Poland spends more of its GDP on defense than any other NATO member state

In 2023, Poland spent 3.9 percent of its GDP on defense, surpassing the USA at 3.5 percent and Greece at 3 percent

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: forsal.pl

According to NATO data, only 11 member states have achieved spending a minimum of 2 percent minimum of their GDP on defense, with Poland being the largest spender in terms of GDP percentage.

The countries meeting or exceeding the 2 percent target set at a NATO summit a decade ago are the United States, the United Kingdom, Poland, Greece, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Finland.

The data indicates that Central and Eastern European countries are more attuned to military threats in Europe and align more closely with NATO’s shift toward collective security and deterrence, especially in response to Russian aggression.

In 2023, Poland spent 3.9 percent of its GDP on defense, surpassing the U.S. at 3.5 percent and Greece at 3 percent. The lowest spenders were Luxembourg at 0.72 percent, Belgium at 1.13 percent, and Spain at 1.26 percent. France and Croatia were just below the 2 percent mark, while Germany was significantly lower at 1.57 percent.

In terms of absolute spending, the U.S. led with $743.3 billion, followed by the U.K. with $65.6 billion, and Germany with $56.6 billion. France spent $50.6 billion, Italy $28.6 billion and Poland was sixth with $24.8 billion.

Per capita spending was highest in the U.S. at $2,220 per person, followed by three Scandinavian countries, each spending over $1,000 per person, and the U.K. at $965 per person. France and Germany spent $773 and $677 per person, respectively, with Poland tenth at $657 per person.

The most significant increases in military spending since 2014 were in Central and Eastern Europe: Lithuania (270 percent), Hungary (269 percent), Latvia (197 percent), Poland (189 percent), Slovakia (153 percent), and Romania (152 percent). The smallest increases were in the U.K. (6.8 percent) and the U.S. (12.6 percent).

In 2023, Poland led annual increases with a 63 percent rise in defense spending. Albania followed with a 49 percent increase, then Romania with 46 percent, and Finland with 45 percent.

Polish defense spending in 2023 focused mainly on equipment and munitions, which accounted for 52.4 percent of the budget, while personnel expenses constituted 27.7 percent.

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