According to the latest report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), global defense spending has grown to $1.8 trillion in 2018. The combined budget was the highest since 1988, according to the findings. The U.S. spent almost $650 billion, 36 percent of the global total and 2.5 times as much as second-placed China, which increased spending by 5 percent.
Involved in the conflict in neighboring Yemen, Saudi Arabia came in third in this year's ranking with expenditures estimated at almost $68 billion, a decrease of $4.6 billion. Eastern and Central European countries increased their defense expenditures heavily in 2018, as did India (+3.1 percent) and South Korea (+5.1 percent).