Appendix 5A. Military expenditure data, 1999–2008

PETTER STÅLENHEIM, NOEL KELLY, CATALINA PERDOMO, SAM PERLO-FREEMAN AND ELISABETH SKÖNS

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Appendix 5A contains tables of military expenditure by region, country and income group, in local currency and constant dollars, and as a share of GDP for the period 1999–2008.

Summary

SIPRI military expenditure figures are based on information available in open sources, primarily supplied by governments. They represent a low estimate; the true level of military spending is certainly higher, due to omitted countries and items of spending. Nonetheless, SIPRI estimates capture the great majority of global military spending and accurately represent overall trends.

Military expenditure, by region, 2008
     

Region
Spending,
2008 ($ b.)
Increase,
1999–2008 (%)
Africa 20.4 +40 
  North Africa 7.8 +94 
  Sub-Saharan 12.6 +19 
Americas 603   
+64 
  Caribbean ..
  Central America 4.5 +21 
  North America 564  
+66 
  South America 34.1 +50 
Asia and Oceania 206  
+52 
  Central Asia .. .. 
  East Asia 157  
+56 
  Oceania 16.6 +36 
  South Asia 30.9 +41 
Europe 320  
+14 
  Eastern 43.6 +174 
  West and Central 277  
+5 
Middle East 75.6 +56 
World total
1226  
+45
To allow comparison over time, the above spending figures are in US dollars at constant (2005) prices.
The top 10 military spenders, 2008
 

Rank

Country
Spending
($ b.)
World
share (%)
  1 USA 607    
41.5
  2 China [84.9] [5.8]
  3 France 65.7 
4.5
  4 UK 65.3 
4.5
  5 Russia [58.6] [4.0]
  6 Germany 46.8 
3.2
  7 Japan 46.3 
3.2
  8 Italy 40.6 
2.8
  9 Saudi Arabia
38.2 
2.6
10 India 30    
2.1
  World total
1464    
 
[ ] = SIPRI estimate. The spending figures are in current US dollars.

The 10 biggest spenders in 2008 are the same as in 2007, although some rankings have changed. In particular, in 2008 China was for the first time the world’s second highest military spender and France narrowly overtook the UK.

SIPRI uses market exchange rates to convert national military expenditure figures into US dollars, as this provides the most easily measurable standard by which international comparisons of military spending can be made. An alternative would be to convert figures using purchasing power parity (PPP) exchange rates. If GDP-based PPP rates were used in the above table, Russia would move up to third place, India to fourth and Saudi Arabia to sixth, after the UK. While the USA would still be far ahead, its relative dominance would diminish.

 

This data is obtained from the SIPRI Military Expenditure Database.

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