Which countries have been spending the most amount of money? Traditionally, military spending accounts for a huge portion of a country’s budget, with the United States leading the way as it spends more than $711 billion for arms, weapons, research and training. Other industrialized countries, like Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Japan also spend billions of dollars. Countries with emerging economies, such as Brazil, Russia, India and China are also in the top 10 of the biggest military spenders. Saudi Arabia is also in the list, though their military spending is understandable considering that they live in a highly volatile region. Besides, they have the money earned from their oil reserves to burn.
Still, the defense sector accounts for only a single portion of a country’s spending. Countries also have to allot money for education, social services, health care, infrastructure development and a host of other sectors. Here is a list of the top 10 biggest spending countries in the world in terms of actual dollar expenditures.
10. Spain – $672.1 billion
Spain has been experiencing economic problems brought about by the financial crisis the past few years. It has needed to be bailed out by the European Union in order to keep itself afloat. It needs to continuously pump the economy by stimulating the business sector, though it has to be balanced with austerity measures as well. The government faces a deficit however as its total revenues is only at $545 billion. Total deficit amount is almost $127 billion, or a rate of 18.9 percent.
9. Canada – $747.8 billion
Canada’s economy is highly integrated to that of its neighbor to the south, the United States. This means that it has a ready market for most of its products. Even dirty crude oil that is a heavy pollutant is being considered for export to the US. Still, the country faces a deficit of $87.6 billion after earning revenues of only $660.2 billion, or a deficit rate of 11.71 percent.
8. Brazil – $901 billion
Brazil is a rapidly emerging nation. Its economy is slowly becoming an important player in the world market. The country’s coffers are being buffered up by the discovery of abundant oil fields off the Brazilian coasts. As a result, Brazil has a surplus after realizing revenues of $978.3 billion, or a rate of 8.6 percent and amount of $77.3 billion. It is the only nation in the top 10 to have a surplus. It must be noted, however, that the expenditure figure represents only that of the federal government’s. Total public spending, therefore, is definitely higher. And with the country’s push to industrialization and its preparation for the World Cup and the Olympics in 2014 and 2016, expect Brazil’s spending to hike in the coming years.
7. Italy – $1.11 trillion
Italy is another country that badly felt the effects of the financial crisis. Its revenues only amounted to $1.02 trillion, meaning that they face a deficit rate of 7.81 percent amounting to $86.9 billion. It has needed a bailout from the European Union. Spending may increase in the coming years however after the Italian people showed massive electoral support to Beppe Grillo, a non traditional politician and ex-comic whose party has openly declared its opposition to austerity measures.
6. United Kingdom – $1.19 trillion
The United Kingdom faces a deficit of $201.5 billion as it only earned revenues of $986.5 billion. This means it has a deficit rate of around 16.9 percent. They did host the Olympics in 2012 and the security and infrastructure measures needed and implemented to ensure the success of the event probably boosted the spending figures. The country hopes this would eventually balance out as the promotion that it got because of the Olympics was massive.
5. France – $1.54 trillion
France’s revenue stood at only $1.39 trillion, way below the $1.54 trillion that it has budgeted for spending. The difference is around $149 billion, or a deficit rate of about 9.71 percent. The French budget is quite complicated, as local and regional authorities also have their own expenditures. Social security and other welfare benefits are separate items as well.
4. Germany – $1.59 trillion
Germany has emerged to become the strongest economy in the entire European continent. It is in the center of the European Union and has been one of its strongest advocates, often times leading the way in the bailout of its other troubled members. The country has its own deficit as well, with revenues only amounting to $1.55 trillion for a deficit amount of $37 billion or a rate of 2.33 percent. The amount is highly manageable and the economy is being soundly managed, thus Germans have no need to be alarmed.
3. China – $1.73 trillion
China has been spending rapidly as it tries to support its rapidly emerging economy with modern infrastructure and transport systems. It has come at the expense of pollution, intellectual property piracy and poor quality control, however, and these things may add to the country’s cost in the long run. Still, with the help of cheap Chinese goods flooding the world market, the country has recorded revenues of $1.65 trillion. It has a deficit of $83 billion, or a rate of 4.8 percent.
2. Japan – $2.49 trillion
Japan is home to some of the largest electronic manufacturers in the world. The government has had to deal with the effects and fallout of the tragedies that have befallen the nation the past few years. Whole cities have needed reconstruction, even as concerns have been raised regarding its nuclear power plants. Its revenues of $1.97 trillion was not enough to offset its spending, leaving it with a deficit of $524 billion, or a rate of 21 percent.
1. United States – $2.86 trillion
The United States is the biggest spender in the world. And to think that this figure only represents the spending of the federal government. If one includes other public spending, the amount may balloon up to $6 trillion. With revenues of $$2.4 trillion, it faces a deficit of up to 36 percent. The country’s military spending alone is seven times higher than the second highest spender. With its role as the sole remaining superpower, it does not really have any choice.
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