Global Militarisation Index

Source Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC)
Date of Dataset November 13, 2019-November 26, 2022
Updated 25 May 2022
Expected Update Frequency Every year

The Global Militarisation Index (GMI) depicts the relative weight and importance of the military apparatus of one state in relation to its society as a whole. For this, the GMI records a number of indicators to represent the level of militarisation of a country:

  • the comparison of military expenditures with its gross domestic product (GDP) and its health expenditure (as share of its GDP)
  • the contrast between the total number of (para)military forces and the number of physicians and the overall population;
  • the ratio of the number of heavy weapons systems available and the number of the overall population

The GMI is based on data from the Stockholm Peace research institute (SIPRI), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World health organization (WHO), the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) and BICC. It shows the levels of militarisation of more than 150 states since 1990. BICC provides yearly updates. As soon as new data is available, BICC corrects the GMI values retroactively for previous years (corrected data on This may have the effect that current ranks may differ in comparison to previous GMI publications. In order to increase the compatibility between different indicators and to prevent extreme values from creating distortions when normalizing data, in a first step every indicator has been represented in a logarithm with the factor 10. Second, all data have been normalized using the formula x=(y-min)/(max-min), with min and max representing, respectively, the lowest and the highest value of the logarithm. In a third step, every indicator has been weighted in accordance to a subjective factor, reflecting the relative importance attributed to it by BICC researchers (see Graph below). In order to calculate the final score, the weighted indicators have been added up and then normalized one last time on a scale ranging from 0 to 1,000. For better comparison of individual years, all years have finally been normalized. The GMI conducts a detailed analysis of specific regional or national developments. By doing so, BICC wants to contribute to the debate on militarisation and point to the often contradictory distribution of resources. See project website for more information

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