However, as a percentage of the total global economy, global defense spending fell by 0.1 percentage point. The global economy grew faster than defense spending in 2021, as a result of all the economic stimulus measures related to the coronavirus pandemic. Global defense spending will still represent 2.2% of the total global economy in 2021, according to the SIPRI Institute.
The five countries that spent the most money on their military in 2021 were the United States, China, India, Great Britain and Russia. Russia’s spending in preparation for the war in Ukraine rose 2.9 percent to $65.9 billion (61 billion euros). This brought Russian defense spending to 4.1% of GDP. The question is whether Russia can continue to incur such exorbitant military expenditures in the near future. International sanctions, imposed due to the war in Ukraine, have severely damaged the Russian economy.
On the other hand, many NATO member states have announced that they will increase their defense spending due to the war in Ukraine. The Stockholm International Institute therefore expects the global increase to continue in the coming years.
The United States spent the most money on defense in 2021: $801 billion (€742 billion). That was 3.5 percent of US GDP that year. In 2020, US defense spending was still 3.7% of the country’s total economy.
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