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The Countries With the Highest Military Expenditure


This article is published in collaboration with Statista

by Anna Fleck


Global defense spending surpassed the two trillion U.S. dollar mark for the first time in 2021, hitting $2,113 billion, according to the latest report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The figure marks a 0.7 percent increase from the 2020 total, and a 12 percent hike since 2012. The pandemic seemingly did not stop the rising trend in military spending seen since 2015.


The U.S. took the lead as the biggest defense spender in 2021, financing their military with $801 billion. This makes up 38 percent of the world’s military spending that year. China came in at second place, making up 14 percent of the global budget, with the equivalent of an estimated $293 billion. Meanwhile, Russia’s spending hit $65.9 billion, showing an increase for the third year in a row, seeing a rise of 2.9 percent from 2020. According to the SIPRI report, Russia’s military budget includes funding for operational costs as well as arms procurements. Meanwhile, the UK moved up two places since the year before, spending $68.4 billion on defense, which is 3 percent more from the figure in 2020. It is the fourth consecutive year of growing military spending for the United Kingdom.


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