Defense & Military

Despite the number of people in the armed forces being lower than in decades past, the US military continues to have a presence domestically and abroad.

Data Updated January 27, 2023
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What are the basics on defense and military?

Get data on military composition, where defense spending goes, and military deaths. Data on this page comes from multiple sources, including the Department of Defense and the Office of Management and Budget.

What is the role of the government in defense?

Spending on national defense & the military

In fiscal year 2020, governments spent a combined total of $837 billion on national defense and the military.

That’s $2,515 per person in the US.

USAFacts categorizes government budget data to allocate spending and appropriately arrive at the estimate presented here. Government spending on national defense peaked in 2010. Today, it accounts for a smaller share of all government spending than in the 1980s.

Government revenue and expenditures are based on data from the Office of Management and Budget, the Census Bureau, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Each is published annually, although due to collection times, state and local government data are less current than federal data. Thus, the most recent year for a combined number may be delayed when combining federal, state, and local revenues and expenditures.

Agencies and elected officials

Level of government
Key actors


Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Central Intelligence Agency, Congress, President

Maintain and equip the US military at home and abroad; Maintain and equip reserve forces



Call state national guard troops into service in crises

Level of government



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