Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Five Mediterranean countries in the top 20 of world military spending

Written by Frédéric Dubessy on Tuesday, May 3rd 2022 à 17:50 | Read 357 times

Global military spending reached $2.1 trillion in 2021, an all-time record to which Mediterranean countries contributed $150 billion.

The global arms market was worth $2.1 trillion in 2021 (photo: F.Dubessy)
The global arms market was worth $2.1 trillion in 2021 (photo: F.Dubessy)
MEDITERRANEAN. According to the latest report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), global military spending will reach $2.11 trillion ($2,113 billion or €2009 billion) in 2021. "It has increased for the seventh consecutive year (...) This is the highest figure we have ever recorded," comments Diego Lopes da Silva. The senior researcher of the Military Expenditure and Arms Production programme at SIPRI regrets these record levels coming at a time when countries need to finance solutions to the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The paper, published at the end of April 2022, states that the increase was 0.7% compared to 2020 and that overall military spending represented 2.2% of global GDP (compared to 2.3% in 2020). "In real terms, there has been a slowdown in the rate of growth due to inflation. However, in nominal terms, military spending increased by 6.1%," emphasises Diego Lopes da Silva.

The biggest buyers are the United States - by far with $801bn (€762.3bn) - followed by China ($293bn), India ($76.6bn), the UK ($68.4bn) and Russia ($65.9bn). Between them, they account for 62% of total expenditure.

150 billion spent on armaments in the Mediterranean

World military expenditure - here from 1988 to 2021 - has been increasing for seven years (Graph: SIPRI)
World military expenditure - here from 1988 to 2021 - has been increasing for seven years (Graph: SIPRI)
Five Mediterranean countries are in the world's top 20 in terms of global military spending: France, Italy, Israel, Spain and Turkey. They spent a total of some $150bn (€142.6bn) in 2021.

With $56bn (€53.25bn, or 1.9% of its GDP) in bills, France accounts for almost a third of this sum. Ranked sixth in the world, it comes behind the United Kingdom and Russia ($65.9bn). It is just ahead of Germany ($56bn) and Saudi Arabia ($55.6bn). French arms purchases jumped by 1.5%.

In eleventh place, Italy spent $32 billion (1.5% of its GDP), Israel (15th) $24.3 billion, or 5.2% of its GDP, Spain (16th) $19.5 billion (1.4% of its GDP) and Turkey (18th) $15.5 billion (2.1% of its GDP).

It is necessary to arrive at the twenty-sixth place in the world to find another Mediterranean country, Algeria and its $9.1 billion ($8.66 billion) of purchases in this domain.

According to the SIPRI database, this military spending will amount to $19.62bn (€18.67bn) in North Africa in 2021, compared to $18.34bn (€17.45bn) in 2020. In the Middle East (excluding Syria and Yemen), they will reach $186.32bn (€184.21bn in 2020).

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