A nation’s military is a crucial asset. The military enforces domestic and foreign policies and protects its citizens. National security is regarded as a government duty, including the security of citizens, the economy, and the country’s institutions. National security is crucial and requires large budgets to build and maintain— known as military spending. In 2019, the total world military expenditure was about $1.917 trillion.
Military size varies significantly by country, typically correlating with each country’s size and military needs. China, India, and the United States, unsurprisingly, have the largest military sizes. A majority of the world’s nations have militaries, and only 36 nations do not have a military. Many nations have mandatory military service.
The United States has the highest military spending of any nation. Its military spending includes all of the Department of Defense’s regular activities, war spending, nuclear weapons, international military assistance, and other Pentagon-related spending. In 2020, the U.S. spent $750 billion on military spending, more than the next nine top-spending countries combined.
The ten countries with the highest military expenditures are:
- The United States ($750 billion)
- China ($237 billion)
- Saudi Arabia ($67.6 billion)
- India ($61 billion)
- United Kingdom ($55.1 billion)
- Germany ($50 billion)
- Japan ($49 billion)
- Russia ($48 billion)
- South Korea ($44 billion)
- France ($41.5 billion)
As mentioned previously, the United States spends more on its military than any other nation. The country’s $750 billion military expenditure is the third-most-expensive government program behind Social Security and Medicare. The U.S. has the second-largest military with 1.358 million members. Following the United States is China, spending $237 billion and Saudi Arabia, spending $67.6 billion.