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The World’s Biggest Arms Importers


This article is published in collaboration with Statista

by Anna Fleck


Qatar was the world’s biggest arms importer in 2022, according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Last year, its imports of weapons accounted for 10.4 percent of all global imports, even outpacing India (8.9 percent) and Ukraine (8.3 percent), which has been regularly supported with arms deliveries by an international alliance since the start of the Russian invasion last year.


When looking at the main importers of arms over a five year average (2018-2022), India was the biggest arms importer with a global share of 11 percent, followed by Saudi Arabia (9.6 percent), Qatar (6.4 percent), Australia (4.7 percent) and China (4.6 percent).


In terms of the main exporters over that time, the top five were the United States (40 percent of the global share), Russia (16 percent), France (11 percent), China (5.2 percent) and Germany (4.2 percent).


Regionally, Africa, the Americas, Asia and Oceania and the Middle East all saw a decrease from 2013-2017 to 2018-2022. Only Europe bucked this trend, with a 47 percent increase in the flow of arms to the continent.


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