World military expenditure is estimated to have been $1686 billion in 2016, equivalent to 2.2 per cent of the global gross domestic product (GDP) or $227 per person.
The 2016 estimate is a marginal increase of about 0.4 per cent in real terms on 2015
The top 15 countries with the highest military spending in 2016 were the same as those in 2015, although there were some changes in their ranking .
The 15 largest spenders account for $1360 billion, or 81 per cent, of total global spending.
Between 2007 and 2016, China has seen the biggest growth in military spending, with an increase of 118 per cent, followed by Russia (87 per cent) and India (54 per cent).
In the same period, Italy (–16 per cent), the United Kingdom (–12 per cent) and the United States (–4.8 per cent) were the only countries in the top 15 to see their military expenditure fall.
In 2016, total US military expenditure of $611 billion is over one-third (36 per cent) of world military expenditure. This is nearly three times the level of China’s spending, which is ranked second.
US military spending grew by 1.7 per cent between 2015 and 2016, the fi rst increase after fi ve consecutive years of decline. Despite this slight growth, US military spending remains 20 per cent lower than its peak in 2010. The small upturn in 2016 can be attributed to legisla tion adopted in 2013 and 2015, which eased the budget limits imposed in 2011. However, given the context of the presidential election and the inability of the US Congress and the White House to reach agreement on a budget to be implemented on 1 October 2016, there is uncertainty about short-term developments in the country’s military expenditure.
As a result of an unexpected increase in Russia’s military expenditure in late 2016 and large cuts to Saudi Arabia’s military budget, Russia moved above Saudi Arabia to the position of third largest spender in 2016.
India moved from 7th to 5th place after its largest annual spending increase since 2009. Meanwhile, both the UK and Brazil dropped one place in the rankings.
The UK fell from 6th to 7th—a move largely attributed to the devaluation of the British pound following the result of a refer endum on the country’s