NATO collects defence expenditure data from Allies on a regular basis and presents aggregates and subsets of this information.
Each Ally’s Ministry of Defence reports current and estimated future defence expenditure according to an agreed definition of defence expenditure.
The Report shows that defence spending among European Allies and Canada increased by almost 4% from 2017 to 2018, and that in the period from 2016 to 2018, they have contributed an additional cumulative spending of over 41 billion dollars. “We expect that figure to rise to 100 billion dollars by the end of next year”, said Jens Stoltenberg.
Six European governments — Estonia, Greece, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Britain were estimated to have met the 2% goal last year.
Meanwhile, Germany, Italy, Spain, Luxembourg and Belgium were still nowhere near meeting the pledge. Spending in Bulgaria, the Baltics and the Netherlands went up by around 20% in 2018 compared to 2017. Along with Canada, Greece was the only NATO members to decrease defence spending in 2018.
European nations as a whole reached a five-year high at 1.51%.
In 2018, seven Allies reached the 2% defence spending guideline, up from three in 2014. A majority of Allies is also spending more than 20% of their defence expenditure on major equipment and according to 2018 national plans, 24 Allies will meet the 20% guideline by 2024.
In view of differences between both these sources and national GDP forecasts, and also the definition of NATO defence expenditure and national definitions, the figures shown in this report may diverge considerably from those which are quoted by media, published by national authorities or given in national budgets. Equipment expenditure includes expenditure on major equipment as well as on research and development devoted to major equipment. Personnel expenditure includes pensions paid to retirees.
The cut-off date for information used in this report was 12 February 2019. Figures for 2018 are estimates.