List of countries by number of military and paramilitary personnel

This is a list of countries by number of military and paramilitary personnel. It includes any government-sponsored soldiers used to further the domestic and foreign policies of their respective government. The term "country" is used in its most common use, in the sense of state which exercises sovereignty or has limited recognition.

Countries by number of active soldiers (2009)

Guide to the list

 
Military personnel per capita

The list consists of columns that can be sorted by clicking on the appropriate title:

  • The names of the states, accompanied by their respective national flags.
  • The number of military personnel on active duty that are currently serving full-time in their military capacity.
  • The number of military personnel in the reserve forces that are not normally kept under arms, whose role is to be available to mobilize when necessary.
  • The number of personnel in paramilitary forces: armed units that are not considered part of a nation's formal military forces.
  • The total number of active, reserve, and paramilitary personnel.
  • The ratio per thousand inhabitants of total military (active, reserve, and paramilitary).
  • The ratio per thousand inhabitants of active military only.

As military forces around the world are constantly changing in size, no definitive list can ever be compiled.

Many of the 171 countries listed here, especially those with the highest number of total soldiers such as the two Koreas and Vietnam, include a large number of paramilitaries, civilians and policemen in their reserve personnel. Some countries, such as Italy and Japan, have only volunteers in their armed forces. Other countries, such as Mauritius and Panama, have no national armies, but only a paramilitary force.

Tooth-to-tail ratio

The numbers of military personnel listed include both support personnel (supplies, construction, and contracting) and actual combat personnel. For a typical country, the proportion of this total that comprises actual combat forces is about 26% (so, for every soldier there will be around three support personnel). This proportion is referred to as the "tooth-to-tail ratio".

Some countries have a considerably smaller tooth-to-tail ratio: For example, the United States Armed Forces has a tooth-to-tail ratio of 17%, meaning that for every combat unit there are around five support units.[1]

