Global military spending reached a record $1,464 billion last year with the United States taking up by far the biggest share of the total. Arms shipments were up 4 percent worldwide from 2007 and 45 percent higher than in 1999. The United States accounted for 58 percent of the worldwide increase between 1999 and 2008. China and Russia both nearly tripled their military spending over the decade. Other countries such as India, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Israel, Brazil, South Korea, Algeria and Britain also contributed substantially to the total increase. Last year’s military spending comprised about 2.4 percent of global gross domestic product, corresponding to $217 per capita.
From The Economist:
Israel spends most on defence relative to its population, shelling out over $2,300 a person, over $300 more than America. Small and rich countries, and notably Gulf states, feature prominently by this measure. Saudi Arabia ranks ninth in absolute spending, but sixth by population. China has increased spending by 10% to $85 billion to become the world’s second largest spender. But it is still dwarfed by America, whose outlay of $607 billion is higher than that of the next 14 biggest spenders combined.
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