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India third-largest global spender on military behind US and China

The US spent a total of $778 billion in 2021, China spent $252 billion and India's military expenditure was $72.9 billion. 

SIPRI Data: India third-largest global spender on military behind US and China
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First Published Apr 25, 2022, 5:22 PM IST

India continues to be the third-largest spender on the military, having enhanced its spending by 0.9 per cent to $76.6 billion against last year. This data was provided by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute on Monday. 

China is the world's second-biggest military spender with its expenditure rising for the 27th consecutive year in 2021 amounting to $293 billion. The 2021 allocation was 4.7 per cent more when compared to the previous year's spending. 

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The United States is still at the numero uno spot, witnessing a dip of 1.4 per cent at $801 billion compared to last year's figure. Its burden has decreased slightly from 3.7 per cent of GDP in 2020 to 3.5 per cent in 2021.

However, the United States administration has increased its funding for military research and development by 24 per cent between 2012 and 2021, while arms procurement funding fell by 6.4 per cent in the same period. 

In 2021, the administration has slashed spending on both. The R&D spending sees a decrease of (–1.2 per cent) while the arms procurement spending by (–5.4 per cent).

The US spent a total of $778 billion in 2021, China spent $252 billion and India's military expenditure was $72.9 billion. 

In the case of the United States, the SIPRI data shows that it has spent 1.4 per cent of what it had spent in 2020. But the figure which has been given by it shows that the US has increased its spending. 

At the global level, the total military expenditure increased by 0.7 per cent in real terms in 2021, to $2113 billion. 

The five largest spenders, including the US, China, India, the United Kingdom and Russia, together account for 62 per cent of expenditure, according to the new data released by SIPRI.

It is for the seventh consecutive year that global spending has increased and reached an all-time high of $2.1 billion.

"Even amid the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, world military spending hit record levels," said Dr Diego Lopes da Silva, Senior Researcher with SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme. 

Russia increases military budget in the run-up to war

Russia which stands in the fifth position has hiked its military expenditure by 2.9 per cent in 2021, to $65.9 billion, amidst escalating tension with Ukraine at their border. 

This was the third consecutive year of growth and Russia’s military spending reached 4.1 per cent of GDP in 2021.

"In 2021, high oil and gas revenues helped Russia boost military spending. Its military expenditure had been declining between 2016 and 2019 due to low energy prices and sanctions in response to the Crimean annexation in 2014," Lucie Béraud-Sudreau, Director of SIPRI's Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme, said.

As it has strengthened its defences against Russia, Ukraine’s military spending has risen by 72 per cent since the annexation of Crimea in 2014. 

Spending fell in 2021, to $5.9 billion, but still accounted for 3.2 per cent of the country's GDP.

Following the initial approval of its 2021 budget, the Japanese government added $7 billion to military spending. That is why the spending went up by 7.3 per cent, to $54.1 billion in 2021 -- the highest annual increase since 1972. In 2021, Australian military expenditure also increased to reach $31.8 billion (4 per cent).

"China's growing assertiveness in and around the South and the East China seas have become a major driver of military spending in countries such as Australia and Japan," said SIPRI Senior Researcher Dr Nan Tian.

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