merkava 88 248.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Israel was the top defense spender relative to its population in 2008, with the government shelling out more than $2,300 per person, over $300 more than the US, which boasts the second largest ratio, the Economist reported on Monday.
According to the report, Israel's total defense expenditure was $16.2 billion for the year.
The US is by far the largest overall defense spender, with expenses running to some $607 billion, 41.5 percent of the $1.46 trillion spent on defense needs worldwide in 2008.
China emerged as a growing military spender, increasing its expenditure by 10% in 2008 to $85 billion to overtake other countries and become the second-largest global spender behind the US.
Saudi Arabia and the oil rich states of the Gulf also increased their outlay, with the Saudis spending $38.2 billion, which is sixth in terms of population and ninth overall.