Military budget

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Military spending in 2005

A military budget (or military expenditure), also known as a defense budget, is the amount of financial resources dedicated by an entity (most often a nation or a state), to raising and maintaining an armed forces. Military budgets often reflect how strongly an entity perceives the likelihood of threats against it, or the amount of aggression it wishes to employ. It also gives an idea of how much financing should be provided for the upcoming year. The size of a budget also reflects the entity's ability to fund military activities. Factors include the size of that entity's economy, other financial demands on that entity, and the willingness of that entity's government or people to fund such military activity. Generally excluded from military expenditures is spending on internal law enforcement and disabled veteran rehabilitation.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, in 2011, world military expenditure for the world amounted to 1.735 trillion US$.[1]

World's top 15 military budgets 2013[edit]

Most of the world's largest military spenders (the United States,[2] China, Russia, France and the United Kingdom) are recognized to be world powers.

This list is based on the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Yearbook 2014 which includes a list on the world's top 15 military spenders in 2013, based on current market exchange rates.[3]

The world's top 5 military spenders in 2013.
Rank Country Spending ($ Bn.)[3] % of GDP World share (%)
World total 1747.0 2.4 100
1 United States United States 640.0 3.8 36.6
2 China People's Republic of China[a] 188.0 2.0 10.8
3 Russia Russia[a] 87.8 4.1 5.0
4 Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia[b] 67.0 9.3 3.8
5 France France 61.2 2.2 3.5
6 United Kingdom United Kingdom 57.9 2.3 3.3
7 Germany Germany[a] 48.8 1.4 2.8
8 Japan Japan 48.6 1.0 2.8
9 India India 47.4 2.5 2.7
10 South Korea South Korea 33.9 2.8 1.9
11 Italy Italy[a] 32.7 1.6 1.9
12 Brazil Brazil 31.5 1.4 1.8
13 Australia Australia 24.0 1.6 1.4
14 Turkey Turkey 19.1 2.3 1.1
15 United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates[a][c] 19.0 4.7 1.1
  1. ^ a b c d e SIPRI estimate.
  2. ^ The figures for Saudi Arabia include expenditure for public order and safety and might be slightly overestimated.
  3. ^ Data for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is for 2012, as figures for 2013 are not available.

Historic expenditure[edit]


In the Saturday Review magazine in February 1898, indicates that the percentage of tax revenue spent on military budgets as follows:


In 2004, the yearly report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute showed that the purchase of military products by NATO member nations during the year 2003 rose by 11 percent, compared to 2002 (6.5 percent in volume). In some countries, this budget had been increased to the level maintained during the Cold War. The military budget of the United States lead this increase. U.S. purchases accounted for 47% of world military expenditure in 2003. A total of about US$415 billion.[4] Additional funding for the War in Iraq and the supplementary expense of US$83 billion accounted for much of the increase. Other spending accounted for only 3.5 percent of it.

The military budgets of the United Kingdom, France and Italy represented about 15% of world military spending. France and the United Kingdom increased their equipment expenses, so as not only to act in US military operations with the same technological level of their ally, but also to be able to act independently in smaller military campaigns. (Such as was seen in the Libya).

Among non-NATO nations, Japan spent US$46.9 billion in 2003, The People's Republic of China, US$32.8 billion, and Russia, US$13 billion. As a percentage share of world military spending this represented 5%, 4%, and 1%, respectively.[5][6]

Political science and economics[edit]

The effects of military expenditure on a nation's economy and society, and what determines military expenditure, are notable issues in political science and economics. There are controversial findings and theories regarding these topics. Generally, some suggest military expenditure is a boost to local economies.[7] Still, others maintain military expenditure is a drag on development.[8]

Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS)[edit]

Every year in April is the Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS), which aims to gather people and create a global movement that persuades governments to reallocate their military spending to essential human needs such as food, education, health care, social services and environmental concerns.[9]

See also[edit]


Further Reading[edit]

External links[edit]