This report summarises the main statistics on global military expenditure, from production to international conventional weapons sales. The data in the report are mostly culled from SIPRI databases, at times supplemented by socioeconomic statistics from Eurostat, the World Bank, United Nations agencies and the specialist press.
In 2007, global military expenditure totalled 1,339 billion dollars, representing 2.45% of global gross domestic product or around 198 dollars per inhabitant. The United States alone accounts for 45% of total expenditure.
The accumulated arms production turnover of the world’s top 100 arms manufacturers was estimated at 347.4 billion dollars in 2007, when the top 100 arms producers comprised 45 US companies, 23 European Union companies and 32 companies established elsewhere in the world.
Over the past decade (1998-2007), the European Union accounted for 43% of arms sales, the United States 31%, Russia 19%, with all other countries accounting for the remainder. Not including arms sales within Europe, EU net exports to the rest of the world represented around 27% of the world total. The financial value of global arms sales is evaluated at around 46 billion dollars in 2006, in other words 0.31% of global trade in goods and services.
A breakdown of global imports in line with the United Nations human development indicator (HDI) indicates that the world’s 22 poorest countries (with low HDI) imported 1.37% of global arms sales in 2003-2007. This was a net improvement on the 1980s, when they imported nearly 10% of global arms sales. However small, however, arms purchases continue to weigh heavily on some countries’ development capacity.