April 27 (UPI) -- Global military spending grew 3.6 percent in 2019 to $1.9 trillion, with the United States accounting for $732 billion, or 38 percent of the global total.
U.S. military spending grew by 5.3 percent, equivalent to Germany's entire military budget for the year, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said Monday in its annual report.
The five largest buyers were the United States, China, India, Russia and Saudi Arabia, whose purchases accounted for 62 percent of the total figure. The global expenditure was the largest annual percentage increase in a decade, representing 2.2 percent of global gross domestic product, or about $249 per person.
By the benchmarks of SIPRI, military spending includes all government spending on current military forces and activities, including salaries and benefits, operational expenses, arms and equipment purchases, military construction, research and development, and central administration, command and support. The dollar figures include the cost of more than weapons and armaments.
"Global military expenditure was 7.2 per cent higher in 2019 than it was in 2010, showing a trend that military spending growth has accelerated in recent years," SIPRI researcher Nan Tian said in a press release. "This is the highest level of spending since the 2008 global financial crisis and probably represents a peak in expenditure."
The study noted that China's military expenditures rose 5.1 percent to about $261 billion in 2019, or only about one-third of the U.S. figure. India's grew 6.8 percent to $71.1 billion. Russia saw a 4.5 percent increase to $65.1 billion, or nearly four percent of its GDP.
Beyond the top five, however, military spending increased all over the world. Bulgaria's military budget increased by 127 percent, largely because of payments for new fighter planes to replace its Soviet-era fleet. The 29 nations of NATO combined to spend more than $1.035 trillion in 2019, the report said.
Spending by South American countries was little changed, but armed conflict in central Africa increased Burkina Faso's military budget by 22 percent and Uganda's by 52 percent.