Military Size By Country 2019

A country’s military is one of its most important assets. The military of a nation works for the government and is used to enforce and further domestic and foreign policies and offer protection for its citizens.

There are several different things to consider when discussing the size of a nation’s military. One of the most important is whether a person is active military, on reserves, or part of a paramilitary. An active member is someone that works for the military full time. These servicemen may be deployed at any time. They may also live on military bases. For example, this would be someone that was in the Air Force or the Army in the United States.

A reservist is not full-time. These servicemembers typically hold another full-time job. Reservists may be deployed at any time and may have to attend special training and work part-time throughout the year. Many people join the reserves – such as the Army Reserve or National Guard – to make extra money, get tuition bonuses to go back to school, or take advantage of other perks without devoting themselves full time to the military.

Finally, paramilitary members are part of an organization that is similar to the military. However, these are not formally part of the armed forces. Some examples of paramilitary organizations throughout the world include Canada’s Canadian Rangers of the United States Civil Air Patrol.

Now knowing the differences between these, we can explore which nations have the largest militaries. By active members of the military, China comes out on top with over 2 million people in this nation’s military.

There are three other nations with active militaries exceeding 1 million people. Those are India (1.395 million), the United States (1.358 million), and the Russian Federation (1.01 million).

Nations with militaries exceeding 500,000 active members include:

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea: 950,000 Pakistan: 653,000 Republic of Korea: 599,000 Iran: 523,000

On the other side of the coin, there are nations that have no active members of the military or their militaries are very small. These nations have no active members of the military:

Costa Rica Iceland Libya Mauritius Palestine Panama

In terms of reserve members, Vietnam comes out on top. This nation has about 5 million members of its reserves. The Republic of Korea also has several million members of its military reserves – 3.1 million to be more exact. Other nations with reserve militaries with at least 1 million members include:

Republic of China: 2.8 million Russian Federation: 2.57 million India: 2.096 million Iran: 1.35 million Brazil: 1.34 million Cuba: 1.159 million Finland: 1.127 million

The nation with the largest paramilitary is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which has over 5.889 million members. In the United States, there are more than 2.9 million people that work for a paramilitary organization. Iran, the Russian Federation, the Republic of China, India, the People’s Republic of China, and Cuba all have paramilitary organizations that exceed 1 million members.

When looking at the total numbers, the nation with the largest military is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which has over 7 million members. The Russian Federation, Vietnam, the United States, and India also top the list with more than 5 million members of the military per country. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea also tops the list in terms of total military members per capita, as well as active military members per capita.

