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 2020, the total world military expenditure was about $1.981 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 $778 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 ($778 billion)
- China ($252 billion [estimated])
- India ($72.9 billion)
- Russia ($61.7 billion)
- United Kingdom ($59.2 billion)
- Saudi Arabia ($57.5 billion [estimated])
- Germany ($52.8 billion)
- France ($52.7 billion)
- Japan ($49.1 billion)
- South Korea ($45.7 billion)
As mentioned previously, the United States spends more on its military than any other nation. The country’s $778 billion military expenditure is among the expensive government programs, along with Social Security and Medicare. The U.S. has the third-largest military with 1.367 million members on active duty and another 1.037 million in the National Guard and reserves. Following the United States is China, spending $252 billion and India, spending $72.9 billion.