The financial value of the global arms trade
The only means of making assessments of the financial value of the arms trade is to rely on official data provided by governments and industry bodies. There are significant limitations on using official national data in this way. First, there is no internationally agreed definition of what constitutes ‘arms’ and governments use different lists when collecting and reporting data on the financial value of their arms exports. Second, there is no standardized methodology concerning how to collect and report such data, with some states reporting on export licences issued or used and other states using data collected from customs agencies. Third, a number of states produce more than one data set based on different lists of goods or different methodologies.
The data available on this page are based on reports by, direct quotes from, or direct communication with, governments or official industry bodies. All information is available for use free of charge on condition that the user rules are abided by.
Value of the global arms trade
According to the SIPRI Arms Transfers Database, the countries that produce official data on their arms exports account for over 90% of the total volume of deliveries of major conventional weapons. By adding together the financial value of their arms exports, it is possible to arrive at a rough estimate of the financial value of the global arms trade.
The countries included in this table are those that provide official financial data on the financial value of either ‘arms exports’, ‘contracts signed for arms exports’, ‘arms export orders placed’ or ‘licences for arms exports’ for a majority years covered and where the average of the values given exceeds $10 million.
For certain countries and certain years official data are unavailable and estimates have been made on the assumption that the rate of change in an individual country for which data are missing is the same as the average in the sample as a whole. Before calculating the world total, all national figures have been converted to calendar years, assuming equal distribution during the relevant years.
Figures are in US$ m., at constant (2007) prices. Conversion to constant (2007) US dollars is made using the market exchange rates of the reporting year and the US consumer price index (CPI).
NB - No estimate of the total financial value of the global arms trade can be given for more recent years since Israel and the United Kingdom—two of the largest arms exporters (in terms of officially reported financial value)—have not released data on the financial value of their arms exports for 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Values by supplier country
The first file presents all available national data on arms exports between 1994 and 2010. The data are presented in the relevant national currency in current values. Sources refer to the five previous figures listed, beginning with the most recent.
The financial value of national arms exports, 1994-2010 (xls - 88kb)
The next two files present data on the financial value of countries' arms exports from 1998 to 2010 converted into US$. In the first file figures are in US$ m. at current prices. Conversion to US$ is made using the market exchange rates (MERs) of the reporting year. In the second file figures are in US$ m. at constant (2010) prices. Conversion to constant (2010) US dollars is made using the market exchange rates of the reporting year and the US consumer price index (CPI).
The countries included in the table are those that provide official data on the financial value of ‘arms exports’, ‘licences for arms exports’ or ‘arms export agreements’ for at least 6 of the 10 years and for which the average of the values given exceeds $10 million. Sources refer to the five previous figures listed, beginning with the most recent.
To be able to open the files Excel is needed. If you have any difficulties please contact the Arms Transfers Programme.
The financial value of national arms exports, 2001-2010, in current US$ (xls - 48kb)
The financial value of national arms exports, 2001-2010, in constant (2010) US$ (xls - 56kb)