(Stockholm, 24 April 2023) Total global military expenditure increased by 3.7 per cent in real terms in 2022, to reach a new high of $2240 billion. Military expenditure in Europe saw its steepest year-on-year increase in at least 30 years. The three largest spenders in 2022—the United States, China and Russia—accounted for 56 per cent of the world total, according to new data on global military spending published today by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
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Invasion of Ukraine and tensions in East Asia drive increased spending
World military spending grew for the eighth consecutive year in 2022 to an all-time high of $2240 billion. By far the sharpest rise in spending (+13 per cent) was seen in Europe and was largely accounted for by Russian and Ukrainian spending. However, military aid to Ukraine and concerns about a heightened threat from Russia strongly influenced many other states’ spending decisions, as did tensions in East Asia.
‘The continuous rise in global military expenditure in recent years is a sign that we are living in an increasingly insecure world,’ said Dr Nan Tian, Senior Researcher with SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme. ‘States are bolstering military strength in response to a deteriorating security environment, which they do not foresee improving in the near future.’
Cold war levels of military expenditure return to Central and Western Europe
Military expenditure by states in Central and Western Europe totalled $345 billion in 2022. In real terms, spending by these states for the first time surpassed that in 1989, as the cold war was ending, and was 30 per cent higher than in 2013. Several states significantly increased their military spending following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, while others announced plans to raise spending levels over periods of up to a decade.
What’s driving up global military spending? (AJE, text and video)