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Most Powerful Countries in the World

The top ten most powerful countries in the world based on the Global Presence Index 2015 are the United States, China, Germany, United Kingdom, Russia, France, Japan, Netherlands, Canada, Saudi Arabia and Italy.

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Top Ten Most Powerful Countries in 2014
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Powerful Countries in the World based on the Global Presence Index from 2011- 2015
RankCountries20152014Rank 20142013Rank 20132012Rank 20122011Rank 2011
1USA1,098.501,092.5011,047.7011,017.9019421
2China414387.24364.93340.43301.44
3Germany404.2394.53371.72378.52342.42
4United Kingdom403.9413.72363.14337.44305.73
5Russia320.2332.65321.85303.35246.56
6France317.53166301.16302.86281.65
7Japan248.12528247.37246.97231.47
8Netherlands242.8252.47228.78231.18194.48
9Canada224.3220.99216.39209.49184.99
10Saudi Arabia194.3188.610183.810175.811123.611
11Italy183.3181.511177.411178.810161.310


According to the report of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) released in May 2016, military expenditure in North America and Western Europe has declined in the last year. There was a substantial increase in military expenditure of countries in Asia, Africa, and Central & Eastern Europe. Heightened tensions with neighboring countries and change in market value of currencies are some of the factors to raise or cut the military expenditure of a particular nation or region. The defense spending of the United States is roughly equivalent to the next seven largest (China, India, Japan, France, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the United Kingdom) military expenditures combined. Here are the world's top 10 countries with largest military budget –

USA:The United States is commonly known as the most powerful country in the World. The country heads the UN's list of countries by GDP and its military budget accounts for nearly 40% of global arms spending. America also maintains the most number of military bases on foreign soil.

China:  The most populous country in the world, China continues to expand its global sphere of influence by flexing its economic and military might. Though, as of now it ranks significantly below the US in technological and foreign affairs capabilities, many analysts predict that it is poised to overtake the US as the most powerful country in the world in 2030.

Saudi Arabia:  Despite a decline in the global market value of crude oil, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has weathered the crisis with ease. The Middle Eastern nation spends 13.7 % of its GDP on defense budget, which is the largest share of GDP in top 10 military budgets. According to this report, it is the world's second largest arms importer.

Russia:  The military budget of the Russian Federation – the world's largest country in area – is the highest in Europe. With 65.6 billion dollars, its defense spending in 2016 is about 14% when compared with the United States.

United Kingdom:  Placed in the top seven economies of the world by GDP rankings, the UK continues to exercise influence through its leadership of commonwealth countries. The UK is also the world's sixth-largest military spender and has the second largest defense spending in NATO.

India: India allocated defense spending of 51.3 billion, which is approximately 2.3 percent of its overall GDP. India is placed sixth on the top nations with military expenditure, a place up from last year. The country has made some notable weapon deals in this year in order to modernize its armed forces.

France: France is an influential nation with a high standard of living and strong involvement in international issues. Though, France ranks fairly low in energy security, its recognition as a permanent member of the UN Security Council enhances its position in global diplomacy. The country allocated the military budget of 2.1% of its national GDP, which is roughly the same as India.

Japan:  Japan's strong economy ranks fourth worldwide, aided by its automobile industry, and science and technology. Japan spends the fifth highest amount on its military and defense budget, despite officially renouncing its right to declare war. Though Japan is a small country in area, it has the 11th highest population worldwide.

Germany: Germany is known for its steady economy, which ranks fourth worldwide, as well as its innovative technology sector. The country has boosted its defense spending in this financial year to 39.4 billion dollars; although it is considerably lower compared to its nominal GDP.

South Korea: With a military expenditure of USD36.49 billion in 2016, South Korea is the tenth most powerful country in the world. The Asian country has the second-largest number of reserve troops and spends about 2.6 % of its nominal GDP on national security.

Brazil, Italy, Australia, UAE, and Israel are other global superpowers that rank among the most powerful countries in the world.

Top Ten Powerful Nations 2013 (According to Global Presence)
Top Ten Powerful Nations 2013 (According to Global Presence)
RANKPOWERFUL COUNTRIESGLOBAL PRESENCE INDEX 2013
1United States1041.7
2Germany386.1
3United Kingdom367.8
4China334.4
5France308.2
6Russia281
7Japan241.7
8Netherlands212.7
9Canada203.6
10Italy172.4
SOURCE:ELCANO GLOBAL PRESENCE REPORT 2014

Top Ten Powerful Countries Ranking (2012)
Top Ten Powerful Countries Ranking (2012)
CountryCapital CityContinentCurrencyNational Power IndexRanking (NPI)
United StatesWashington DCNorth America US Dollar77.771
ChinaBeijingAsiaYuan/Renminbi58.662
RussiaMoscowEuropeRuble43.363
France ParisEuropeEuro (Formerly French Franc)43.244
Japan TokyoAsiaYen42.95
UKLondonEuropePound Sterling41.426
GermanyBerlinEuropeEuro (Formerly Deutsche Mark)39.777
IndiaNew DelhiAsiaIndian Rupee35.48
CanadaOttawaNorth AmericaCanadian Dollar32.869
IsraelJerusalemAsiaIsraeli new shekel32.1910
Source: National Power Index 2012: Foundation for National Security Research

NOTE: National Power Index (NPI) 2012 is a comprehensively revised version of the previous National Security Indexes published in India’s National Security Annual Review (INSAR) series since 2002.

The National Power Index is a comprehensive list that ranks the countries of the world according to a composite index which combines statistical analysis of the Economic, Military, Population, Technology, Energy Security, and Foreign Affairs capabilities of a country. Each of these factors is given a certain weightage and the overall composite index is prepared after detailed analysis of the individual components.

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