We Spend More on Education than the Military (UPDATED STATS)


Total GDP Expenditures on education from 2011 (source): 6.9%

Total GDP Expenditures on the military from 2014 (source): 3.5%

Total GDP Expenditures on health from 2011 (source): 17.7%

(The below was originally Posted April 4th, 2011)

I posted a link to the following audio of Michael Medved [as a response to a challenge from a youngster in conversation elsewhere on the WEB] taking a challenge from a caller on how much we spend on education versus the military.

He challenged the stats used by Michael Medved. I enjoy challenges like these if only it makes me work a bit harder to understand the minutia of the figures involved:

I wanted to post some of the stats here for my future use and set up the discussion as it went on FaceBook:

Young Man

  • Or……. We could just do away with the whole military industrial complex. Sounds allot better to me.


  • How bout the “Educational Industrial Complex?” Your terms are meaningless. We spend more on education than we do on military.

Young Man

  • I’m not sure where you get your facts Sean, but last time I checked The Federal Government spends more on defense than anything else, Espically now sice we are running 3 wars and aid efforts to Japan.


  • Here is a great example of a real world challenge. I have posted this to you in a previous discussion… but i doubt you actually take the time to stop and think critically on these issues, which demand time and reflection. This is only 5-minutes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KV8ITndPp0A

Young Man

  • Yeah i’m sure Medvid gets his stats from Fox as well. Idk, why you gave me a vid of some guy droning on about Bush its really besides the point. Medvid does nothing to further your point either.

I wish to intercede here and mention the derangement syndrome often mentioned  inregards to a few people/organizations. Of course we had versions of this with most Presidential candidates, like Reagan. But I think it really hit a crescendo with President George W. Bush

Some terms for knowledge:

  • BDS – Bush Derangement Syndrome;
  • PDS – Palin Derangement Syndrome;
  • FDS – Fox Derangement Syndrome.

….Of course Sarah Palin felt this recent wave of hatred, but there is also this liberal transfer of emotion onto whole erganizations. Here I speak of Fox News. In order for this young man to reject facts… all he needed to do was connect the stated facts from Medved to Fox News, and wallah! the facts as well as myself are wrong. So I found the following to back the stats mentioned by Medved. The first comes from Wikipedia — I highly recommend the researcher at heart following the many links involved in this article — and it deals with the total expenditure as % of GDP by country spent on their military:

Rank Country 2009 Spending ($ b.) Share of 2008 GDP (%) World Share (%)
1 United States United States 661 4.3 43
2 People's Republic of China Chinaa 100 2.0 6.6
3 France France 63.9 2.3 4.2
4 United Kingdom United Kingdom 58.3 2.5 3.8
5 Russia Russiaa 53.3 3.5 3.5
6 Japan Japan 51.0 0.9 3.3
7 Germany Germany 45.6 1.3 3.0
8 Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabiab 41.3 8.2 2.7
9 India India 36.3 2.6 2.4
10 Italy Italy 35.8 1.7 2.3
11 Brazil Brazil 26.1 1.5 1.7
12 South Korea South Korea 24.1 2.8 1.6
13 Canada Canada 19.2 1.3 1.3
14 Australia Australia 19.0 1.8 1.2
15 Spain Spain 18.3 1.2 1.2

This next section deals with the total expenditure as % of GDP by country spent on education:

# 1 United States: 7 % of GDP
# 2 Denmark: 6.7 % of GDP
# 3 Sweden: 6.5 % of GDP
# 4 Canada: 6.4 % of GDP
# 5 France: 6.1 % of GDP
# 6 Australia: 6 % of GDP
# 7 Norway: 5.9 % of GDP
# 8 New Zealand: 5.8 % of GDP
= 9 Switzerland: 5.7 % of GDP
= 9 Austria: 5.7 % of GDP
# 11 Finland: 5.6 % of GDP
# 12 Belgium: 5.5 % of GDP
= 13 Germany: 5.3 % of GDP
= 13 United Kingdom: 5.3 % of GDP
# 15 Italy: 4.9 % of GDP

And this final section deals with total expenditure as % of GDP by country spent on health services:

# 1 United States: 13.9 % of GDP
# 2 Switzerland: 10.9 % of GDP
# 3 Germany: 10.8 % of GDP
= 4 Canada: 9.4 % of GDP
= 4 France: 9.4 % of GDP
= 4 Greece: 9.4 % of GDP
# 7 Portugal: 9.3 % of GDP
# 8 Iceland: 9.2 % of GDP
# 9 Australia: 9.1 % of GDP
# 10 Belgium: 9 % of GDP
# 11 Sweden: 8.8 % of GDP
# 12 Denmark: 8.6 % of GDP
# 13 Netherlands: 8.5 % of GDP
# 14 Italy: 8.3 % of GDP
# 15 Norway: 8.1 % of GDP

So let us do some addition and subtraction. Without the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, military spending would be around 3.2% of the total total expenditure of GDP. Let us now add health and educational services: it would equal 20.9% of the total total expenditure of GDP.  Obviously the “Industrial Complex” lays more in education and health worker/government unions than in the military! One article makes the following comparison and then asks where he can sign up to this free stuff:

….Medicare spending in 2010 was five times the amount it was just thirty years ago. Medicaid spending is up six fold – as a percentage of GDP. In 1971 the federal government spent 1% of GDP providing health care to the elderly and the poor; now they are spending 5.5%. That is not a sustainable growth trend.

Year Medicare Medicare Medicaid Medicaid

% GDP Spending % GDP Spending

1971 0.7% $7.5 billion 0.3% $3.4 billion

2010 3.6% $520 billion 1.9% $273 billion

Once you add in Social Security and income security (welfare) spending, entitlements now account for 13.2% of GDP compared to just 6.7% in 1971. How, when the country is wealthier today than it was in 1971, can more people be entitled to more free stuff than ever before? The sense of entitlement is astounding. Plenty of people in the US believe they are entitled to other people’s money by merely gracing the country with their presence. The bottom 40% of income earners already faces no federal income tax liability, yet they feel entitled to free stuff. Seniors feel entitled to generous Medicare payments, but they didn’t contribute enough money during their working years to even come close to paying for their own medical bills in retirement. Again, they feel entitled to other people’s money.

All play and no work will make the US a poor country. At what point are the actual US taxpayers entitled to expect others to work and help pay the bills? Is there a section of society that is permanently entitled to sponge off of everyone else with no strings attached? If so, where can I sign up?

…(read more)…

What needs to change is the U.S. getting out of security issues Europe should worry about more than we should!

We need to clean our own fiscal house and not worry about others.

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