Countries With Mandatory Military Service 2019

Around the world, nations have their own militaries. How citizens are chosen for military service varies based on the country’s laws. In some nations, military service is voluntary. Citizens opt to sign up to join the military as their career. In other nations, there is a conscription system. This is also known as a draft, where a group of people (such as men over the age of 18) are required to sign up for military service but will not report for duty unless they are called to serve. Other nations have mandatory military service, where all citizens or a select group must sign up to serve their country. Finally, there are nations that have a combination of these systems.

There are several nations that have compulsory, or required, military service as well as voluntary military service. Those nations are Bermuda, Burundi, Cape Verde, Colombia, France, Kuwait, Mali, Mauritania, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand, and Venezuela. The United States does not have compulsory military service, but it is also included in this list because all males between the ages of 18 and 25 must register with the Selective Service to be drafted if needed.

There are many nations that have compulsory military service up to one year. Those nations are Brazil, Estonia, France, Greece, Qatar, Sweden, and Turkey.

Nations that require one year of military service include Algeria, Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Mongolia, Paraguay, Russia, Taiwan, Tunisia, and Uzbekistan.

There are several nations that require military service of no more than 18 months. Those nations are Azerbaijan, Belarus, Benin, Cambodia, Cote d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Egypt, Georgia, Kuwait, Laos, Morocco, and United Arab Emirates.

The nations that require military service of longer than 18 months include Armenia, Angola, Central African Republic, Chad, Cuba, Eritrea, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Israel, North Korea, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Niger, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Singapore, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Togo, and Yemen.

Most compulsory service is for adult males. However, there are also nations that have compulsory service for women. These countries are Armenia, Cape Verde, Chad, China, Eritrea, Israel, Norway, North Korea, and Sweden.

Rank Flag Name Population 2019 Area Area (mi²) % of Earth's Area Growth Rate Region Subregion
1Thailand69,625,582513,120 km²198,064 mi²0.35%0.28%AsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
2France65,129,728551,695 km²212,954 mi²0.37%0.21%EuropeWestern Europe
3Colombia50,339,4431,141,748 km²440,715 mi²0.77%1.37%AmericasSouth America
4Venezuela28,515,829916,445 km²353,748 mi²0.62%-1.29%AmericasSouth America
5Mali19,658,0311,240,192 km²478,714 mi²0.84%3.04%AfricaWestern Africa
6Burundi11,530,58027,834 km²10,744 mi²< 0.1%3.18%AfricaEastern Africa
7Sweden10,036,379450,295 km²173,814 mi²0.30%0.65%EuropeNorthern Europe
8Singapore5,804,337710 km²274 mi²< 0.1%0.81%AsiaSouth-Eastern Asia
9Mauritania4,525,6961,030,700 km²397,850 mi²0.69%2.78%AfricaWestern Africa
10Kuwait4,207,08317,818 km²6,878 mi²< 0.1%1.69%AsiaWestern Asia
11Cape Verde549,9354,033 km²1,557 mi²< 0.1%1.13%AfricaWestern Africa
12Bermuda62,50654 km²21 mi²< 0.1%-0.40%AmericasNorthern America