India has become world’s fifth largest military spender after the expenditure grew around 8.5 per cent in 2016. According to figures released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), India spent $55.9 billion in 2016.
As per the data of SIPRI, the United States remains the world’s largest military spender followed by China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia at 2nd, 3rd and 4th position respectively. Four others in the top 15 spenders include China, Japan, South Korea, Australia. As per the figures, the US remains the world’s largest military spender registering a growth of 1.7 per cent between 2015 and 2016 to $611 billion.
China’s military expenditure has increased by 5.4 per cent and is now $215 billion. However, the growth rate is much lower than the previous years. After China, third in line, is Russia with $69.2 billion and an increase of 5.9 percent. Saudi Arabia dropped to the fourth position in 2016 after its spending dropped by 30 per cent despite continued involvement in regional wars. The list of top 15 spenders include Japan, South Korea and Australia. Pakistan, with its $9.93 billion expenditure, does not figure in the top 15 list. Military expenditure in Western Europe rose for the second consecutive year and was up by 2.6 per cent. In 2016, the global military spending accounted for 2.2 per cent of the worldwide GDP. Military spending as a share of GDP, was highest in the Middle East with an average of 6.0 per cent. However, data for all Middle Eastern countries was not available. In Asia and Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and others), military expenditure rose by 4.6 per cent in 2016. Spending levels are related to the many tensions in the region such as over territorial rights in the South China Sea.