Country Active Military Reserve Military Paramilitary Total Military Total Military per 1,000 Active Military per 1,000 Population 2019
China2,035,000510,0001,500,0004,045,0002.91.51,433,783,686
India1,440,0002,096,0001,585,9505,121,95041.11,366,417,754
United States1,374,699845,0002,918,1615,137,86015.64.2329,064,917
Russia1,013,6282,572,5002,310,8595,896,98741.57.1145,872,256
North Korea950,000200,0005,889,0007,039,000278.837.625,666,161
Pakistan653,000653,0003.13.1216,565,318
South Korea599,0003,100,000900,0004,599,00089.911.751,225,308
Iran523,0001,350,0002,640,0004,513,000556.482,913,906
Vietnam482,0005,000,00040,0005,522,00057.4596,462,106
Egypt438,500479,000397,0001,314,50013.54.5100,388,073
Myanmar406,000107,250513,2509.37.454,045,420
Indonesia395,500400,000280,0001,075,5004.11.5270,625,568
Thailand360,850245,00093,700699,55010.25.369,625,582
Turkey355,200378,700156,800890,700114.483,429,615
Sri Lanka346,70035,90062,200444,80019.815.521,323,733
Brazil334,5001,340,000395,0002,069,500101.6211,049,527
Colombia293,20034,950187,900516,05010.86.150,339,443
Mexico277,15081,50058,900417,5503.42.2127,575,529
Taiwan275,0002,800,0001,883,4504,958,450210.911.723,773,876
Japan247,15056,00013,740316,8902.52126,860,301
Saudi Arabia227,00024,500251,5008.87.934,268,528
Ukraine204,000900,00088,0001,192,00027.14.643,993,638
France202,70072,300103,400378,4005.6365,129,728
Eritrea201,750120,000321,75054.834.43,497,117
Morocco195,800150,00050,000395,80011.65.836,471,769
South Sudan185,000185,00014.214.211,062,113
Germany178,60027,900500207,0002.62.283,517,045
Israel176,500465,0008,000649,50078.321.38,519,377
Italy174,50018,300182,350375,15062.860,550,075
Afghanistan174,300148,700323,0009.55.138,041,754
Bangladesh157,05063,900220,9501.41163,046,161
United Kingdom150,25082,650232,9003.62.367,530,172
Syria142,500150,000292,50016.27.917,070,135
Greece141,350220,5004,000365,8503413.110,473,455
Ethiopia138,000138,0001.31.3112,078,730
Dr Congo134,250134,2501.61.686,790,567
Algeria130,000150,000187,200467,20011.43.243,053,054
Philippines125,000181,00040,500346,5003.31.2108,116,615
Cambodia124,30067,000191,30011.87.716,486,542
Venezuela123,0008,000220,000351,00011.23.928,515,829
Spain121,20015,45076,750213,4004.42.546,736,776
Nigeria118,00082,000200,00010.6200,963,599
Malaysia109,000296,300264,600669,90021.33.531,949,777
Angola107,00010,000117,00043.731,825,295
Poland105,00073,400178,4004.62.737,887,768
Sudan104,30085,00020,000209,3005.62.842,813,238
Jordan100,500100,00015,000215,500219.810,101,694
Nepal96,60062,000158,6005.43.328,608,710
Peru81,000188,00077,000346,00011.12.632,510,453
Chile77,20040,00044,700161,9009.14.318,952,038
Argentina74,20031,250105,4502.41.744,780,677
Singapore72,500312,50019,900404,90068.812.35,804,337
Romania69,30050,00079,900199,2009.33.219,364,557
Azerbaijan66,950300,00015,000381,95038.36.710,047,718
South Africa66,35015,05081,4001.51.258,558,270
Iraq64,000145,000209,0005.31.639,309,783
United Arab Emirates63,000180,000243,0004010.49,770,529
Canada63,00030,0004,50097,5002.71.837,411,047
Lebanon60,00020,00080,00012.89.66,855,713
Australia57,80021,10078,9003.42.525,203,198
Dominican Republic56,05015,00071,0506.65.210,738,958
Cuba49,0001,159,0001,465,0002,673,000239.84.411,333,483
Uzbekistan48,00020,00068,0002.31.632,981,716
Belarus45,350289,500110,000444,85046.64.79,452,411
Uganda45,00010,0001,40056,4001.41.144,269,594
Armenia44,800210,0004,300259,10085.114.72,957,731
Oman42,6004,40047,00013.712.44,974,986
Ecuador40,250118,000500158,7509.72.517,373,662
Kazakhstan39,00031,50070,5003.82.118,551,427
Turkmenistan36,5005,00041,5007.86.85,942,089
Hungary36,00058,00012,000106,00010.83.79,684,679
Tunisia35,80012,00047,8004.23.111,694,719
Netherlands35,4104,6605,90045,9702.72.117,097,130
