World military expenditure in 2020 is estimated to have been $1981 billion, the highest level since 1988. World military expenditure as a share of global GDP rose to 2.4 percent. This increase was largely due to the fact that most countries in the world experienced severe economic downturns in 2020 related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The five biggest spenders in 2020, which together accounted for 62 percent of global military expenditure, were the United States, China, India, Russia and the United Kingdom.
With a military budget of an estimated $778 billion, the USA remained the world’s largest spender in 2020, accounting for 39 percent of global military spending.
China, the world’s second-largest military spender in 2020, is estimated to have accounted for 13 percent of the global total.
At $72.9 billion, India’s military spending in 2020 was 2.1 percent higher than in 2019 and 34 percent higher than in 2011. It is estimated to have accounted for 3.7% of global military spending. This increase can be largely attributed to India’s ongoing conflict with Pakistan over Kashmir and renewed border tensions with China, as well as India’s more general rivalry with China as the main regional power in Asia and Oceania.
This data story highlights the findings of a report published by SIPRI, which tracks military expenditure and arms trade globally.
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