Special Report

Countries Spending the Most on War

Detailed findings & methodology:

Many of the other countries on this list are U.S. allies. Countries like France, Germany, Italy, the U.K., and Canada are members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO. The United States also works closely with other countries on this list, such as South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Japan.

Most of the countries on this list spend between 1% and 3% of their gross domestic product annually on their military. Some countries spend a larger share, like the United States at 3.1%, Russia at 4.3%, and Saudi Arabia at 10.0%.

Each of the 15 countries spending the most on their militaries in 2017 were also in the top 15 in 2016, though the order changed slightly. Saudi Arabia moved from fourth to third, switching places with Russia. Italy and Australia were 11th and 12th, respectively, in 2016. Both were leapfrogged by Brazil in 2017, which went from 13th to 11th. India and France traded places as well, with India moving from fifth to sixth.

Israel and the United Arab Emirates were listed as the 15th- and 14th-highest spending countries, respectively, in the 2016 version of this report. But as more information became available, SIPRI revised its 2016 ranking, determining that Turkey and Canada actually outspent Israel and the UAE in 2016, as they did in 2017.

In order to determine the countries spending the most on war, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed estimated military spending from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, or SIPRI, in its “Trends in World Military Expenditure” report. Spending as a share of GDP, per-capita expenditure, and absolute spending figures for 2017 and 2008 also came from SIPRI. Military expenditure includes current military forces and activities, including salaries and benefits, operational expenses, arms and equipment purchases, military construction, research and development, central administration, command, and support.