List by the International Institute for Strategic Studies

The following list is sourced from the 2019-2021 editions of "The Military Balance" published annually by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Flag Country Active military Reserve military Paramilitary Total Per 1,000 capita
(total)
Per 1,000 capita
(active)
  Afghanistan[2] 178,800 0 99,000 277,800 8 5.1
  Albania[3] 8,000 0 0 8,000 2.6 2.6
  Algeria[4] 130,000 150,000 187,200 467,200 11.2 3.1
  Angola[5] 107,000 0 10,000 117,000 3.9 3.5
  Antigua and Barbuda[6] 180 80 0 260 2.7 1.9
  Argentina[6] 72,100 0 31,250 103,350 2.3 1.6
  Armenia[7][Note 1][Note 2] 44,800 210,000 4,300 259,100 85.3 14.7
  Australia[8] 58,600 30,100 0 88,700 3.8 2.5
  Austria[9] 22,050 125,600 0 147,650 16.8 2.5
  Azerbaijan[10] 126,950 330,000 15,000 471,950 47 12.6
  Bahamas[11] 1,300 0 0 1,300 3.9 3.9
  Bahrain[12] 8,200 0 11,260 19,460 13.5 5.7
  Bangladesh[13] 163,050 0 63,900 226,950 1.4 1
  Barbados[14] 610 430 0 1,040 3.6 2.1
  Belarus[15] 45,350 289,500 110,000 444,850 46.7 4.8
  Belgium[16] 26,300 5,100 0 31,400 2.7 2.3
  Belize[14] 1,500 700 150 2,350 6.1 3.9
  Benin[17] 7,250 0 4,800 12,050 1.1 0.6
  Bolivia[18] 34,100 0 37,100 71,200 6.3 3
  Bosnia and Herzegovina[19] 10,500 0 0 10,500 2.7 2.7
  Botswana[20] 9,000 0 0 9,000 4 4
  Brazil[21] 366,500 1,340,000 395,000 2,101,500 10.1 1.8
  Brunei[22] 7,200 700 450 8,350 18.5 16
  Bulgaria[23] 36,950 3,000 0 39,950 5.7 5.2
  Burkina Faso[24] 11,200 0 250 11,450 0.6 0.6
  Burundi[25] 30,050 0 21,000 51,050 4.3 2.5
  Cambodia[26] 124,300 0 67,000 191,300 11.6 7.6
  Cameroon[27] 25,400 0 9,000 34,400 1.3 1
  Canada[28] 67,400 35,600 4,500 107,500 3 1.9
  Cape Verde[29] 1,200 0 0 1,200 2.1 2.1
  Central African Republic[30] 9,150 0 1,000 10,150 1.8 1.6
  Chad[31] 33,250 0 11,900 45,150 2.9 2.1
  Chile[32] 77,200 40,000 44,700 161,900 9 4.3
  China[33] 2,185,000 1,170,000 660,000 4,015,000 2.9 1.6
  Colombia[34] 293,200 34,950 187,900 516,050 10.7 6.1
  Costa Rica[35] 0 0 9,800 9,800 2 0
  Côte d'Ivoire[36][Note 3] 27,400 0 0 27,400 1 1
  Croatia[37] 15,200 18,350 3,000 36,550 8.6 3.6
  Cuba[38][Note 4] 49,000 39,000 1,146,500 1,234,500 110.9 4.4
  Cyprus[39] 15,000 50,000 750 65,750 53.1 12.1
  Czech Republic[40] 21,750 0 0 21,750 2 2
  Democratic Republic of the Congo[41] 134,250 0 0 134,250 1.6 1.6
  Denmark[42] 14,500 44,000 0 58,500 10.1 2.5
  Djibouti[43] 10,450 0 2,650 13,100 14.8 11.8
  Dominican Republic[44] 56,050 0 15,000 71,050 6.9 5.4
  East Timor[45] 2,280 0 0 2,280 1.7 1.7
  Ecuador[46] 40,250 118,000 500 158,750 9.6 2.4
  Egypt[47] 438,500 479,000 397,000 1,314,500 13.2 4.4
  El Salvador[48] 24,500 9,900 17,000 51,400 8.3 4
  Equatorial Guinea[49][Note 5] 1,450 0 0 1,450 1.8 1.8
  Eritrea[50] 201,750 120,000 0 321,750 53.9 33.8
  Estonia[51] 7,100 17,500 0 24,600 19.8 5.7
  Ethiopia[52] 138,000 0 0 138,000 1.3 1.3
  Fiji[53] 3,500 6,000 0 9,500 10.3 3.8
  Finland[54] 23,800 216,000 14,200 254,000 45.9 4.3
  France[55] 203,250 41,050 130,800 375,100 5.6 3
