New historic high for government space spending mostly driven by defense expenditures


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In 2023 government space budgets have reached a record-breaking $117 billion, marking a growth of over 15% compared to the previous year. With an estimated value of almost $59 billion, defense expenditures have now surpassed investments in civil programs, a historic first for the sector.

Paris, Washington D.C., Montreal, Yokohama, Sydney, December 19th, 2023

The leading strategic space consulting and market intelligence firm Euroconsult has released the 23rd edition of its annual Government Space Program report confirming the growing financial efforts achieved by governments in the space sector. Keen to capitalize on the expanding space economy and to further strengthen their sovereign capabilities, government space expenditures have increased to $117 billion, a 15% increase compared to last year. 

Throughout history, government spending has predominantly been directed towards investments in civil space activities. However, in 2023, a significant paradigm shift has occurred, with defense expenditures now taking the lead. This development underscores the pivotal role of space in an era characterized by escalating global tensions. The increasingly complex and contentious geopolitical landscape has motivated leading spacefaring nations to intensify their investments in the defense space sector. While funding for traditional applications like Telecommunications, Navigation, and Earth observation has steadily increased in recent years, the most notable surge has been witnessed in investments related to Security and Early Warning.

On the other side, the growth in civil budgets is mainly driven by crewed and non-crewed Scientific and Exploration programs. While spending remains concentrated among leading spacefaring nations, notably supporting the U.S.-led Artemis program and the Chinese IRLS initiative, an increasing number of nations are acknowledging the socio-economic benefits of these endeavors and are now developing their own initiatives.

 In terms of national rankings, the U.S. continues to hold the top position in governmental investment in space, allocating over $73 billion to space activities in 2023. However, its global share has gradually decreased from around 75% in 2000 to 63% in 2023, as other nations have increased their financial efforts in the sector. While Europe has maintained consistent importance, Asia's share of global spending has nearly doubled since the early 2000s, driven by China's substantial investments in the sector.

In addition to the historical spacefaring countries, an increasing number of countries in the region have chosen to revamp their approach to the space sector in recent years, involving heightened financial commitments, the formulation of new space strategies, and, for some, the establishment of a dedicated space agency. This trend underscores governments' recognition of space as a valuable investment for national socio-economic benefits, serving both civil and defense purposes. Over the past few years, a new rationale has emerged, with countries seeking to secure a share of the expanding commercial revenues generated by the space industry for their industries. This trend is notably visible in Asia, with new initiatives undertaken in New Zealand and Australia, as well as in the Middle East, where various Gulf countries have recently shown a growing interest in space activities.

Looking forward, it is anticipated that government space budgets will keep rising. Nevertheless, as governments pursue significant milestones in both civil and defense space initiatives, it is expected that a plateau in budget expansion will occur. This projection stems from the potential challenge governments may face in sustaining continuous financial escalation in the future.

 Charlotte Croison, Senior Consultant at Euroconsult, stated “The 23rd edition of our Government Space Programs report confirms that governments are firmly committed to boost their space budgets and enhance their capabilities in orbit. This is true for leading spacefaring but also extends to an increasing number of countries entering the space sector, seeking to leverage the diverse socio-economic benefits it offers. “  

 "Despite growth in both sectors this year, a significant insight from the report is the shift where defense investments now outpace civil spending. This mirrors the current trends in global geopolitics.”

Euroconsult's Government Space Programs report is designed for diverse audiences, including government space-related institutions, manufacturers of space technology seeking government contracts, organizations investing in the space sector, and other stakeholders in the industry.

This flagship Market Intelligence product provides an analysis and benchmark of all public spending and space programs. For each country or organization, the report provides a comprehensive analysis of the space policy, strategy and governance of space activities in the country/organization. It further details the different programs conducted by the country/organization and provides an in-depth analysis of its expenditures in the field for the past decade and ten years ahead. In addition to more than 90 countries and organizations profiles, the report contains a Strategic Outlook chapter benchmarking the different national programs to identify key trends at the global and regional levels. The report comes with an excel file covering more than 90 countries and organizations across six world regions and is available now via Euroconsult’s Digital Platform at

  About the Report

Government Space Programs, now in its 23rd edition, is designed to provide an economic and strategic assessment of government space programs worldwide. This flagship Market Intelligence product is built on Euroconsult’s extensive heritage in estimating government space budgets, an activity started in the early 1990s. Since then, the Government Space Programs report has evolved into a continuous, year-round data-gathering exercise led by a dedicated team of space experts. To develop the report, the team has used different sources of information to calculate and estimate countries’ and organizations’ space budgets including stakeholder consultations.

About Euroconsult

The Euroconsult Group is the leading global strategy consulting and market intelligence firm specialized in the space sector and satellite enabled verticals. Privately owned and fully independent, we have forty years of experience providing first-class strategic consulting, developing comprehensive market intelligence programs, organizing executive-level annual summits and training programs for the satellite industry. We accompany private companies and government entities in strategic decision making, providing end-to-end consulting services, from project strategy definition to implementation, bringing data-led perspectives on the most critical issues. We help our clients understand their business environment and provide them with the tools they need to make informed decisions and develop their business. The Euroconsult Group is trusted by 1,200 clients in over 60 countries and is headquartered in France, with offices in the U.S., Canada, Japan, Singapore, and Australia.

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