SIPRI report on Trends in World Military Expenditure 2022 released

SIPRI report on Trends in World Military Expenditure 2022 released

In 2022, world military spending reached an all-time high of $2240 billion, with Europe experiencing the sharpest rise in spending (+13 per cent), largely due to Russian and Ukrainian spending. The increase in military aid to Ukraine and concerns about a heightened threat from Russia influenced many other states’ spending decisions, as did tensions in East Asia. Dr Nan Tian, Senior Researcher with SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme, stated that the continuous rise in global military expenditure in recent years is a sign that we are living in an increasingly insecure world. States are bolstering military strength in response to a deteriorating security environment, which they do not foresee improving in the near future

Central and Western Europe

In 2022, military expenditure by states in Central and Western Europe reached $345 billion, surpassing the 1989 level in real terms and being 30% higher than in 2013. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, several states significantly increased their military spending, while others announced plans to raise spending levels over periods of up to a decade. Finland, Lithuania, Sweden, and Poland saw some of the sharpest increases in military spending. Dr Diego Lopes da Silva, Senior Researcher with SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme, stated that the invasion of Ukraine had an immediate impact on military spending decisions in Central and Western Europe, and as a result, military expenditure in the region is expected to keep rising in the years ahead.

Russia and Ukraine

In 2022, Russian military spending grew by an estimated 9.2%, reaching around $86.4 billion, equivalent to 4.1% of Russia’s gross domestic product (GDP), up from 3.7% of GDP in 2021. Figures released by Russia in late 2022 show that spending on national defence, the largest component of Russian military expenditure, was already 34% higher, in nominal terms, than in budgetary plans drawn up in 2021. Dr Lucie Béraud-Sudreau, Director of SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme, stated that the difference between Russia’s budgetary plans and its actual military spending in 2022 suggests the invasion of Ukraine has cost Russia far more than it anticipated. Ukraine’s military spending reached $44.0 billion in 2022, the highest single-year increase in a country’s military expenditure ever recorded in SIPRI data.

US spending

In 2022, the United States remained the world’s biggest military spender, with military spending reaching $877 billion, which was 39% of total global military spending and three times more than the amount spent by China, the world’s second-largest spender. The 0.7% real-terms increase in US spending in 2022 would have been even greater had it not been for the highest levels of inflation since 1981. Dr Nan Tian, SIPRI Senior Researcher, stated that the increase in the USA’s military spending in 2022 was largely accounted for by the unprecedented level of financial military aid it provided to Ukraine. US financial military aid to Ukraine totalled $19.9 billion in 2022, the largest amount of military aid given by any country to a single beneficiary in any year since the cold war, representing only 2.3% of total US military spending.

China and Japan

In 2022, the combined military expenditure of countries in Asia and Oceania was $575 billion, 2.7% more than in 2021 and 45% more than in 2013, continuing an uninterrupted upward trend dating back to at least 1989. China remained the world’s second-largest military spender, allocating an estimated $292 billion in 2022, 4.2% more than in 2021 and 63% more than in 2013. Japan’s military spending increased by 5.9% between 2021 and 2022, reaching $46.0 billion, the highest level of Japanese military spending since 1960. A new national security strategy published in 2022 sets out ambitious plans to increase Japan’s military capability over the coming decade in response to perceived growing threats from China, North Korea, and Russia.

Other important points

In 2022, the real-terms increase in world military spending was slowed by the effects of inflation, which in many countries soared to levels not seen for decades. In nominal terms, the global total increased by 6.5%. India’s military spending of $81.4 billion was the fourth-highest in the world, 6.0% more than in 2021. Saudi Arabia’s military spending rose by 16% to reach an estimated $75.0 billion, its first increase since 2018. Nigeria’s military spending fell by 38% to $3.1 billion, after a 56% increase in spending in 2021. Military spending by NATO members totalled $1232 billion in 2022, 0.9% higher than in 2021. The United Kingdom had the highest military spending in Central and Western Europe at $68.5 billion, of which an estimated $2.5 billion (3.6%) was financial military aid to Ukraine. In 2022, Türkiye’s military spending fell.