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Mapped: World’s Top 40 Largest Military Budgets

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A map of the top 40 largest military budgets in the world in 2022

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Mapped: World’s Top 40 Largest Military Budgets

In the final year of World War II, the U.S. spent about 38% of its GDP on its military. When adjusted for inflation, the military budget over those four years of war came to a staggering $4.1 trillion in 2020 dollars.

Almost 80 years later, modern day military spending isn’t much of a far cry from World War II budgets. The top spenders have continued to increase their military capabilities, while war in Ukraine has caused countries in the region to re-evaluate their budgets as well.

In 2022, global military budgets hit an all-time high of $2.2 trillion, according to data released by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the eighth consecutive year of increase. This post looks at the top 40 largest military budgets in the world.

The Largest Military Budgets in 2022

The United States accounts for almost 40% of global military expenditures, with its 2022 spend coming to $877 billion.

Here are the top 40 largest military budgets in the world for 2022 in U.S. dollars:

RankCountryMilitary Budget (Billions)% of World
Military Spend
1🇺🇸 U.S.$876.939.0%
2🇨🇳 China$292.013.0%
3🇷🇺 Russia$86.43.9%
4🇮🇳 India$81.43.6%
5🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia$75.03.3%
6🇬🇧 UK$68.53.1%
7🇩🇪 Germany$55.82.5%
8🇫🇷 France$53.62.4%
9🇰🇷 South Korea$46.42.1%
10🇯🇵 Japan$46.02.1%
11🇺🇦 Ukraine$44.02.0%
12🇮🇹 Italy$33.51.5%
13🇦🇺 Australia$32.31.4%
14🇨🇦 Canada$26.91.2%
15🇮🇱 Israel$23.41.0%
16🇪🇸 Spain$20.30.9%
17🇧🇷 Brazil$20.20.9%
18🇵🇱 Poland$16.60.7%
19🇳🇱 Netherlands$15.60.7%
20🇶🇦 Qatar$15.40.7%
21🇹🇼 Taiwan$12.50.6%
22🇸🇬 Singapore$11.70.5%
23🇹🇷 Türkiye$10.60.5%
24🇵🇰 Pakistan$10.30.5%
25🇨🇴 Colombia$9.90.4%
26🇩🇿 Algeria$9.10.4%
27🇮🇩 Indonesia$9.00.4%
28🇲🇽 Mexico$8.50.4%
29🇳🇴 Norway$8.40.4%
30🇰🇼 Kuwait$8.20.4%
31🇬🇷 Greece$8.10.4%
32🇸🇪 Sweden$7.70.3%
33🇧🇪 Belgium$6.90.3%
34🇮🇷 Iran$6.80.3%
35🇨🇭 Switzerland$6.10.3%
36🇴🇲 Oman$5.80.3%
37🇹🇭 Thailand$5.70.3%
38🇨🇱 Chile$5.60.2%
39🇩🇰 Denmark$5.50.2%
40🇷🇴 Romania$5.20.2%

China, ranked second in absolute terms, accounts for another 13% of world military expenditure at $292 billion.

Russia, India and Saudi Arabia round out the top five biggest military budgets in 2022. Add in the UK to the mix (#6 rank), and these countries all had military expenditures that made up at least 3% of global spend.

Comparatively, the lowest budgets on the top 40 ranged include Romania at $5.2 billion, Denmark at $5.5 billion, and Chile at $5.6 billion. They each account for just 0.2% of the world’s military budgets in 2022, and of course there are many countries with even smaller spends.

Largest Military Budget Increases in 2022

Russia’s position as the third-largest military spender is a recent development, as the country’s military spend had a 9% increase between 2021 and 2022, according to SIPRI estimates.

On the other side of Russia’s invasion, Ukraine was the top 40 military budget with the largest annual increase in 2022, surging nearly six and a half times above its 2021 expenditures.

