Talk:List of countries by military expenditures

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GDP on the SIPRI list[edit]

Some of the expenditures as a % of GDP's on the SIPRI list aren't mentioned in either of the sources given in this article, so I'd like to know how they were estimated - that is, with whose estimates of GDP; the IMF's, World Bank's, or UN's? Example: Oman, it's military expenditure is listed as being 9.9 billion in 2015, in the second source, but it's % of GDP isn't listed in the first source (which some of them are). The second source lists no %'s of GDP that are the military expenditures. What is odd is that the IMF lists Omans GDP as 64.1 billion (USD) in 2015, the World Bank lists it as 70.3, and and the UN as 81.8. Calculating the expenditure as a % of GDP using these three estimates would give us 15.4, 14.1, and 12.1% respectively, leading me to the conclusion that another estimate was used. Jahelistbro (talk) 22:48, 10 April 2017 (UTC)

Figure confusing? military expenditures absolute vs. relative to GDP[edit]

I've opened a new section for this discussion about the figure at the top of the page because it does not touch on the topic "old vs. new figure" but rather "should we change the current figure/should we add another figure?" Pipping (talk) 20:39, 11 May 2017 (UTC)

I have a vague objection to this figure as it isn't really the millitary expenditure, it's the millitary expenditure/gdp. This makes it seem like Russia is the biggest spender(as these sort of graphs are usually X per capita or area), which isn't true by a long shot, but only becomes clear if you know the GDP of Russia. I think a clearer diagram would be the direct spending amount. Does anybody else agree? byo (talk) 06:14, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

Maybe we should include both? Jahelistbro (talk) 17:32, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
It's worth pointing out that e.g. targets for military spending have in the past been formulated as (1% of the GDP) or (2% of the GDP). So talking about military spending relative to the GDP is not at all an unusual concept. Pipping (talk) 22:37, 11 May 2017 (UTC)
I've taken a stab at this. I've had to use a logarithmic color map and treat spending above or below a certain threshold as identical so that one would still be able to see something. I obtained the data by taking the earlier data (which is expressed in % of the GDP) and multiplying it by the GDP of that country, from the same year, in today's US dollars (divided by 100 to cancel the percent). This is the result (see below). (This produces no data for Venezuela because the world bank does not have the GDP of that country for 2014) Pipping (talk) 12:15, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

2014 militrary expenditures absolute.svg

I've now gone ahead and added it to the actual article. Pipping (talk) 14:43, 20 May 2017 (UTC)
A nation's military strength is determined by the absolute military budget number, not by the average. Hence, all important international organisations give absolute numbers first.Ghatus (talk) 12:44, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
Thank you for your reply. I'm afraid your reasoning is not without flaw and not entirely relevant, though. It also does not fully explain why you reverted my change. Here's why:
  • It's not that simple: Yes, maintaining a large army comes with a certain cost. But so does growing it. You cannot tell the strength of an army in the year 2014 by its military spending in 2014. Not without knowing how much of the spending went into new acquisitions.
  • This article is about military expenditures, not about military strength (which would be much harder to gauge anyway -- what's stronger, a thousand foot soldiers or a tank?).
  • If your point is that absolute spending is more important than spending relative to the GDP then reverting my change (which added a figure with absolute spending) and taking us back to a state with spending relative to the GDP only, makes the situation worse and not better. Here I'm assuming that you intentionally undid the addition of a world map with absolute expenditures. Yes, I also removed the bar chart that shows the top five in absolute spending because otherwise the article would have become too crowded but I saw that as no great loss because that information is easily obtained from the tables.
  • Finally, I do not know what kind of average you are referring to. Neither the figure with absolute expenditures nor the one with expenditures relative to GDP contain any kind of averaging.
Pipping (talk) 20:49, 28 May 2017 (UTC)

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North Korea[edit]

Shouldn't there be some explanation for the absence of any figures on North Korea? James Galloway (talk) 15:23, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

Is the absence of Per Capita spending and most nations intentional?[edit]

Is there a reason to not include per capita military spending? Using spending as a % of GDP doesn't give the whole picture since GDP per capita is far from constant. Since military spending comes from public money, this gives a different and meaningful way of understanding military spending by expressing what an average citizen pays their government annually to build, maintain, and operate its military (which neither %GDP nor absolute spending conveys).

The SIPRI military database has this information, and has information for a much wider range of nations than are included in the article: [1]

Is there a reason this page is so anemic? I'll expand it in the next few days unless I hear a good reason it excludes presumptively relevant information. (talk) 18:22, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

I'm happy to see you bring this up. I was thinking about per-capita spending only this week. It gives a rather different perspective on a few of the numbers. So e.g. when evaluating the calls for Nato members like Germany to increase their military spending it's worth noting that while e.g. Russia spends noticeably more in absolute terms and considerably more relative to its GDP, in terms of per-capita spending, Russia is on the same level as e.g. Germany. I've taken the world bank data for 2015 on
* GDP per capita [USD]
* Military expenditure [% of GDP]
and multiplied them together to obtain
country GDP [10^6 USD] mil. exp. [%GDP] GDP p. cap. [USD] mil. exp. p. cap. [USD] mil. exp. [10^6 USD]
France 2,418,835.53 ~2.1 36,352.5 ~760 ~51000
Germany 3,363,446.82 ~1.2 41,178.5 ~490 ~40000
Poland 477,066.45 ~2.2 12,558.9 ~280 ~10000
Russia 1,365,865.25 ~4.9 9,329.3 ~460 ~67000
Turkey 717,879.79 ~2.1 9,125.7 ~190 ~15000
United Kingdom 2,861,090.73 ~1.9 43,929.7 ~830 ~54000
So maybe another table or figure that shows things like that would be good. Is there a good reason to prefer the SIPRI data to the world bank data or vice versa btw? Pipping (talk) 11:19, 1 June 2017 (UTC)