Wednesday, 13 November 2019

BICC Global Militarisation Index 2019 \ TOP 10 remain unchanged

Among the most militarised countries are, as in previous years, Israel, Singapore, Armenia, Cyprus, South Korea, Russia, Greece, Jordan, Belarus and Azerbaijan. The Global Militarisation Index 2019 of the peace and conflict research institute BICC is now available online at

Compiled by BICC, the Global Militarisation Index (GMI) presents on an annual basis the relative weight and importance of a country's military apparatus in relation to its society as a whole. The GMI 2019 covers 154 states and is based on the latest available figures (in most cases data for 2018).

Israel remains the most heavily militarised country in the world. Its massive investment in the military is still owed to the strained security situation of the country and the entire region.  Among the other most heavily militarised countries in the world, the order has not much changed: Only Brunei now ranks 11th, with Azerbaijan moving up onto position 10.

Of the countries that invest the most in the military in absolute terms, only Russia is among the top countries. According to 2018 data of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute SIPRI, Russia ranks 6th in global military spending with 61.4 billion US dollars. It is also ranked 6th in the GMI. A different picture presents itself for the two global leaders in military spending, China and the United States. At 250 billion US dollars, China spends the second most on its military, however, can only be found on position 94, mid-range, of the GMI. At 649 billion US dollars, the United States has the highest military expenditure in the world. Primarily owed to its high gross domestic product, the United States ranks 31st in the GMI in 2019; its level of militarisation, however, has increased slightly since 2018 (position 34).

In regional terms, the Middle East, in particular, is highly militarised.. Besides Israel (rank 8), Kuwait (rank 11), Bahrain (rank 18) Egypt (rank 21) and Lebanon (rank 23) are highly militarised. Iran (rank 24) and Saudi Arabia (rank 28) also invest relatively high sums in the military.

Six of the ten most heavily militarised countries—Armenia (rank 3), Cyprus (rank 4), Russia (rank 6), Greece (rank 7), Belarus (rank 9) and Azerbaijan (rank 10)—are located in Europe. This is partly due to the regional ‘frozen’ conflicts in the Caucasus and Cyprus.

You will find the map, ranking as well as explanations on the methodology of the Index (in English) at

The publication on the BICC GMI 2019, which includes analyses on global trends and comprehensive tables and maps, will be published in English and German in early 2020.

Press release "BICC Globaler Militarisierungsindex 2019 \ TOP 10 bleiben unverändert" (pdf, in German)