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News > Ukraine

Sharpest Increase in European Military Spending in 3 Decades

  • Military vehicles in Europe.

    Military vehicles in Europe. | Photo: Twitter/ @trtworld

Published 24 April 2023

The military burden -- military spending as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) -- shot up from 3.2 percent in 2021 to 34 percent in 2022.

On Monday, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) published a report showing that military expenditure in Europe has seen its sharpest year-on-year rise in at least 30 years.


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Total global military expenditure increased by 3.7 percent in real terms in 2022, reaching a new high of US$2,240 billion, and representing its eighth consecutive year of growth.

By far the sharpest rise in spending, 13 percent, was seen in Europe. This was largely due to the conflict in Ukraine, the SIPRI report said.

Meanwhile, Ukraine's military spending reached US$44 billion in 2022 -- a 640 percent surge, and the highest single-year increase in a country's military expenditure ever recorded by SIPRI.

The military burden -- military spending as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) -- shot up to 34 percent of GDP in 2022, from 3.2 percent in 2021.

Military expenditure by states in Central and Western Europe totaled US$345 billion in 2022. For the first time, this spending surpassed that of 1989, the period when the Cold War was ending.

Several states significantly increased their military spending in February 2022, after the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Others announced plans to raise spending levels over periods of up to a decade; the sharpest increases were seen in Finland (36 percent), Lithuania (27 percent), Sweden (12 percent) and Poland (11 percent).

"As a result, we can reasonably expect military expenditure in Central and Western Europe to keep rising in the years ahead," said Diego Lopes da Silva, a senior researcher with SIPRI's Military Expenditure and Arms Production Program.

The United States remains by far the world's biggest military spender, with US$877 billion in 2022 -- accounting for 39 percent of total global military spending. U.S. financial military support to Ukraine totaled US$19.9 billion in 2022.

"Although this was the largest amount of military aid given by any country to a single beneficiary in any year since the Cold War, it represented only 2.3 percent of total U.S. military spending," said the report.

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