Military expenditure (% of central 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 Equatorial Guinea 52.20 2009
2 Oman 42.93 2013
3 Syrian Arab Republic 22.95 2009
4 Azerbaijan 22.63 2015
5 Singapore 21.62 2016
6 Mali 21.37 2016
7 Lebanon 19.59 2015
8 Pakistan 18.65 2011
9 Bahrain 17.73 2013
10 Russia 17.48 2016
11 Armenia 16.90 2015
12 Bangladesh 16.21 2015
13 China 16.08 2008
14 Iran 15.39 2009
15 Israel 15.21 2015
16 Angola 14.92 2015
17 India 14.86 2013
18 Algeria 14.65 2011
19 Burundi 14.59 2013
20 United States 14.44 2016
21 Sri Lanka 14.41 2016
22 Cambodia 14.22 2016
23 Iraq 14.09 2016
24 Jordan 13.79 2013
25 Congo 13.59 2010
26 Central African Republic 13.46 2010
27 Namibia 12.53 2015
28 Uganda 12.09 2016
29 Lithuania 11.85 2015
30 Côte d'Ivoire 11.60 2014
31 Colombia 11.30 2015
32 Kyrgyz Republic 11.21 2016
33 Ukraine 10.95 2016
34 Korea 10.58 2015
35 Ethiopia 10.31 2011
36 Dem. Rep. Congo 10.18 2010
37 Morocco 10.15 2011
38 Vietnam 10.10 2013
39 Nigeria 9.33 2013
40 Nepal 9.24 2016
41 Kuwait 9.24 2015
42 Zimbabwe 9.20 2012
43 Philippines 9.11 2016
44 Zambia 8.52 2011
45 Georgia 8.52 2016
46 Togo 8.38 2016
47 Swaziland 8.31 2012
48 Chile 8.30 2016
49 Sierra Leone 8.27 2014
50 Malaysia 8.22 2015
51 Peru 8.17 2015
52 Qatar 8.01 2010
53 Burkina Faso 7.92 2016
54 Bolivia 7.73 2007
55 Botswana 7.68 2014
56 Thailand 7.51 2016
57 Australia 7.40 2016
58 Benin 7.36 2013
59 Senegal 6.94 2016
60 Honduras 6.87 2015
61 Paraguay 6.60 2015
62 Rwanda 6.33 2016
63 Poland 6.25 2015
64 Turkey 6.11 2015
65 Madagascar 6.10 2014
66 Spain 6.06 2015
67 Indonesia 5.89 2016
68 Kenya 5.81 2015
69 Tanzania 5.69 2014
70 Fiji 5.68 2013
71 Canada 5.66 2016
72 Japan 5.44 2015
73 Uruguay 5.36 2014
74 Serbia 5.34 2012
75 Albania 5.16 2016
76 Kazakhstan 5.10 2016
77 Egypt 5.00 2013
78 United Kingdom 4.88 2015
79 Greece 4.75 2015
80 Bulgaria 4.73 2015
81 Lesotho 4.72 2013
82 France 4.70 2015
83 El Salvador 4.65 2015
84 The Gambia 4.59 2009
85 Romania 4.44 2015
86 Belize 4.35 2014
87 Cyprus 4.33 2015
88 Belarus 4.27 2016
89 Tunisia 4.26 2012
90 Germany 4.19 2015
91 Macedonia 4.17 2012
92 Croatia 4.07 2014
93 Portugal 4.02 2015
94 Switzerland 4.01 2016
95 Norway 3.88 2015
96 Seychelles 3.87 2016
97 Mozambique 3.75 2012
98 Dominican Republic 3.74 2016
99 Brazil 3.73 2015
100 Guatemala 3.62 2013
101 New Zealand 3.61 2016
102 Mongolia 3.54 2013
103 Argentina 3.48 2016
104 Sweden 3.39 2015
105 Malawi 3.37 2016
106 Nicaragua 3.33 2016
107 Italy 3.24 2015
108 Finland 3.24 2015
109 Timor-Leste 3.17 2015
110 Jamaica 3.13 2016
111 South Africa 3.07 2015
112 Liberia 2.99 2013
113 Czech Republic 2.88 2015
114 Netherlands 2.82 2015
115 Bosnia and Herzegovina 2.75 2016
116 Denmark 2.74 2015
117 Slovak Republic 2.73 2015
118 Mexico 2.66 2016
119 Latvia 2.46 2015
120 Slovenia 2.22 2015
121 Belgium 2.21 2015
122 Cabo Verde 2.16 2009
123 Hungary 2.15 2015
124 Papua New Guinea 2.14 2016
125 Trinidad and Tobago 2.06 2014
126 Ghana 1.86 2010
127 Austria 1.44 2015
128 Moldova 1.40 2016
129 Malta 1.31 2015
130 Ireland 1.27 2015
131 Luxembourg 1.24 2015
132 Lao PDR 1.13 2013
133 Mauritius 0.79 2016
134 Iceland 0.36 2012

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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.