Country% Change
(2021-2022)
Rank Change
(2021-2022)
🇺🇦 Ukraine640%+25
🇶🇦 Qatar27%+2
🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia16%+3
🇧🇪 Belgium13%0
🇳🇱 Netherlands12%0
🇸🇪 Sweden12%-1
🇵🇱 Poland11%0
🇷🇺 Russia9.2%+2
🇩🇰 Denmark8.8%+3
🇪🇸 Spain7.3%-1
🇳🇴 Norway6.2%0
🇮🇳 India6.0%-1
🇯🇵 Japan5.9%-1
🇮🇷 Iran4.6%+5
🇨🇳 China4.2%0
🇬🇧 UK3.7%-2
🇨🇦 Canada3.0%-1
🇸🇬 Singapore2.8%+1
🇩🇪 Germany2.3%0
🇮🇩 Indonesia1.3%0
🇨🇴 Colombia1.1%-1
🇺🇸 U.S.0.7%0
🇫🇷 France0.6%-2
🇬🇷 Greece0.6%-1
🇨🇭 Switzerland0.4%-1
🇹🇼 Taiwan0.4%-1
🇦🇺 Australia0.3%-1
🇵🇰 Pakistan-2.0%-3
🇰🇷 South Korea-2.5%+1
🇷🇴 Romania-2.6%+1
🇴🇲 Oman-3.0%+1
🇩🇿 Algeria-3.7%-1
🇮🇱 Israel-4.2%-1
🇮🇹 Italy-4.5%-1
🇨🇱 Chile-6.2%-3
🇧🇷 Brazil-7.9%-1
🇲🇽 Mexico-9.7%0
🇰🇼 Kuwait-11%-4
🇹🇭 Thailand-11%-5
🇹🇷 Türkiye-26%-6

Ukraine’s dramatic increase represents the highest single-year jump ever recorded by SIPRI, painting a vivid before-and-after picture of a nation engaged in conflict.

Although no other country comes close in matching Ukraine’s surge in defense spending, Qatar saw a substantial increase of 27% over the last year, marking a continuing trend over the last decade of significantly bolstering its military.

Additionally, Saudi Arabia, along with four European nations (Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Poland), have registered year-over-year changes of over 10%.

On the flipside, 13 of the nations with the largest military budgets decreased spend from 2021, including top 15 spenders such as South Korea, Italy, and Israel.

The largest drop was seen by Türkiye, with an estimated 26% reduction in military budget. This drop may be linked to Türkiye’s inflation problem, which saw prices rise 72.3% in 2022—effectively decreasing the purchasing power of their currency in relative terms to other nations.

The Specter of War in Europe

With an ongoing conflict in the region and large financial powerhouses, its no surprise that eight of the top 10 countries with the most significant increases in military spending are located in Europe.

Consequently, European military budgets have reached levels not witnessed since the end of the Cold War.

And amid escalating geopolitical concerns, countries in Asia such as India, Japan, and China have also ramped up their defense spending. This is an indication of simmering global flashpoints such as India and China’s border skirmishes, the longstanding South China Sea territorial conflict, and concerns surrounding Taiwan’s sovereignty.

Source: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Data note: SIPRI’s military expenditure data collection began in 1949, thus its records do not account for all expenditure that occurred during both World Wars.

Please see SIPRI’s methodologies page for more details on how they collect their data and create estimates.

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Countries

Mapped: Africa’s Population Density Patterns

We map out Africa’s population density, spotlighting the continent’s most populous countries and cities.

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A cropped map of Africa’s population density, spotlighting the continent’s most populous countries and cities, and the fastest-growing regions.

Mapped: Africa’s Population Density Patterns

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Africa, the world’s second largest continent, spans over 30 million km2, home to the not only world’s biggest desert but also the second-largest tropical rainforest, and of course, approximately 1.4 billion people.

In this infographic, we map out the continent’s population density patterns. It’s a prime example of how humans congregate near fresh water and around the edges of natural obstacles.

This population density data comes from the Gridded Population of the World dataset created by the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) hosted by NASA’s Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC).

Ranked: Most Populous African Countries

Africa’s second largest economy, Nigeria, is also its most populous: more than 220 million people live in this diverse West African country with 250 ethnic groups, speaking over 500 different languages.

