map placeholder
Click on a country for details.

Countries Without a Military 2023

A military is a highly organized, heavily armed fighting force authorized, funded, and maintained by the government of a sovereign state. A military is intended primarily for warfare, but can also perform humanitarian work such as supplying food, water, and medical care to those in need. In most modern countries, the military is used strictly for defense (and said humanitarian work). However, as conflicts such as World War I, World War II, and the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine demonstrate, a country's military can also take on an offensive role. Large militaries are often seen as a sign of power and can provide a sense of security for a country's citizens and allies. The United States spends more on its military than any other country in the world.

Despite the importance most countries place upon their militaries—some even enforce mandatory military service—many other countries have no standing military or armed forces. AS a rule, countries without militaries fall into one of three categories:

  1. Countries that have been demilitarized
  2. Countries whose founders did not establish a military
  3. Countries that are former colonies/dependencies of nations that do have militaries and are still under the protection of those countries. For example, Monaco is a former French colony that still relies upon France for its defense.

List of Countries and Territories with No Military

According to the CIA World Factbook, 39 countries and territories do not have a military. Per the CIA’s definition, several of these states do not have a "regular military force," but their national police forces act as de facto military forces. For example, Costa Rica’s military was abolished in 1948, but its "Public Force" (police) includes paramilitary units trained by the United States and Colombia and takes on the responsibility of protecting the country’s borders.

  1. Andorra
  2. Aruba (Netherlands territory)
  3. British Indian Ocean Territory (U.K. Territory)
  4. Cayman Islands (U.K. territory)
  5. Cook Islands (New Zealand territory)
  6. Costa Rica
  7. Curaçao (Netherlands territory)
  8. Dominica
  9. Falkland Islands (U.K. territory)
  10. Faroe Islands (Denmark territory)
  11. French Polynesia (France territory)
  12. Greenland (Denmark territory)
  13. Grenada
  14. Hong Kong (China SAR)
  15. Iceland
  16. Kiribati
  17. Liechtenstein
  18. Macau (China SAR)
  19. Marshall Islands
  20. Mauritius
  21. Micronesia (Federated States of Micronesia)
  22. Monaco
  23. Montserrat (U.K. territory)
  24. Nauru
  25. New Caledonia (France territory)
  26. Niue (New Zealand territory)
  27. Palau
  28. Panama
  29. Puerto Rico (U.S. territory)
  30. Saint Lucia
  31. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  32. Samoa
  33. San Marino
  34. Sint Maarten (Netherlands territory)
  35. Solomon Islands
  36. Svalbard (Norway territory)
  37. Tuvalu
  38. Vanuatu
  39. Vatican City

Download Table Data

Enter your email below, and you'll receive this table's data in your inbox momentarily.

How many countries do not have a military?

Globally, 39 countries and territories lack a military. Some rely on another country for defense. Others never had a military from their founding. And some countries removed their military.

Frequently Asked Questions