India, China Among The ‘Biggest Spenders’ As Global Military Expenditure Soars To Record $2000 Billion in 2021

World military expenditure reached an all-time high of $2.1 trillion in 2021, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said on Monday, adding that the five largest spenders are the United States, China, India, the United Kingdom, and Russia.

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“Total global military expenditure increased by 0.7 percent in real terms in 2021, to reach $2113 billion. The five largest spenders in 2021 were the United States, China, India, the United Kingdom and Russia, together accounting for 62 percent of expenditure,” a statement said.

File Image: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping during the latter’s visit to India, in October 2019. (via Twitter)

As a result of the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, defense spending amounted to 2.2% of global GDP, while in 2020 this figure reached 2.3%.

US military spending reached $801 billion in 2021, a drop of 1.4% from 2020, the statement said. In the period from 2012 to 2021, the US increased funding for military research and development by 24% and reduced spending on arms purchases by 6.4%, according to the statement.

Second place went to China, which spent $293 billion on defense, an increase of 4.7% compared with 2020. India’s military spending ranked third with $76.6 billion last year, an increase of 0.9% in comparison with 2020.

Switchblade 300 loitering munition. (via Twitter)

The UK spent $68.4 billion on defense last year, up by 3% from 2020, the statement read. Russia closes the top five countries with the highest defense spending.

“Russia increased its military expenditure by 2.9 percent in 2021, to $65.9 billion, at a time when it was building up its forces along the Ukrainian border. This was the third consecutive year of growth and Russia’s military spending reached 4.1 percent of GDP in 2021,” the statement said.

In 2021, high energy prices helped Russia to increase its military spending, Lucie Béraud-Sudreau, Director of SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme, said, adding that between 2016-2019 Russia experienced a decrease in the military spending due to low prices of oil and gas as well as sanctions imposed on Russia.

The SIPRI, founded in 1966, is an independent think tank focused on research into conflicts, arms and arms control and disarmament.