United Kingdom: military expenditure (% of GDP)



The UK spends roughly 2.7 per cent of its GDP (£33.8bn) on its armed forces; in cash terms, the country has the fourth-largest defence budget in the world. Spending fell significantly in the 1990s after the end of the cold war but rose again during the 2003 Iraq conflict.

The coalition government plans to cut defence spending by 7.5 per cent in real terms to £33.5bn in 2014-2015. Yet even after these reductions, the UK will still meet the informal Nato commitment to spend at least 2 per cent of its GDP on defence, one of just five countries (the others being the United States, France, Greece and Albania) to do so.