279 Military Spending 2002


The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP, 2004) defines military expenditure as follows: “All expenditures of the defence ministry and other ministries on recruiting and training military personnel as well as on construction and purchase of military supplies and equipment. Military assistance is included in the expenditures of the donor country.” It is estimated that in 2002 US$ 789 billion were spent on military purposes around the world.

The UNDP definition was sourced from the section on ‘Technical notes and definitions’ of the 2004 Human Development Report, which was accessed from the site below in November, 2004:


Note: values are in the then contemporary US$, based on exchange rates rather than adjusted for Purchasing Power Parity. We deliberately did not adjust for inflation because the prices of weapons do not follow the pattern of general inflation.

Data sources

The data were sourced from the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) 2004 Human Development Report, Table 19. In turn these data were sourced from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Many notes and many caveats that relate to these numbers can be found within the 2003, SIPRI Yearbook: Armaments, Disarmament and International Security. Oxford : Oxford University Press.

Data were missing for 23 mainly small territories (but including Iraq , Afghanistan and DPR Korea); home to under 2% of the world's population. To estimate these the regional average spending per person was used.

The data were largely provided as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a territory that is spent on military purposes. Note that the GDP figures were taken from Table 13 of the same UNDP report. The numbers are not adjusted for Purchasing Power Parity, but are based on exchange rates, due to the international nature of the arms trade.

Click here to view detailed data source references

The quotation that accompanies this map is from Emiliano Zapata, from his text ‘Plan de Ayala’, written on 28 November 1911. Zapata was referring to the maderistas in Mexico. The quotation was sourced from the dictionary of quotations noted below:

Anthony Jay (editor). 1997. The Oxford Dictionary of Political Quotations. Oxford University Press, Oxford. p.397:1

Excel sheets

Below is an explanation of each of the columns in the excel file:

Column A = Unique numerical territory (see 001).

Column B = Region and territory names (see 001).

Column C = Region code (see 001).

Column D = The ISO 3 code, or ISO ALPHA-3 (see 001).

Column E = Estimated military spending in billions of US dollars, in 2002. This number is taken from Column I. Where data are missing the regional average spending per person in US$ (Column F) is multiplied by the population in millions (Column G) and divided by 1000, to put the numbers into units of one billion each.

Column F = Estimated military expenditure per person in US dollars. This is calculated by dividing the estimated military spending in billions of US dollars in 2002 (Column E) by the population in millions in 2002 (Column G), then this is multiplied by 1000 to put the number into units. (F = E / G * 1000). Where data are missing the regional average is assumed.

Column G = Population in millions, for year 2002. For source data and derived estimates see 002, ‘Total Population’.

Column H = Military expenditure as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product in 2002. This is taken directly from the source data.

Column I = Military expenditure in 2002 in billions of US dollars. This was calculated from Column H and 2002 Gross Domestic Product figures from the United Nations Development Programme.