Research by Learnbonds.com shows that global military spending hit a record high in 2019 at $1.92 trillion. This is a growth of 68/8% from $1.14 trillion recorded in 2001.
The United States outspends China
Last year’s spending represented steady growth over the last 20 years. The 2019 military expenditure was a growth of about 7.2% from 2010’s figure of $1.79 trillion. In 2018 the spend was $1.86 trillion representing a growth of 2.65% from a year earlier. Generally, over the last two decades, the total military spending was $30.95 trillion with an average of $1.63 trillion per year.
The research also determined that in 2019, the United States was the biggest spender on the military at $732 billion, representing 38% of global defense spending. At the same time, the US spend was almost three times more than China’s $261 billion. India was the third-highest spender at $71.1 billion followed by Russia at $65.1 billion while Saudi Arabia was fifth at $61.9 billion. In total the top 15 countries spent about $1.6 trillion on the military, which represents 80% of the total spending in 2019.
It also emerged that North America accounts for the highest military spending globally with 39% followed by Asia and Oceania at 27%. Europe is third with 19% followed by South America at 2.8%. Africa accounts for 2.1% of the global military spending followed by Central America and the Caribbean at 0.5%. According to the research report:
“On the other hand developing countries don’t spend much on the military since it will mean forgoing other vital aspects of the economy. Such countries have standing military but with poor public infrastructures like roads and schools. This explains why all 54 African countries combined only account for 2.1% of the global military spending.”
Based on military spending compared to the gross domestic product spend between 2001 and 2019, Saudi Arabia is top with 8% followed by Israel at 5.3%. Russia’s military spending accounts for 3.9% of the GDP followed by the United States at 3.4%. In 2019, the global GDP was $87.26 trillion, meaning the global military spending was 2.2% of the GDP.