Largest Military Personnel’s Around The World

After taking a look at the countries with the largest military budget’s worldwide we thought it would be interesting to look at the countries with the most military personnel. Interestingly, when comparing the two lists there isn’t a clear correlation between many countries military expenditures and military size.

This adds to the fact that military personnel numbers are no longer a key indicator of a countries military strength. This is due to technological advancement and it’s connection with money spent in a countries military budget. However it is still interesting to look into countries and there army size. Another intriguing thing to analyse is a countries military population per 1000 people within the country.

Obviously countries with higher populations will have greater numbers in military personnel. However the per 1000 numbers a country has are interesting to examine as they give an idea of the militarization in a nation. Although this statistic is inflated in countries with laws around forced military service as a young adult.

This list was created using data gathered from here and the featured image was gathered from the same source.



Rank Country Active Military Per 1000 Capita
1 China 2,333,000 1.7
2 United States 1,492,200 4.6
3 India 1,325,000 1.1
4 North Korea 1,190,000 47.8
5 Russia 845,000 5.9
6 Pakistan 643,800 3.2
7 South Korea 630,000 12.3
8 Iran 523,000 6.5
9 Algeria 520,000 13.2
10 Turkey 510,600 6.6
11 Vietnam 482,000 5.3
12 Colombia 466,713 9.7
13 Egypt 438,500 5
14 Burma 406,000 7.9
15 Indonesia 395,500 1.5
16 Thailand 360,850 5.4
17 Brazil 318,480 1.6
18 Taiwan 290,000 12.4
19 Sri Lanka 276,700 13
20 Iraq 271,500 8.3
21 Mexico 270,250 2.4
22 Ukraine 250,000 5.6
23 Japan 247,150 2
24 Sudan 244,300 5.9
25 Saudi Arabia 233,500 8.1
26 France 222,200 3.3
27 South Sudan 210,000 5.1
28 Eritrea 201,750 31.6
29 Morocco 195,800 6.3
30 Germany 186,450 2.3
31 Afghanistan 185,800 5.8
32 Israel 176,500 21.3
33 Italy 176,000 2.9
34 United Kingdom 169,150 2.6
35 Canada 166,000 4.5
36 Bangladesh 157,050 1
37 Greece 143,350 13
38 Ethiopia 138,000 1.6
39 Spain 134,900 2.9
40 Democratic Republic of the Congo 134,250 2
41 Philippines 125,000 1.3
42 Syria 125,000 7
43 Cambodia 124,300 8.6
44 Peru 115,000 3.9
45 Venezuela 115,000 4.3
46 Malaysia 109,000 4.2
47 Angola 107,000 8.4
48 Jordan 100,500 15.1
49 Poland 99,300 2.6
50 Nepal 95,750 3.4
51 Nigeria 80,000 0.5
52 Argentina 73,100 1.8
53 Singapore 72,500 13.3
54 Romania 71,400 3.2
55 Azerbaijan 66,950 7
56 Yemen 66,700 2.9
57 South Africa 62,100 1.3
58 Chile 61,400 3.7
59 Lebanon 60,000 13.4
60 Ecuador 58,000 4
61 Australia 56,200 2.4
62 United Arab Emirates 51,000 5.5
63 Cuba 49,000 4.3
64 Belarus 48,000 5.1
65 Uzbekistan 48,000 1.7
66 Bolivia 46,100 4.7
67 Dominican Republic 46,000 4.8
68 Uganda 45,000 1.4
69 Armenia 44,800 14.9
70 Oman 42,600 12.5
71 Portugal 42,600 4.1
72 Côte d’Ivoire 40,000 1.9
73 Serbia 40,000 5.4
74 Kazakhstan 39,000 2.5
75 Netherlands 37,400 2.2
76 Tunisia 35,800 3.4
77 Rwanda 33,000 3.1
78 Bulgaria 31,300 4.3
79 Belgium 30,700 2.9
80 Laos 29,100 4.3
81 Zimbabwe 29,000 2.2
82 Tanzania 27,000 0.7
83 Hungary 26,500 2.7
84 Norway 25,800 5
85 Chad 25,350 2.5
86 Uruguay 24,650 7.1
87 Kenya 24,120 0.6
88 Czech Republic 23,650 2.2
89 Austria 22,800 2.7
90 Switzerland 22,650 2.8
91 Finland 22,200 4.1
92 Turkmenistan 22,000 4.5
93 Georgia 20,650 5.5
94 Burundi 20,000 2.1
95 Somalia 20,000 1.9
96 Guatemala 17,300 1.3
97 Denmark 17,200 3
98 Lithuania 17,131 6
99 Mauritania 15,870 5.1
100 Slovakia 15,850 2.9

Looking into this list there are many expected and also some surprising placings. Everyone would have expected the US and China to be in the top 2 they are both economic powerhouses and have to 2 largest military budgets by far. Also China’s 1.3 billion population, over 1/7th of the worlds population, had a clear impact on the nation military personnel numbers.




A surprising placing was Saudi Arabia’s ranking at 25th. With the 4th largest military budget most would have expected a larger military population to come out of the country.

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