  Gabon[56] 4,700 0 2,000 6,700 3.2 2.2
  Gambia[57] 800 0 0 800 0.4 0.4
  Georgia[58] 20,650 0 5,400 26,050 5.3 4.2
  Germany[59] 183,500 30,050 0 213,550 2.7 2.3
  Ghana[60] 15,500 0 0 15,500 0.6 0.6
  Greece[61] 142,700 221,350 4,000 368,050 34.2 13.3
  Guatemala[62] 18,050 63,850 25,000 106,900 6.4 1.1
  Guinea[63] 9,700 0 2,600 12,300 1 0.8
  Guinea-Bissau[64] 4,450 0 0 4,450 2.4 2.4
  Guyana[65] 3,400 670 0 4,070 5.5 4.6
  Haiti[65] 150 0 50 200 0 0
  Honduras[66] 14,950 60,000 8,000 82,950 9 1.6
  Hungary[67] 27,800 20,000 12,000 59,800 6.1 2.8
  Iceland[68] 0 0 250 250 0.7 0
  India[69] 1,455,550 1,155,000 2,526,950 5,137,500 4 1.1
  Indonesia[70] 395,500 400,000 280,000 1,075,500 4.1 1.5
  Iran[71][Note 6] 610,000 350,000 40,000 1,000,000 12 7.3
  Iraq[72] 193,000 0 148,000 341,000 8.5 4.8
  Ireland[68] 9,500 4,050 0 13,550 2.7 1.9
  Israel[73] 169,500 465,000 8,000 642,500 76.3 20.1
  Italy[74][Note 7] 165,500 18,300 175,750 359,550 5.8 2.7
  Jamaica[75] 3,950 980 0 4,930 1.8 1.4
  Japan[76] 247,150 56,000 14,350 317,500 2.5 2
  Jordan[77] 100,500 65,000 15,000 180,500 17.3 9.6
  Kazakhstan[78] 39,000 0 31,500 70,500 3.8 2.1
  Kenya[79] 24,100 0 5,000 29,100 0.6 0.5
  Kosovo[80] 5,000 3,000 1,500 9,500 5 2.6
  Kuwait[81] 17,500 23,700 7,100 48,300 16.6 6
  Kyrgyzstan[82] 10,900 0 9,500 20,400 3.5 1.9
  Laos[83] 29,100 0 100,000 129,100 17.8 4
  Latvia[84] 6,210 15,900 0 22,110 11.5 3.2
  Lebanon[85] 60,000 0 20,000 80,000 13.1 9.8
  Lesotho[86] 2,000 0 0 2,000 1 1
  Liberia[87] 2,010 0 0 2,010 0.4 0.4
  Libya[88][Note 8] 0 0 0 0 0 0
  Lithuania[89] 19,850 6,700 14,400 40,950 14.7 7.1
  Luxembourg[90] 900 0 600 1,500 2.5 1.5
  Madagascar[91] 13,500 0 8,100 21,600 0.8 0.5
  Malawi[91] 10,700 0 4,200 14,900 0.8 0.5
  Malaysia[92][Note 9] 113,000 51,600 267,200 431,800 13.6 3.6
  Mali[93] 13,000 0 7,800 20,800 1.1 0.7
  Malta[94] 1,950 180 0 2,130 4.7 4.3
  Mauritania[95] 15,850 0 5,000 20,850 5.4 4.1
  Mauritius[96] 0 0 2,550 2,550 1.9 0
  Mexico[97] 216,000 81,500 111,900 409,400 3.3 1.7
  Moldova[98] 5,150 58,000 900 64,050 18.6 1.5
  Mongolia[99] 9,700 137,000 7,500 154,200 49.7 3.1
  Montenegro[100] 2,350 0 10,100 12,450 20.3 3.8
  Morocco[101] 195,800 150,000 50,000 395,800 11.5 5.7
  Mozambique[96] 11,200 0 0 11,200 0.4 0.4
  Myanmar[102] 406,000 0 107,000 513,000 9.2 7.3
  Namibia[103] 9,900 0 6,000 15,900 6.3 3.9
  Nepal[104] 96,600 0 15,000 111,600 3.8 3.3
  Netherlands[105] 35,400 4,500 5,900 45,800 2.7 2.1
  New Zealand[106] 9,000 2,300 0 11,300 2.5 2
  Nicaragua[107] 12,000 0 0 12,000 2 2
  Niger[108] 5,300 0 5,400 10,700 0.5 0.3
  Nigeria[109] 143,000 0 80,000 223,000 1.1 0.7
  North Korea[110][Note 10] 1,280,000 600,000 5,889,000 7,769,000 306.1 50.4
  North Macedonia[111] 8,000 4,850 7,600 20,450 9.7 3.8
  Norway[112] 23,250 40,000 0 63,250 11.8 4.3
  Oman[113] 42,600 0 4,400 47,000 13.5 12.2
  Pakistan[114] 654,000 550,000 291,000 1,495,000 7.2 3.1
  Palestine[115][Note 11] 0 0 0 0 0 0
  Panama[116] 0 0 26,000 26,000 6.8 0
  Papua New Guinea[117] 3,600 0 0 3,600 0.5 0.5
