POLITICAL MS: Military spending – how much is 100 billion?

Last week, the US and Saudi Arabia apparently signed an arms deal worth $110 billion. It sounds like.. ‘a lot’ (as they said in The Full Monty when trying to calculate ticket earnings).

One hundred and ten billion is indeed a lot, but if you’re unfamiliar with the price of weapons and you don’t know how much countries normally spend on armament, there’s really no way of judging whether this is just what could be expected or it’s actually a ‘big deal.’

So, here’s some context:

The world’s total military expenditure in 2016 has been calculated as $1686 billion (or $1.69 trillion). The USA was the biggest spender a with total of to $611 billion, followed by China and Russia. The total military spending worldwide equates 2.2% of global GDP.

This data and more is available from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s website which also has user friendly tables and graphs, including a cool interactive guide to global military spending.


Posted by Mette, 22nd May 2017


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