SIPRI released Trends in world military expenditure, 2015 report

As per the report, while the USA remained as world’s biggest spender in 2015, India moved up one spot in the global rankings to reach the sixth position in terms of military expenditure.

Created On: Apr 6, 2016 18:39 ISTModified On: Apr 7, 2016 11:11 IST

SIPRIThe Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on 5 April 2016 released Trends in world military expenditure, 2015 report.

As per the report, while the USA remained as world’s biggest spender in 2015, India moved up one spot in the global rankings to reach the sixth position in terms of military expenditure.

Military Expenditure 2015

Highlights of Trends in world military expenditure, 2015

• World military expenditure totalled almost 1.7 trillion US dollars in 2015, an increase of 1 per cent in real terms from 2014. This was the first increase in military spending since 2011.

• The increase reflects continuing growth in Asia and Oceania, Central and Eastern Europe and some Middle Eastern states.

• At the same time, spending decreased in Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Thus, the global military expenditure picture is mixed.

• The United States remained by far the world’s biggest spender in 2015, despite its expenditure falling by 2.4 per cent to 596 billion US dollars.

• Among the other top spenders, China’s expenditure rose by 7.4 per cent to 215 billion US dollars, Saudi Arabia’s grew by 5.7 per cent to 87.2 billion US dollars—making it the world’s third-largest spender.

• A combination of high oil prices and new oil discoveries and exploitation has contributed to a surge in military spending in many countries around the world in the past decade.

• However, the crash in oil prices that started in 2014 has begun to reverse this trend in many oil revenue-dependent countries. Further cuts in spending are expected in 2016.

• The most dramatic oil revenue-related reductions in spending in 2015 were in Venezuela (–64 per cent) and Angola (–42 per cent).

• Decreases were also recorded in, among others, Bahrain, Brunei, Chad, Ecuador, Kazakhstan, Oman and South Sudan.

• Russia’s expenditure was lower than projected in its budget, and Saudi Arabia’s spending would have fallen but for the additional 5.3 billion US dollars cost of its military intervention in Yemen.

• Military spending in North America and Western and Central Europe has been decreasing since 2009, largely as a result of the global economic crisis, as well as the withdrawal of most US and allied troops from Afghanistan and Iraq.

• There were signs in 2015, however, that this decline was coming to an end. For example, US military spending was down by 2.4 per cent in 2015, a much slower rate of decline than in recent years.

• Military spending in Asia and Oceania rose by 5.4 per cent in 2015 and was heavily influenced by China.

• Heightening tensions between China and various countries in the region contributed to substantial increases in expenditure by Indonesia, the Philippines and Viet Nam, and triggered the start of a reversal of the long-term downward trend in Japan’s military spending.

Report with respect to India

• India moved up one spot in the global rankings to reach the sixth position in 2015 for military spending.

• India had 3.1 percent share of world military expenditure of the 15 states with the highest spending in 2015.

• India’s military spending in 2015 was 51.3 billion US dollars or 2.5 percent of national GDP. It was an increase of 0.4 percent compared to 2014.

• India plans to increase military expenditure by about 8 percent (in real terms) in 2016, partly to fund many large ongoing and planned procurement programmes.


• The Stockholm-based organisation monitors the developments in military expenditure worldwide.

• It also maintains the most comprehensive, consistent and extensive data source available in military expenditure.

• It discourages use of terms like arms spending when it refers to military expenditure as spending on armaments.

• It uses the term Military expenditure in a broad sense and refers to all government spending on current military forces and activities.

• It includes salaries and benefits, operational expenses, arms and equipment purchases, military construction, research and development, and central administration, command and support.

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