Bolivia34,10037,10071,2006.43.111,513,100
Finland33,4901,127,5002,7001,163,690210.96.15,532,156
Rwanda33,0002,00035,0002.92.812,626,950
Bulgaria31,3003,00034,3004.84.47,000,119
Portugal30,500211,95044,000286,45026.42.810,226,187
Chad30,3509,50039,8503.32.515,946,876
Burundi30,05021,00051,0504.52.611,530,580
Sweden29,75021,95051,7005.2310,036,379
Laos29,100100,000129,10018.14.17,169,455
Zimbabwe29,00021,80050,8003.72.114,645,468
Belgium28,8005,00033,8002.92.511,539,328
Serbia28,15050,1503,70082,00011.548,772,235
Tanzania27,00080,0001,400108,40020.558,005,463
Ivory Coast25,40025,4001.11.125,716,544
Uruguay24,65080025,4507.67.33,461,734
El Salvador24,5009,90017,00051,4008.346,453,553
Kenya24,1005,00029,1000.60.552,573,973
Norway23,95038,59062,54011.84.55,378,857
Czech Republic23,20023,2002.22.210,689,209
Austria22,400152,20025,000199,60022.82.68,955,102
Switzerland20,950218,270239,220292.58,591,365
Georgia20,6505,40026,0505.34.23,996,765
Yemen20,00020,0000.70.729,161,922
Djibouti20,00012,00032,0003723.1973,560
Somalia19,80019,8001.81.815,442,905
Lithuania18,3506,70011,30036,35012.96.52,759,627
Guatemala18,05063,85025,000106,9006.91.217,581,472
Denmark16,10045,70061,800112.95,771,876
Slovakia15,85015,8502.92.95,457,013
Mauritania15,8505,00020,8505.54.24,525,696
Croatia15,6503,00018,6504.33.64,130,304
Kuwait15,50023,7007,10046,30016.15.44,207,083
Ghana15,50015,5000.60.630,417,856
Zambia15,1003,0001,40019,5001.20.917,861,030
Cyprus15,00050,00075065,75053.812.31,198,575
Honduras14,95060,0008,00082,9509.21.79,746,117
Cameroon14,4009,00023,4000.90.625,876,380
Senegal13,6005,00018,6001.30.916,296,364
Madagascar13,5008,10021,6000.90.526,969,307
Nicaragua12,00012,000226,545,502
Qatar11,8005,00016,8007.35.12,832,067
Burkina Faso11,20025011,4500.60.620,321,378
Mozambique11,20011,2000.40.430,366,036
Kyrgyzstan10,9009,50020,4003.51.96,415,850
Malawi10,7004,20014,9000.80.618,628,747
Paraguay10,650164,50014,800189,95027.41.57,044,636
Bosnia And Herzegovina10,50010,5002.72.73,301,000
Mali10,0007,80017,80010.619,658,031
Ireland10,0003,48013,4802.724,882,495
Republic Of The Congo10,0002,00012,0002.425,380,508
Namibia9,9006,00015,9006.442,494,530
Mongolia9,700137,0007,500154,20050.33.23,225,167
Guinea9,7002,60012,30010.812,771,246
New Zealand9,3002,60011,9002.51.94,783,063
Botswana9,0009,0004.14.12,303,697
Tajikistan8,8007,50016,3001.919,321,018
Togo8,5507509,3001.21.18,082,366
Sierra Leone8,5008,5001.41.47,813,215
Bahrain8,20011,26019,46013.85.81,641,172
Albania8,0005008,5002.82.62,880,917
Slovenia7,2501,7605,95014,9607.63.72,078,654
Benin7,2502,5009,7500.90.711,801,151
Brunei7,2007004,90012,80028.916.2433,285
Central African Republic7,1501,0008,1501.41.34,745,185
Estonia6,60012,00015,80034,40027.55.31,325,648
Latvia5,3107,85013,1606.82.71,906,743
Niger5,3005,40010,7000.60.323,310,715
Moldova5,15058,0002,40065,55018.91.54,043,263
Gabon4,7002,0006,7003.82.72,172,579
Guinea Bissau4,4504,4502.52.51,920,922
Trinidad And Tobago4,0504,0503.33.31,394,973
Jamaica3,9509804,9301.61.32,948,279
Papua New Guinea3,6003,6000.50.58,776,109
Fiji3,5006,0009,50010.33.8889,953
Guyana3,4006704,0705.54.6782,766
Liberia2,1002,1000.40.44,937,374
Lesotho2,0002,000112,125,268
Montenegro1,95010,10012,05018.83627,987
Malta1,9501802,1305.14.7440,372
Suriname1,8401001,9403.33.1581,372
Belize1,5007001502,3506.54.2390,353
Equatorial Guinea1,4501,4501.91.91,355,986
Timor Leste1,3301,330111,293,119
Cape Verde1,2001,2002.12.1549,935
Luxembourg9006001,5002.51.5615,729
Barbados6104301,0403.62.1287,025
Seychelles4204204.54.597,739
Antigua And Barbuda180802602.71.997,118
Haiti1505020011,263,077
Panama22,05022,0505.94,246,439
Mauritius2,5502,5501.91,269,668
Libya6,777,452
Iceland2502500.7339,031
Palestine4,981,420
Costa Rica9,8009,80025,047,561