Story: Armed forces

Defence spending as a proportion of estimated GDP, 1880–1971 (1st of 2)

Defence spending as a proportion of estimated GDP, 1880–1971

The most striking feature of this graph is the huge defence spending spikes which occurred in the First and Second world wars. Defence spending in 1943 constituted 35% of gross domestic product (GDP), the highest recorded level in New Zealand’s history. Aside from world-war spending, defence spending was historically high in the 1950s, at 2–3% of GDP. It dropped to 1–2% in the 1960s and 1970s. Note: estimated real GDP figures are used – official GDP figures were not available until 1972.

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How to cite this page:

Jim Rolfe, 'Armed forces - Governance of the New Zealand armed forces', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/graph/36156/defence-spending-as-a-proportion-of-estimated-gdp-1880-1971 (accessed 20 November 2019)

Story by Jim Rolfe, published 20 Jun 2012