€194 billion spent on defence by 26 Member States in 2010

The 26 participating Member States spent a total of €194 billion on defence in 2010, according to the European Defence Agency. The same year, the US defence expenditure was the equivalent of €520 billion (or $689 billion). In addition, while the EU aggregated defence expenditure decreased, US expenditure increased.

The European Defence Agency published its data of EU and US government defence spending for 2010. That year, the governments of the 26 EDA participating Member States (pMS) spent a total of €194 billion on defence. The EDA recently published total defence spending and said it remained constant at €194 billion. The US spent the equivalent of €520 billion (or $689 billion). In 2010 US defence expenditure represented 4.8% of GDP and 11.2% of overall government expenditure. In the EU these ratios were, respectively, 1.6% and 3.2%. As for defence expenditure in relation to the total population, the US spent €1,676 ($2,222) per capita in 2010, while the EU spent on average €390.

On the other hand, there remain significant differences between the EU and the US in terms of allocation of the defence budget. Between 2006 and 2010, EU pMS spent half of their aggregated defence budget on personnel (civilian and military staff). In the US, personnel costs represented slightly less than one third of total defence spending during the same period. Between 2006 and 2010, the number of staff working in defence decreased by 17% in the EU and in the US it increased by 6%. Another remaining difference is that military personnel represents 80% of total personnel in the EU while in the US the proportion is 66%. In terms of deployed personnel, the US deployed on average almost 200,000 troops. This represents 14% of military personnel. The EU deployed 66,000 troops, 4% of the total military personnel.

In the EU the proportion of the budget dedicated to investment has always been lower than in the US (respectively 20% and 30%). However, it increased from 19% in 2006 to 22% in 2010. As for R&D expenditure the US spends more both in absolute terms and as a proportion of defence expenditure. In 2010 EU governments spent in total €9 billion on defence R&D (4.4% of defence expenditure). For the US these values were, respectively, €58 billion ($77 billion) and 11.2% (this percentage has however decreased from the 13.2% spent in 2006).