 1.79 2018
144 Cabo Verde 1.76 2018
145 Ghana 1.56 2018
146 Austria 1.52 2018
147 Liberia 1.48 2018
148 Timor-Leste 1.41 2018
149 Luxembourg 1.40 2018
150 Uzbekistan 1.36 2003
151 Papua New Guinea 1.35 2018
152 Malta 1.28 2018
153 Ireland 1.26 2018
154 Moldova 0.95 2018
155 Lao PDR 0.75 2013
156 Mauritius 0.63 2018
157 Equatorial Guinea 0.58 2016
158 Haiti 0.00 2018
159 Panama 0.00 2018
159 Iceland 0.00 2018
159 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. 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. 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.