The 10 countries that spend the most on the military are evidence of a lack of trust between nations. Nowadays, countries spend more on military instead on things that could help improve the world, such as spending on food, as evidenced by the 25 countries that spend the most on food. Everywhere we look, we see war. In fact, according to the New York Times, in the past 3,400 years the world has only known peace for just 268 years or 8% of the total time period.
Look around now, and you’ll see the recent conflict in Syria, fighting between Palestine and Israel, the Arab uprising and tensions between the United States and Russia. In the last century, over 100 million people have been killed in wars. In order to ensure that their citizens aren’t part of that figure, most countries spend a significant portion of their budget on their militaries.
We tried to find out which countries have emphasized more on militaries when compared to others to determine their ranking. For this purpose, we used studies conducted by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. The studies determined which countries spend the most on the military as well as the country that spend the most on their military as a percentage of their GDP. We used both the criteria to create our ranking. Using multiple criteria helps cancel out the biases present in any given criteria, allowing us to establish an accurate ranking.
A surprising exclusion to this list lies in the fact that China isn’t mentioned. This is due to the fact that while it spends the most on its military after the US, total military spending only makes up a minor part of its budget.
Total annual spending on military (in $US billion): 47,398
Ranking according to total annual spending on military: 9
Spending on military as a percentage of GDP: 2.5%
Ranking according to spending on military as a percentage of GDP: 30