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Since 1st January 2016*, Defence has cost the taxpayer...

The figure is updated every 60 seconds. Sources, notes, & caveats can be found below.

Key Facts

Number of Staff³


£ per person² (p.a.)


Cost per Second¹


Cost per Minute


Cost per Hour


Cost per Day


Sources & Notes


All sources used to create the figures are listed below. Figures include inflation (averaged) using the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Composite Price Index (CPI) for 2016 - 2017. Figures are provided in good faith and for general reference purposes only.

³ = This figure represents all UK Forces Service Personnel across both regular, reserves and trained, untrained personnel. Includes Gurkhas, Military Provost Guard Service, Locally Engaged Personnel, Volunteer Reserve, Serving Regular Reserve, Sponsored Reserve, and Full-Time Reserve Service of unknown origin. University Officer Cadets are excluded.

¹ = As stated, figures are rounded where required. For example, the actual cost per second is £1,159.59075966451. Figures provided in the Key Facts section are rounded accordingly. Full data available upon request.

² = The cost per person is based on the latest figures available from the World Bank (sourced below).

* = The latest data provided is for the 2016/2017 period and excludes Annually Managed Expenditure (AME), amongst other items mentioned below.


Source links may be archived using either Google's cache or on, or around, the date of data creation.

Notes & Caveats

Calculations made using figures from UK Government report for the 2016/2017 period. The following must be considered when verifying the data:

  • 52 weeks per year, rather than 52.14.
  • 365 days per year, rather than 365.24
  • The figure excludes Annually Managed Expenditure and non-cash depreciation costs, which totalled £8.6 billion for the same period.
  • Figures include spending on Equipment, Support, Staffing, Provisions, Infrastructure, Administration, R&D, Pensions, Operations, Fuel, and "Other costs".
  • Long-term (multi-year/decade) costs, which have been excluded, include Nuclear Decommissioning provisions, amongst other areas (available in sources above).
  • £178,000,000,000 is planned for spending between 2016-2026. This has been excluded.
  • The cost for replacing Trident, the UK's Nuclear Deterrent, is estimated to be £31,000,000,000 and is excluded from this figure.
  • Figures may not sum to totals due to rounding.

In Addition

The sources used list specific information to consider:

The MoD spent £8.8 billion on equipment, and £6.4 billion on equipment support. Equipment support involves testing, repair and maintenance of equipment alongside acquiring and holding a range of equipment parts. In March 2017, the MoD held capital spares valued at £20.5 billion.

National Audit Office

The MoD spent £7.5 billion on running the Department. This included £4.1 billion on infrastructure, £1.5 billion on administration, £1.2 billion on inventory and £0.7 billion on other costs such as fuel consumption.

National Audit Office

In 2016-17 ‘total defence spending’ was £35.3 billion. This includes both resource and capital delegated expenditure limit (DEL) spending such as civilian and military staff costs, infrastructure costs and equipment support costs. It also includes investment in military equipment. It does not include annually managed expenditure (AME), spending not easily controlled by the MoD. It also excludes non-cash depreciation costs. Together this expenditure totalled £8.6 billion in 2016-17. The ‘total defence outturn‘, which includes all these elements, totalled £43.9 billion in 2016-17.

House of Commons Defence Select Committee via National Audit Office