According to a yearly analysis from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), nations around the world spent $2.24 trillion on their militaries collectively last year, a 3.7% rise over the previous record high when adjusted for inflation.
The larger picture: As nations reacted to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, many of the biggest rises occurred in Europe. With $877 billion spent on the military in 2017, the United States maintained its lead in the rankings. That was more than the next ten nations put together.
Even after taking into account the estimated $20 billion in direct military aid to Ukraine, U.S. spending grew just a little over 2021. According to figures from SIPRI, China's military budget increased by 4% in what was Beijing's 28th straight year of increases.
Russia spent $86 billion more last year, an increase of 9%. On SIPRI's annual list of the 40 highest spenders, Ukraine ($44 billion) increased expenditure by a staggering 640%, moving up from 36th to 11th place. Saudi Arabia ($75 billion) and India ($81 billion) were the next two largest spenders in 2022 relative to the previous year.
U.S. allies including the U.K. ($69 billion), Germany ($59 billion), Japan ($46 billion), South Korea ($46 billion), Australia ($32 billion), and Israel ($23 billion) make up the majority of the remaining top 15. with the exception of Ukraine (34%), in their armed forces.
The only countries that spend a higher proportion of GDP than the US (3.5%) were Russia (4.1%), Israel (4.5%), Algeria (4.8%), and Greece (3.7%).
On the other hand, sub-Saharan Africa accounted for less than 1% of global military spending and was the only region whose investment fell from 2021 levels.
Nigeria ($3.1 billion), the largest spender in the area, reduced spending by 38% after sharply boosting it in 2021 to confront militant organizations like Boko Haram. The majority of the government's discretionary spending went toward flood assistance last year.
The United States accounted for 91% of all military spending in the Americas last year, with other major nations like Mexico (0.6%) generally paying much less as a percentage of GDP than the worldwide average.
Global military spending has risen year since 2015 and, when adjusted for inflation, was 19% higher in 2017. One of the bigger recent year-over-year increases was the 3.7% increase in real terms.