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Trends in World Military Expenditure, 2021

In 2021 world military expenditure surpassed the two trillion US dollar mark for the first time, reaching $2113 billion. Global spending in 2021 was 0.7 per cent higher than in 2020 and 12 per cent higher than in 2012. The economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have not ended the continuous upward trend in world military expenditure seen since 2015. As a result of the strong economic recovery across the globe in 2021, world military spending as a share of world gross domestic product—the global military burden—reached 2.2 per cent, down from 2.3 per cent in 2020. Average military spending as a share of government expenditure in 2021 remained the same as in 2020, at 5.9 per cent.

This Fact Sheet presents regional and national military expenditure data for 2021 and highlights trends over the decade 2012–21. The data comes from the updated SIPRI Military Expenditure Database, which provides military spending data by country for the years 1949–2021.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)/EDITORS

Xiao Liang is a Research Assistant with the SIPRI Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme.
Alexandra Marksteiner is a Researcher in the SIPRI Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme.
Dr Lucie Béraud-Sudreau is Director of the Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme.
Dr Diego Lopes da Silva is a Senior Researcher with the SIPRI Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme.
Dr Nan Tian is a Senior Researcher with the SIPRI Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme.