Economy

These NATO Countries Are Not Even Close to US Military Spending on Defense: Every Country Ranked

Estonian Foreign Ministry

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is running independently in the upcoming United States presidential election and recently made the campaign promise to cut the military budget in half. His plan is to redistribute those funds to infrastructure, education, health, rebuild the economy, and increase small business support. A portion of the current US military budget is allocated to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, a group founded in 1949 comprised of 32 countries from Europe and North America. The organization is founded on the “principle of collective defence, meaning that if one NATO Ally is attacked, then all NATO Allies are attacked.”

In 2014, at the annual NATO Summit held in Wales, members pledged to contribute 2% of GDP (gross domestic product) by 2024. With the deadline looming, only 12 countries involved in the alliance have met this goal. NATO officials feel strongly that the number will only increase by year’s end. The pledge of defense funds is only a portion of a country’s commitment when they join. They also provide troops and equipment to become “NATO forces,” give funds to run the organization, and are enlisted to defend one another should any member country come under attack.

The United States GDP in 2023 was equal to all other members combined, and they were only 2nd to Poland in the amount allocated to the collective. The pledge to contribute to NATO has long been a point of contention for the United States since they are among the few countries providing the lion’s share of funds. Notably, former President Donald Trump “encouraged” Russian forces to attack NATO members who did not spend enough. Trump is not the only former president to make note of this situation; former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama have also strongly encouraged other member countries to provide their share of funds.

Using 2022 data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, 24/7 Wall St. identified the NATO countries that are not paying their fair share. We ranked all 31 NATO member-states on defense spending as a share of GDP, from the biggest spenders to the smallest. GDP figures are from the World Bank and are noted in 2022 U.S. dollars. All other supplemental data is from SIPRI.

Why Are We Writing About NATO and Defense Spending?

Saint Petersburg. Palace Embankment, transportation of heavy military equipment, preparation for the Victory Parade on May 9. People watch the convoy
Source: ANGHI / Shutterstock.com

The United States is a world superpower, and its commitment to NATO is significant. The US and NATO relationship appears to be an entanglement not easily withdrawn from. The upcoming 2024 presidential election has many in the US holding their breath for the outcome, and around the world, the feeling is mutual. Should Donald Trump be elected, he has made it clear that the country’s relationship with the collective would not remain as-is. The changes have the potential for a sweeping impact worldwide; only time will tell how the situation will be resolved.

31. Greece

Source: ntm-a_cstc-a / Flickr
  • Total Defense Spending (2022): $8.1 billion USD
  • Gross Domestic Product (2022): $217.6 billion USD
  • Defense Spending as a Share of GDP: 3.7%
  • 5-Year Change in Defense Spending: +44.4%
  • 10-Year Change in Defense Spending: +69.0%

30. United States

Source: Stocktrek Images / Stocktrek Images via Getty Images
  • Total Defense Spending (2022): $876.9 billion USD
  • Gross Domestic Product (2022): $25.4 trillion USD
  • Defense Spending as a Share of GDP: 3.5%
  • 5-Year Change in Defense Spending: +10.2%
  • 10-Year Change in Defense Spending: +2.7%

29. Lithuania

Source: Sean Gallup / Getty Images News via Getty Images
  • Total Defense Spending (2022): $1.7 billion USD
  • Gross Domestic Product (2022): $71.0 billion USD
  • Defense Spending as a Share of GDP: 2.5%
  • 5-Year Change in Defense Spending: +44.3%
  • 10-Year Change in Defense Spending: +353.1%

28. Poland

Source: ajw1970 / Flickr
  • Total Defense Spending (2022): $16.6 billion USD
  • Gross Domestic Product (2022): $688.1 billion USD
  • Defense Spending as a Share of GDP: 2.4%
  • 5-Year Change in Defense Spending: +34.4%
  • 10-Year Change in Defense Spending: +94.7%

27. United Kingdom

Source: BellPhotography423 / iStock via Getty Images
  • Total Defense Spending (2022): $68.5 billion USD
  • Gross Domestic Product (2022): $3.1 trillion USD
  • Defense Spending as a Share of GDP: 2.2%
  • 5-Year Change in Defense Spending: +15.4%
  • 10-Year Change in Defense Spending: +9.7%

26. Croatia

Source: Goran Jakus Photography / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
  • Total Defense Spending (2022): $1.3 billion USD
  • Gross Domestic Product (2022): $71.6 billion USD
  • Defense Spending as a Share of GDP: 2.2%
  • 5-Year Change in Defense Spending: +36.0%
  • 10-Year Change in Defense Spending: +49.9%

25. Estonia

Training Of Nato Ally Estonian Defence Forces
Source: 2022 Getty Images / Getty Images News via Getty Images
  • Total Defense Spending (2022): $810.9 million USD
  • Gross Domestic Product (2022): $38.1 billion USD
  • Defense Spending as a Share of GDP: 2.1%
  • 5-Year Change in Defense Spending: +14.8%
  • 10-Year Change in Defense Spending: +55.5%

24. Latvia

Source: imantsu / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images
  • Total Defense Spending (2022): $848.8 million USD
  • Gross Domestic Product (2022): $40.9 billion USD
  • Defense Spending as a Share of GDP: 2.0%
  • 5-Year Change in Defense Spending: +8.4%
  • 10-Year Change in Defense Spending: +186.2%

23. France

Source: Gwengoat / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
  • Total Defense Spending (2022): $53.6 billion USD (approximately $1.9 billion short of 2% threshold)
  • Gross Domestic Product (2022): $2.8 trillion USD
  • Defense Spending as a Share of GDP: 1.9%
  • 5-Year Change in Defense Spending: +7.2%
  • 10-Year Change in Defense Spending: +15.0%

22. Slovakia

Source: slezo / Flickr

Slovakia’s total defense spending for 2022 was $2.0 billion USD (approx. $315.1 million short of the 2% threshold), with a gross domestic product of $115.5 billion. The country’s defense spending as a share of GDP is 1.8%. The 5-year change in defense spending was +42.9%, and the 10-year is +109.2%.

  • Total Defense Spending (2022): $2.0 billion USD (approximately $315.1 million short of 2% threshold)
  • Gross Domestic Product (2022): $115.5 billion USD
  • Defense Spending as a Share of GDP: 1.8%
  • 5-Year Change in Defense Spending: +42.9%
  • 10-Year Change in Defense Spending: +109.2%

21. Romania

Romanian Defence Forces Join In Combative Training On Black Sea
Source: 2022 Getty Images / Getty Images News via Getty Images
  • Total Defense Spending (2022): $5.2 billion USD (approximately $827.1 million short of 2% threshold)
  • Gross Domestic Product (2022): $300.7 billion USD
  • Defense Spending as a Share of GDP: 1.7%
  • 5-Year Change in Defense Spending: +11.5%
  • 10-Year Change in Defense Spending: +123.8%

20. Finland

Source: Andreas Rentz / Getty Images
  • Total Defense Spending (2022): $4.8 billion USD (approximately $835.0 million short of 2% threshold)
  • Gross Domestic Product (2022): $282.9 billion USD
  • Defense Spending as a Share of GDP: 1.7%
  • 5-Year Change in Defense Spending: +30.7%
  • 10-Year Change in Defense Spending: +28.7%

19. Italy

Source: naphtalina / iStock via Getty Images
  • Total Defense Spending (2022): $33.5 billion USD (approximately $7.5 billion short of 2% threshold)
  • Gross Domestic Product (2022): $2.1 trillion USD
  • Defense Spending as a Share of GDP: 1.7%
  • 5-Year Change in Defense Spending: +18.8%
  • 10-Year Change in Defense Spending: +23.6%

18. Norway

Source: Michele Ursi / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
  • Total Defense Spending (2022): $8.4 billion USD (approximately $3.2 billion short of 2% threshold)
  • Gross Domestic Product (2022): $579.4 billion USD
  • Defense Spending as a Share of GDP: 1.6%
  • 5-Year Change in Defense Spending: +17.2%
  • 10-Year Change in Defense Spending: +46.5%

17. Montenegro

Source: CatEyePerspective / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
  • Total Defense Spending (2022): $98.0 million USD (approximately $26.6 million short of 2% threshold)
  • Gross Domestic Product (2022): $6.2 billion USD
  • Defense Spending as a Share of GDP: 1.6%
  • 5-Year Change in Defense Spending: +26.3%
  • 10-Year Change in Defense Spending: +56.3%

16. North Macedonia

Source: Gwengoat / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images
  • Total Defense Spending (2022): $225.0 million USD (approximately $46.3 million short of 2% threshold)
  • Gross Domestic Product (2022): $13.6 billion USD
  • Defense Spending as a Share of GDP: 1.7%
  • 5-Year Change in Defense Spending: +18.8%
  • 10-Year Change in Defense Spending: +23.6%

15. Albania

Source: Mlenny / iStock via Getty Images
  • Total Defense Spending (2022): $8.4 billion USD (approximately $3.2 billion short of 2% threshold)
  • Gross Domestic Product (2022): $579.4 billion USD
  • Defense Spending as a Share of GDP: 1.6%
  • 5-Year Change in Defense Spending: +81.6%
  • 10-Year Change in Defense Spending: +89.1%

14. Netherlands

Source: n-bphotography / Flickr
  • Total Defense Spending (2022): $288.7 million USD (approximately $89.6 million short of 2% threshold)
  • Gross Domestic Product (2022): $18.9 billion USD
  • Defense Spending as a Share of GDP: 1.6%
  • 5-Year Change in Defense Spending: +53.8%
  • 10-Year Change in Defense Spending: +40.7%

13. Hungary

Source: Jozsef Soos / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
  • Total Defense Spending (2022): $2.6 billion USD (approximately $974.5 million short of 2% threshold)
  • Gross Domestic Product (2022): $177.3 billion USD
  • Defense Spending as a Share of GDP: 1.5%
  • 5-Year Change in Defense Spending: +71.7%
  • 10-Year Change in Defense Spending: +148.4%

12. Bulgaria

Source: martin-dm / iStock via Getty Images
  • Total Defense Spending (2022): $1.3 billion USD (approximately $471.0 million short of 2% threshold)
  • Gross Domestic Product (2022): $90.4 billion USD
  • Defense Spending as a Share of GDP: 1.5%
  • 5-Year Change in Defense Spending: +28.1%
  • 10-Year Change in Defense Spending: +66.5%

11. Spain

Source: ManuelVelasco / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images
  • Total Defense Spending (2022): $20.3 billion USD (approximately $8.1 billion short of 2% threshold)
  • Gross Domestic Product (2022): $1.4 trillion USD
  • Defense Spending as a Share of GDP: 1.5%
  • 5-Year Change in Defense Spending: +13.5%
  • 10-Year Change in Defense Spending: +28.4%

10. Denmark

Princess Mary Visits Danish Troops In Afghanistan
Source: 2009 The Danish Ministry of Defence / Getty Images News via Getty Images
  • Total Defense Spending (2022): $5.5 billion USD (approximately $2.5 billion short of 2% threshold)
  • Gross Domestic Product (2022): $400.2 billion USD
  • Defense Spending as a Share of GDP: 1.4%
  • 5-Year Change in Defense Spending: +21.6%
  • 10-Year Change in Defense Spending: +43.2%

9. Germany

Source: ewg3D / iStock via Getty Images
  • Total Defense Spending (2022): $55.8 billion USD (approximately $25.9 billion short of 2% threshold)
  • Gross Domestic Product (2022): $4.1 trillion USD
  • Defense Spending as a Share of GDP: 1.4%
  • 5-Year Change in Defense Spending: +18.0%
  • 10-Year Change in Defense Spending: +32.5%

8. Czechia

Source: Chalabala / iStock via Getty Images
  • Total Defense Spending (2022): $4.0 billion USD (approximately $1.8 billion short of 2% threshold)
  • Gross Domestic Product (2022): $290.5 billion USD
  • Defense Spending as a Share of GDP: 1.4%
  • 5-Year Change in Defense Spending: +23.9%
  • 10-Year Change in Defense Spending: +63.6%

7. Portugal

Source: mtcurado / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images
  • Total Defense Spending (2022): $3.5 billion USD (approximately $1.6 billion short of 2% threshold)
  • Gross Domestic Product (2022): $255.2 billion USD
  • Defense Spending as a Share of GDP: 1.4%
  • 5-Year Change in Defense Spending: +10.4%
  • 10-Year Change in Defense Spending: +19.7%

6. Canada

Canadian Military Personnel Begin To Mobilize In Effort Of Aiding Spread Of Coronavirus
Source: 2020 Getty Images / Getty Images News via Getty Images
  • Total Defense Spending (2022): $26.9 billion USD (approximately $15.9 billion short of 2% threshold)
  • Gross Domestic Product (2022): $2.1 trillion USD
  • Defense Spending as a Share of GDP: 1.2%
  • 5-Year Change in Defense Spending: +4.7%
  • 10-Year Change in Defense Spending: +48.9%

5. Turkey

Source: CatEyePerspective / iStock via Getty Images
  • Total Defense Spending (2022): $10.6 billion USD (approximately $7.5 billion short of 2% threshold)
  • Gross Domestic Product (2022): $907.1 billion USD
  • Defense Spending as a Share of GDP: 1.2%
  • 5-Year Change in Defense Spending: +30.6%
  • 10-Year Change in Defense Spending: +14.9%

4. Slovenia

Source: Peter Božič, CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
  • Total Defense Spending (2022): $735.2 million USD (approximately $466.1 million short of 2% threshold)
  • Gross Domestic Product (2022): $60.1 billion USD
  • Defense Spending as a Share of GDP: 1.2%
  • 5-Year Change in Defense Spending: +38.2%
  • 10-Year Change in Defense Spending: +58.0%

3. Belgium

BEL: Prince Amedeo Of Belgium Testifies To Become Officer In The Army
Source: 2007 Getty Images / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images
  • Total Defense Spending (2022): $6.9 billion USD (approximately $4.8 billion short of 2% threshold)
  • Gross Domestic Product (2022): $583.4 billion USD
  • Defense Spending as a Share of GDP: 1.2%
  • 5-Year Change in Defense Spending: +38.8%
  • 10-Year Change in Defense Spending: +33.9%

2. Luxembourg

Source: SvetlanaSF / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
  • Total Defense Spending (2022): $564.6 million USD (approximately $1.1 billion short of 2% threshold)
  • Gross Domestic Product (2022): $81.6 billion USD
  • Defense Spending as a Share of GDP: 0.7%
  • 5-Year Change in Defense Spending: +56.5%
  • 10-Year Change in Defense Spending: +155.5%

1. Iceland

Source: Claus Ableiter / Wikimedia Commons
  • Total Defense Spending (2022): $0 (approximately $561.3 million short of 2% threshold)
  • Gross Domestic Product (2022): $28.1 billion USD
  • Defense Spending as a Share of GDP: 0.0%
  • 5-Year Change in Defense Spending: N/A
  • 10-Year Change in Defense Spending: N/A

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