Global defense spending sees biggest spike in a decade

WASHINGTON — Global defense spending hit $1.917 trillion in 2019, a 3.6 percent increase over previous year figures and the largest increase in one year since 2010, according to the annual report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

The United States remains the world’s largest defense spender in 2019, with its $732 billion representing 38 percent of global military spending, SIPRI has reported. That was followed by China ($261 billion, at 14 percent of global total), India ($71.1 billion, at 3.7 percent), Russia ($65.1 billion, at 3.4 percent) and Saudi Arabia ($61.9 billion, at 3.2 percent).

All told, the top five nations accounted for 62 percent of overall military spending.

“Global military expenditure was 7.2 percent higher in 2019 than it was in 2010, showing a trend that military spending growth has accelerated in recent years,” SIPRI’s Nan Tian said in a statement. “This is the highest level of spending since the 2008 global financial crisis and probably represents a peak in expenditure.”

Large year-over-year increases were seen in China (5.1 percent), India (6.8 percent), Russia (4.5 percent), Germany (10 percent) and South Korea (7.5 percent).

Regionally, military spending increased in Europe by 5 percent, Asia and Oceania by 4.8 percent, the Americas by 4.7 percent, and Africa by 1.5 percent. Combined military spending by the 29 NATO member states was $1.035 trillion in 2019.

SIPRI is widely considered to be the authority on military expenditures and exports, having gathered such data for decades. Other key developments, as noted by the researchers:

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