Largest Military Spenders in 2021: The world military expenditure touched all-time high of USD 2.1 trillion in 2021, as per a statement by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on April 25, 2022. The institute added saying that the United States, China and India were the largest military spenders in the world in 2021.
The top 5 largest military spenders in 2021 were the United States, China, India, the United Kingdom and Russia, which together accounted for almost 62 percent of the world military expenditure, said the Stockholm institute. The total world military expenditure increased by 0.7 percent in real termsin 2021 to touch record high of USD 2113 billion.
The world military spending touched record levels even amid the economic crisis faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, noted Dr. Diego Lopes da Silva, Senior Researcher with SIPRI's Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme.
World Military Expenditure
The world military expenditure increased by 0.7 percent in real terms in 2021, while in nominal terms, it grew by 6.1 percent. There was a slowdown in the rate of real-term growth of military expenditure due to high inflation.
The defence spending amounted to 2.2 percent of global GDP amid economic recovery from COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. In 2020, the military spending had reached 2.3 percent of global GDP.
Top 5 Largest Military Spenders in 2021
1. United States
The US military spending reached USD 801 billion in 2021, which shows a drop of 1.4 per cent in comparison to 2020. The United States has increased funding for military research and development by 24 percent and reduced spending on purchase of arms by 6.4 percent between 2012 and 2021.
China spent USD 293 billion on military expenditure in 2021, which shows an increase of 4.7 percent in comparison to 2020.
India's military spending was recorded to be at USD 76.6 billion in 2021, which shows an increase of 0.9 percent in comparison to 2020 and an increase of 33 percent in comparison to 2012. India's military spending in 2021 has been ranked the third-largest in the world.
Amid the nation's push to strengthen the indigenous arms industry, the government earmarked 64 per cent of capital outlays in the military budget of 2021 for acquisitions of domestically produced arms.
4. United Kingdom
The United Kingdom's military spending was recorded at USD 68.4 billion in 2021, which shows an increase of 3 percent since 2020.
Russia's military spending was recorded to be USD 65.9 billion in 2021, which shows an increase of 2.9 percent since 2020.This comes at a time when Russia was increasing its troop strength along the Ukrainian border, preparing itself for its military assault. Russia's military expenditure registered a growth for the third consecutive year and reached 4.1 percent of GDP in 2021.
According to Lucie Beraud-Sudreau, Director of SIPRI's Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme, high energy prices helped Russia increase its military spending in 2021. Sudreau added that Russia had experienced a decrease in the military spending between 2016-2019 due to low prices of oil and gas as well as sanctions imposed on Russia.
SIPRI Military Expenditure Database
SIPRI monitors the developments in military expenditure across the world and maintains the most comprehensive, extensive and consistent publicly available data source on military expenditure.
The comprehensive database can be accessed here- www.sipri.org.