The Top 5 Countries that Sell the Most Arms

  Country Total Arms Sales Percent of Global Arms Sales
United States $154.882 billion 41%
Russia $63.823 billion 17%
France $31.247 billion 8%
United Kingdom $26.914 billion 7%
Germany $16.261 billion 3%
Sources:  Richard F. Grimmett, CRS Report for Congress; Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2001-2008.
List Notes: Percentages are rounded. Total sales are arms sales in US dollars to developing and industrialized nations between the years 2001 to 2008.
  1. The value of all arms transfer agreements worldwide (to both developed and developing nations) in 2008 was $55.2 billion US dollars. This was a decrease in arms agreements values over 2007 of 7.6%, and the lowest worldwide arms agreements total since 2005.
  2. Developing nations continue to be the primary focus of foreign arms sales activity by weapons suppliers. During the years 2001-2008, the value of arms transfer agreements with developing nations comprised 64.8% of all such agreements worldwide.
  3. In 2008, the United Arab Emirates ranked first in the value of arms transfer agreements among all developing nations weapons purchasers, concluding $9.7 billion in such agreements. Saudi Arabia ranked second with $8.7 billion in such agreements. Morocco ranked third with $5.4 billion.
  4. Despite the global economic climate in 2010, major purchases continue to be made by a select few developing nations in these regions, principally China and India in Asia, and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East.
  5. The top five countries profiting from the arms trade are the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council: the USA, UK, France, Russia, and China.
Top 5 facts sources: Richard F. Grimmett, CRS Report for Congress; Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2001-2008, "The Arms Trade is Big Business" Global
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