Tanks taking part in training in Estonia as part of NATO's enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup (Picture: NATO).

NATO: Which countries pay their share on defence?

The alliance has released its latest estimates showing which nations meet the 2% of GDP guideline spend on defence.

Tanks taking part in training in Estonia as part of NATO's enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup (Picture: NATO).

The number of NATO nations meeting or exceeding the alliance's spending target has continued to fall, according to the latest official estimates.

The UK is one of only eight nations out of 30 believed to be hitting the target and remains fourth in the list of proportional spending.

NATO sets alliance members the aim of spending 2% of their gross domestic product (GDP) on defence.

NATO defence expenditure estimates for 2021 310322 CREDIT NATO
Defence spending by NATO nation, 2021 figures are estimates (Picture: NATO).

Up to June 2021, the alliance estimated that 10 nations were spending 2% or more of their GDP on defence.

But latest estimates show now only eight countries are achieving the target with Romania and France falling below the 2% threshold. 

NATO data suggests the UK defence spending as a percentage of GDP dropped by 0.05 percentage points in 2021 to 2.25% from 2.30% from 2020.

Greece remains the alliance's biggest spender as a share of GDP, contributing 3.59%.

The US (3.57%) stays second with Poland (2.34%) third and Croatia, Estonia and Latvia (2.16%) joint-fifth.

Watch: UK takes control of NATO Air Policing mission in Romania. 

Lithuania rounds off the nations hitting the GDP target, with a spend of 2.03%.

After dropping below the 2% guideline, France (1.93%) is ninth and Romania (1.88%) is 10th.

Luxembourg (0.54%) props up the proportional spending table with Spain (1.03%) and Belgium (1.07) making up the bottom three.

Two places above Belgium is Canada (1.36%), while Italy (1.54%), Germany (1.49%), the Netherlands (1.45%) and Denmark (1.40%) are all among the nations below the guideline. 

Iceland, which does not have any armed forces, was not featured on the list.

Formed in the aftermath of the Second World War, NATO's original goals were to secure peace in Europe, promote co-operation among its members and counter the threat posed by the USSR, also known as the Soviet Union.