The Global Arms Trade, Visualised

If you've ever wondered how the arms trade -- both civilian and military -- pans out around the globe, be puzzled no longer. Google has just created a wonderful little visualisation, which shows all the (known) arms trade between the globe's countries over the past 20 years.

The fully interactive world map lets you spin the globe to dig around and see how varying countries stack up. What's particularly interesting is the way that Google's data mining has allowed it to break down imports and exports by civilian and defence spending, as well as taking into account ammunition.

Personally, I was a little shocked to see that Spain exports $US100 million of ammunition annually, and that Italy exports $US200 million of civilian weapons in the same period. Still, that's small fry compared to the US, which imports $US1 billion of small arms and ammunition every year. Let us know if you spot anything interesting. [Google]



    Any body really surprised that most of the action is American?

    Why was the author shocked by the Spanish and Italian results? Italy in particular has centuries of gun making history - Beretta is the oldest gun manufacturer in the world AFAIK.

    The US imports $US1 billion of small arms and ammunition every year... where does it all go?

      shooting ranges - for a country that has 311 million people that's not that bad. And that probably includes law enforcement ammo, and ammo used for industry such a hunting.
      If every person in the US used $3 of ammo each year, there's your $1Billion. I think that number is probably bit low actually. Depends on how much ammo the US manufacture locally I guess.

    I found it interesting that Australia imports more civilian weapons than military ones....
    Does civilian include law enforcement?

      Also I'm surprise that we export things to a few random African countries...

      No, it wouldn't. The pistols, rifles and shotguns that police use aren't easily available to the average shooter.

        I'm aware of that - I mean for the purposes of the statistics, are law enforcement stats included in the military numbers or the civilian ones. Just seems strange that we import more civilian weapons than military ones.
        Actually, do we manufacture the Steyr AUG rifles here?

          Yea, the majority of our small arms are locally produced.

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