And the nation is only growing. By 2100, it’s estimated that the Nigerian population could be more than three-fold its current size, at nearly 800 million residents, becoming the second-most populous country in the world.

RankCountryPopulation
1🇳🇬 Nigeria224M
2🇪🇹 Ethiopia127M
3🇪🇬 Egypt112M
4🇨🇩 DRC 102M
5🇹🇿 Tanzania67M
6🇿🇦 South Africa59M
7🇰🇪 Kenya55M
8🇺🇬 Uganda49M
9🇸🇩 Sudan48M
10🇩🇿 Algeria46M

Source: UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, World Population Prospects. (2022)

Across the continent, along its eastern side, Ethiopia, is the second-most populous country on the continent. Unlike Nigeria—which has nearly 20 cities with at least half a million residents—more than three-quarters of Ethiopia’s 127 million people live in rural communities.

Ranked third, Egypt (112 million) is the only North African country in the top five by population. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) comes in fourth (102 million), with Tanzania (67 million) rounding out the top five.

Ranked: Fastest Growing African Countries By Population

In the year 1900, Africa accounted for 9% of the world’s population. Currently its share stands close to 18%. By 2025, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects one in four people in the world to live in Africa, and says the continent’s demographic transition has the power to “transform the world.”

The most populous African countries (DRC, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Egypt) will contribute the lion’s share to this growth of course, but within the continent, other countries are also seeing relatively rapid population growth.

RankCountryGrowth Rate
1🇸🇸 South Sudan4.78%
2🇳🇪 Niger3.66%
3🇧🇮 Burundi3.59%
4🇬🇶 Equatorial Guinea3.36%
5🇦🇴 Angola3.34%
6🇧🇯 Benin3.31%
7🇺🇬 Uganda3.22%
8🇨🇩 DRC3.13%
9🇹🇩 Chad3.05%
10🇲🇱 Mali2.93%

Source: CIA World Factbook.

In South Sudan, the world’s newest country, the population is growing at nearly 5% every year. The broader sub-Saharan population meanwhile is growing at half that rate. Aside from a higher fertility rate, the country is also seeing an influx of refugees from conflict areas in neighboring Sudan.

While no other African nation is quite matching South Sudan’s population growth, several of Africa’s poorer economies are also posting an annual population increase of more than 3% including Niger, Burundi, and Chad.

Ranked: Most Populous African Cities

About half of Africa lives in urban areas, which is less than the global average of 57%. The 10 most populous cities on the continent together account for about 115 million people, more than 1.5x the UK’s total population.

Egypt’s capital, Cairo, built along the banks of the Nile, is home to more than 22 million residents, and ranks as Africa’s largest city. This bustling metropolis has stood as an important trade juncture between continents for more than 1,400 years—and is still somehow one of Egypt’s younger cities.

RankCityCountryPopulation
1Cairo🇪🇬 Egypt22.2M
2Lagos🇳🇬 Nigeria21.4M
3Kinshasa🇨🇩 DRC 15.0M
4Johannesburg🇿🇦 South Africa14.8M
5Luanda🇦🇴 Angola9.0M
6Khartoum🇸🇩 Sudan6.9M
7Abidjan🇨🇮 Cote d'Ivoire6.6M
8Nairobi🇰🇪 Kenya6.6M
9Accra🇬🇭 Ghana6.4M
10Dar es Salaam🇹🇿 Tanzania6.0M

Source: Urban agglomerates (2023) Citypopulation.de.

Down south, across the Sahara desert, and near the shores of the Atlantic, Nigeria’s former capital Lagos has slightly more than 21 million people. The city’s name comes from the numerous surrounding lagoons, and its original name in Yoruba, “Eko”, also means “lake.” Population estimates for the city are often disputed because of several different administrative regions, but also because of how fast Lagos is growing: it’s estimated 2,000 new residents move in every day.

Kinshasa, the capital of the DRC ranks third with about 15 million residents, and is slated to become the fourth largest city in the world, with 35 million people, by 2050.

Johannesburg, South Africa (15 million), and Luanda, Angola (9 million) round out the top five most populous African cities.

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