The United States spent 546.8 billion U.S. dollars on its military in 2007, a new high, accounting for 45 percent of the world's total military expenditure for that year, according to figures released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on Monday.
In 2007, the world's total military expenditure stood at 1,339 billion dollars, up 6 percent from 2006, the SIPRI said in its annual yearbook.
The figure corresponded to 2.5 percent of the world's gross domestic product (GDP) and 202 dollars for each person across the world, it said.
The biggest military spender is the United States, whose military expenditure rose by 6.94 percent in 2007 from a year earlier, higher than the world average. Its military expenditure increased by 59 percent between 2001 and 2007.
Over the 10-year period between 1998 and 2007, the subregion with the highest increase in military expenditure was Eastern Europe, at 162 percent, and it was also the region with the highest increase in 2007, at 15 percent. Russia's military expenditure in 2007 increased by 13 percent from 2006.
Other subregions with 10-year growth rates exceeding 50 percent were North America, the Middle East, South Asia, Africa and East Asia, while the subregions with the lowest growth in military spending during the period were Western Europe and Central America.
Factors driving increases in world military spending included foreign policy objectives, real or perceived threats, armed conflict and policies to contribute to multilateral peacekeeping operations, as well as policies for economic resources, according to the SIPRI.
The SIPRI, established in 1966, is an independent international institute for research into peace and conflict problems.