According to the latest report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), global defence spending grew to just under $2 trillion in 2020, a 2.6% increase on 2019 in real terms. That growth occurred in a year where global GDP contracted 4.4% due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Five countries accounted for 62% of global military expenditure last year and the US was in first place with $778 billion.
2020 was the third consecutive year of US military spending growth after seven years of continuous decline. Elsewhere, China was in second place with $252 billion and its military spending climbed for the 26th consecutive year. India was the world’s third-largest military spender last year with $72.9 billion, followed by Russia with $61.7 billion.