Global Military Spending Reaches Record High: Ethiopia’s Expenditure Surges Amid Tigray Conflict
Global military expenditure rose by 3.7% in real terms in 2022, reaching a new high of $2.24 trillion, driven by rising tensions in Europe and East Asia, according to data published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The US, China, and Russia were the top three spenders, accounting for 56% of the world total.
Amid this global increase, Ethiopia’s military spending surged by 88% in 2022, amounting to $1.0 billion. The escalation in expenditure coincided with a renewed government offensive against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front in the north of the country.
Ethiopia’s military spending has reached a new record in terms of current expenditure. However, when adjusted for inflation and expressed in constant 2021 US dollars, the spending is lower than it was during the Ethio-Eritrean war, as demonstrated by the two graphs below.
European spending saw the steepest year-on-year increase in at least 30 years, with military aid to Ukraine and concerns about Russia’s threat influencing many states’ spending decisions. In Central and Western Europe, military expenditure reached $345 billion in 2022, surpassing 1989 levels, with several states significantly increasing spending after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The continuous rise in global military spending indicates increasing insecurity worldwide, as states seek to strengthen their military capabilities in response to a deteriorating security environment. With military expenditure at an all-time high and no signs of improvement in global security, monitoring and addressing the implications of these increases remains crucial.
SIPRI tracks global military spending trends and offers the most consistent, extensive public data on the subject. Military expenditure covers government spending on current military forces, activities, salaries, benefits, operational costs, arms/equipment purchases, military construction, R&D, central administration, command/support, and military aid (recorded under the donor nation). The latest annual update of the SIPRI Military Expenditure Database is now available at www.sipri.org.