This report summarizes the main statistics on global military expenditure, arms production and international transfers of conventional arms. The data in this report are essentially from databases of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), an international standard since 1966, possibly supplemented by socio-economic statistics extracted from the databases of Eurostat, the World Bank, UN agencies or the press.
In 2008, the world military expenditures amounted to 1 464 billion dollars which represents 2.4% of the world GDP and about 217 dollars per capita. The United States accounts for 41.5% of the total.
The combined turnover achieved in the arms production by the top 100 arms producers in the world is estimated at 388.1 billion dollars for 2008. In 2008, the top 100 of the arms industry had 43 American firms, 26 firms from the European Union and 31 companies established elsewhere in the world.
In 2008, arms transfers were distributed at approximately 36% for the EU, 27% for the United States and 26% for Russia, all other countries sharing the remaining 10 %. Excluding intra-EU transfers, net exports from the EU to the rest of the world accounted for approximately 25% of world total. Assessing the financial value of arms exports in the world is about 50.6 billion dollars in 2007, representing approximately 0.29% of world trade in goods and services.
A distribution of the world arms imports according to the Human Development Index (HDI) prepared by the United Nations Program for Development (UNDP) indicates that the poorest countries in the world (low HDI) imported 0.81% of the global arms transfers in 2008. There is a marked improvement over the 1990s, when it exceeded 20%. However, as low as they are, the arms purchases continue to weigh heavily on the development capabilities of some countries.