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Global military spending in 2023 surges amid war, rising tensions and insecurity – SIPRI report

World Press

Total global military expenditure reached $2,443 trillion in 2023, an increase of 6.8 per cent in real terms from 2022. This was the steepest year-on-year increase since 2009. The 10 largest spenders in 2023—led by the United States, China and Russia—all increased their military spending, according to new data on global military spending published today by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

For the first time since 2009, military expenditure went up in all five of the geographical regions defined by SIPRI, with particularly large increases recorded in Europe, Asia and Oceania and the Middle East. 

In 2023 the 31 NATO members accounted for $1,341 trillion, equal to 55 per cent of the world’s military expenditure. Military spending by the USA rose by 2.3 per cent to reach $916 billion in 2023, representing 68 per cent of total NATO military spending. In 2023 most European NATO members increased their military expenditure. Their combined share of the NATO total was 28 per cent, the highest in a decade. The remaining 4 per cent came from Canada and Türkiye.

China, the world’s second largest military spender, allocated an estimated $296 billion to the military in 2023, an increase of 6.0 per cent from 2022. This was the 29th consecutive year-on-year rise in China’s military expenditure. China accounted for half of total military spending across the Asia and Oceania region. Several of China’s neighbours have linked their own spending increases to China’s rising military expenditure. 

Russia’s military spending increased by 24 per cent to an estimated $109 billion. In 2023 Russia’s military spending made up 16 per cent of total government spending and its military burden (military spending as a share of gross domestic product, GDP) was 5.9 per cent. 

Ukraine was the eighth largest spender in 2023, after a spending surge of 51 per cent to reach $64.8 billion. This gave Ukraine a military burden of 37 per cent and represented 58 per cent of total government spending. Ukraine’s military spending in 2023 was 59 per cent the size of Russia’s. However, Ukraine also received at least $35 billion in military aid during the year, including $25.4 billion from the USA. Combined, this aid and Ukraine’s own military spending were equivalent to about 91 per cent of Russian spending.

India was the fourth largest military spender globally in 2023. At $83.6 billion, its military expenditure was 4.2 per cent higher than in 2022.

Estimated military expenditure in the Middle East increased by 9.0 per cent to $200 billion in 2023. This was the highest annual growth rate in the region seen in the past decade. 

Israel’s military spending - the second largest in the region after Saudi Arabia - grew by 24 per cent to reach $27.5 billion in 2023. The spending increase was mainly driven by Israel’s large-scale offensive in Gaza in response to the attack on southern Israel by Hamas in October 2023. 

See the full report here.

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