United States: military expenditure (% of GDP)



The US spends 4.7 per cent of national GDP on its military, giving it the largest real-terms defence budget in the world. Military spending fell significantly after the end of the cold war but rose from 2000 onwards as the US invaded Afghanistan and Iraq in quick succession.

The US remains the only member of Nato to feature among the world’s top ten military spenders measured as a percentage of GDP (4.8 per cent). In absolute terms, it accounts for 43 per cent of the world total – six times its nearest rival, China (7.3 per cent).