Global defence spending increased by 1.7% in 2014, following three years of decreases. More than half of this growth came from three countries: Saudi Arabia, China and Russia. Saudi Arabia’s spending increase was the most striking, at more than 21%.
Chinese expenditure continued to outflank that of regional rivals, increasing by 9.7% in 2014. In contrast, spending in North America and Europe declined, despite concerns over Russian ambitions in Europe.
Russia’s own defence spending increased by 8.3% in 2014; it continues to spend more as a percentage of GDP than America. While America remains the biggest military spender, its share of the global total has fallen from 47% in 2010 to 38% in 2014.