2011 - Military spending: how much does the military cost each country, listed

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How would you spend $1.7tn? The latest arms trade numbers show the US is still number one, but with China and Russia catching up fast. Find out how much each country spends
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Interactive arms spending map of the world

Soldiers from Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA)
Soldiers from Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Special Operations Forces march in formation during a training session at the 60th National Day Parade Village on the outskirts of Beijing September 15, 2009 Photograph: Joe Chan / Reuters/REUTERS

Is the global arms trade recession-proof? Almost, it appears. Whilegovernment spending is being cut across the globe, military spending is staying remarkably steady.

The world's countries spent $1.7tn on their militaries last year, according to new figures published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri). It's barely changed from the year before, masking decreases in the west countered by big increases in China, Russia and some Middle eastern countries. The key numbers show that:

Military spending interactiveMilitary spending interactive. Click image to explore it

The US remains by far the biggest military spender, with a defence budget of $711bn last year
It's followed by China, which spent an estimated $143bn on its armed forces in 2011. China has increased its military spending by 170% in real terms since 2002, the leading research body says
Russia spent nearly $72bn on arms last year, overtaking Britain ($62.7bn) and France ($62.5bn). Russia is planning further increases, with draft budgets showing a 53% rise in real terms up to 2014
 India has increased military spending by 66% since 2002. While both internal conflicts and the long-running dispute with Pakistan remain key issues, India views China as a rival for regional power
Vietnam has increased military spending by 82% since 2003, and has invested heavily in its navy in recent years, partly due to tensions with China in the South China Sea

Richard Norton-Taylor writes today that

China's increased military spending has caused concern among its neighbours and the US, the dominant Pacific power. The recent announcement of a US "pivot" towards Asia is in part the response to such concerns, Sipri says.

It adds: "China's extensive and growing trade relations with the countries in its neighbourhood have been marred by disputes eg the border dispute with India, a dispute over the Senkaku (Diaoyu) islands with Japan, and contested maritime borders with several nations in the South China Sea all of which have led to increased tensions."

However, the report says talk of an "arms race" in the region may be premature, as both data and analysis reveal a mixed pattern of trends in military expenditure and arms acquisition, with China far from being the only driving factor.

Sipri have given us the full historical dataset, going back to the late 1980s - you can download it below. What can you do with it?

Data summary

Military spending by country

All prices in $m, 2010 prices unless otherwise stated. Click heading to sort table.Download this data

Country
1988
2010
2011
2011 current prices
% of GDP, 1988
% of GDP, 2010
World total 1,511,141 1,622,888 1,624,506 1,727,513
USA 540,415 698,281 689,591 711,421 5.7 4.8
China, P. R. . . 121,064 129,272 142,859 . . 2.1
Russia 331,111 58,644 64,123 71,853 15.8 3.9
UK 53,751 58,099 57,875 62,685 4.1 2.6
France 65,266 59,098 58,244 62,535 3.6 2.3
Japan 46,447 54,641 54,529 59,327 1.0 1.0
India 16,705 46,086 44,282 48,889 3.6 2.7
Saudi Arabia 19,743 45,245 46,219 48,531 15.2 10.1
Germany 63,629 45,075 43,478 46,745 2.9 1.4
Brazil 19,902 34,384 31,576 35,360 2.1 1.6
Italy 35,274 35,532 31,946 34,501 2.3 1.7
Korea, South 13,262 27,572 28,280 30,799 4.5 2.7
Australia 13,228 23,221 22,955 26,706 2.1 1.9
Canada 19,339 23,109 23,082 24,659 2.0 1.5
Turkey 9,918 17,649 18,687 17,871 2.9 2.4
Israel 12,659 14,242 15,209 16,446 15.6 6.5
Spain 14,611 14,744 13,984 15,178 2.0 1.0
Netherlands 12,850 11,277 10,945 11,781 2.8 1.4
Colombia 2,177 10,422 10,290 10,957 1.5