In 2022, the United States maintained its position with the highest military spending worldwide, allocating 877 billion U.S. dollars to its defence budget. This accounted for nearly 40 percent of global military expenditure, which amounted to 2.2 trillion U.S. dollars that year. Read more.
However, when considering military spending as a percentage of GDP, the United States ranked lower than several other countries, including Saudi Arabia, Israel, Qatar, Algeria, and Russia. The U.S. military expenditure represented approximately 3.5 percent of its gross domestic product.
China secured the second spot regarding military spending, with an estimated expenditure of 292 billion U.S. dollars, while Russia followed closely behind in third place.
Looking ahead, the U.S. Congressional Budget Office projects that defence outlays will increase from 746 billion U.S. dollars in 2022 to 1.1 trillion U.S. dollars by 2033. The most significant portions of the budget are allocated to the Navy and the Air Force Departments.
Additionally, between 2013 and 2022, the United States is expected to spend 392 billion U.S. dollars on nuclear weapons, 97 billion U.S. dollars on missile defences, and 100 billion U.S. dollars on environmental and health costs.
Global military spending has experienced steady growth in recent years, reaching 2.24 trillion U.S. dollars in 2022. This upward trend can be attributed to various factors, including the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war in 2022 and increasing tensions in the South China Sea. Regarding regional distribution, North America is the leading region worldwide regarding military expenditure.
It is worth noting that military spending varies across countries as a percentage of total government spending. In 2021, the average value based on 142 countries was 6.22 percent. The country with the highest proportion of military spending about total government spending was Belarus, with 30 percent, while the lowest was Mauritius, with 0.52 percent.