World military expenditure in 2020 is estimated to have been $1981 billion,
the highest level since 1988—the earliest year for which SIPRI has a consistent
estimate for total global military spending. World military expenditure
in 2020 was 2.6 per cent higher in real terms than in 2019 and 9.3 per cent
higher than in 2011 (see figure 1). The global military burden—world military
expenditure as a share of global gross domestic product (GDP)—rose by
0.2 percentage points in 2020, to 2.4 per cent. This increase was largely due to
the fact that most countries in the world experienced severe economic downturns
in 2020 related to the Covid-19 pandemic, while military expenditure
continued to rise overall (see box 1).

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