Despite pandemic, global military spending increased by 2.6%

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) in its latest report has said that Global military spending increased by 2.6% to $1,981 billion in 2020, when global GDP shrank 4.4%. 

The 2.6 per cent increase in world military spending came in a year when global gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 4.4 per cent (October 2020 projection by the International Monetary Fund), largely due to the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, military spending as a share of GDP—the military burden—reached a global average of 2.4 per cent in 2020, up from 2.2 per cent in 2019. This was the biggest year-on-year rise in the military burden since the global financial and economic crisis in 2009. 

According to SIPRI, the five biggest spenders in 2020, which together accounted for 62 per cent of global military expenditure, were the United States, China, India, Russia and the United Kingdom. 

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