  Paraguay[118] 13,950 164,500 14,800 193,250 27.5 2
  Peru[119] 81,000 188,000 77,000 346,000 11 2.6
  Philippines[120] 143,100 131,000 62,300 336,400 3.2 1.4
  Poland[121] 114,050 0 75,400 189,450 4.9 3
  Portugal[122] 27,250 211,700 24,700 263,650 25.5 2.6
  Qatar[123] 16,500 0 5,000 21,500 9.1 7
  Republic of the Congo[124] 10,000 0 2,000 12,000 2.4 2
  Romania[125] 69,300 50,000 57,000 176,300 8.2 3.2
  Russia[126][Note 12] 1,014,000 2,000,000 554,000 3,568,000 25.1 7.1
  Rwanda[127] 33,000 0 2,000 35,000 2.9 2.7
  Saudi Arabia[128] 227,000 0 24,500 251,500 7.6 6.9
  Senegal[129] 13,600 0 5,000 18,600 1.2 0.9
  Serbia[130] 28,150 50,150 3,700 82,000 11.6 4
  Seychelles[131] 420 0 0 420 4.4 4.4
  Sierra Leone[131] 8,500 0 0 8,500 1.3 1.3
  Singapore[132] 51,000 252,500 7,400 310,900 51.9 8.5
  Slovakia[80] 15,850 0 0 15,850 2.9 2.9
  Slovenia[133] 7,250 1,500 5,950 14,700 7 3.4
  Somalia[134] 19,800 0 0 19,800 1.8 1.8
  South Africa[135] 65,350 15,050 0 80,400 1.5 1.2
  South Korea[136] 599,000 3,100,000 3,013,500 6,712,500 130.5 11.6
  South Sudan[137] 185,000 0 0 185,000 18.1 18.1
  Spain[138] 120,350 15,150 75,800 211,300 4.4 2.5
  Sri Lanka[139] 255,000 5,500 92,600 353,100 15.6 11.3
  Sudan[140] 104,300 0 105,000 209,300 4.9 2.4
  Suriname[141] 1,840 0 0 1,840 3.1 3.1
  Sweden[142] 29,750 0 21,200 50,950 5.1 3
  Switzerland[143] 19,550 196,450 0 216,000 26 2.4
  Syria[144] 169,000 0 100,000 269,000 13.8 8.7
  Taiwan[145] 163,000 1,657,000 11,800 1,831,800 77.8 6.9
  Tajikistan[146] 8,800 0 7,500 16,300 1.9 1
  Tanzania[147] 27,000 80,000 1,400 108,400 2 0.5
  Thailand[148] 360,850 200,000 138,700 699,550 10.2 5.3
  Togo[149] 8,550 0 750 9,300 1.1 1
  Trinidad and Tobago[141] 4,050 0 0 4,050 3.3 3.3
  Tunisia[150] 35,800 0 12,000 47,800 4.2 3.1
  Turkey[151] 355,200 378,700 156,800 890,700 11 4.4
  Turkmenistan[152] 36,500 0 5,000 41,500 7.7 6.7
  Uganda[153] 45,000 10,000 1,400 56,400 1.4 1.1
  Ukraine[154] 209,000 900,000 102,000 1,211,000 27.6 4.8
  United Arab Emirates[155] 63,000 0 0 63,000 6.5 6.5
  United Kingdom[156] 148,500 78,600 0 227,100 3.5 2.3
  United States[157] 1,388,100 844,950 0 2,233,050 6.8 4.2
  Uruguay[158] 21,000 0 1,400 22,400 6.6 6.2
  Uzbekistan[159] 48,000 0 20,000 68,000 2.3 1.6
  Venezuela[160] 123,000 8,000 220,000 351,000 11.1 3.9
  Vietnam[161] 482,000 5,000,000 5,040,000 10,522,000 108.4 5
  Yemen[162] 40,000 0 0 40,000 1.4 1.4
  Zambia[163] 15,100 3,000 1,400 19,500 1.2 0.9
  Zimbabwe[164] 29,000 0 21,800 50,800 3.6 2.1

Not included in the list are the militaries of Abkhazia, Andorra, Artsakh, Transnistria, Bhutan, Comoros, Eswatini, Maldives, Monaco, Northern Cyprus, San Marino, Saint Kitts and Nevis, São Tomé and Príncipe, Somaliland, Tonga and Vanuatu.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The reserve military of Armenia consists mostly of ex-conscripts who have seen service within the last 15 years.
  2. ^ Does not include Army forces of Artsakh, which has an Armenian backed army.
  3. ^ Size of paramilitary is not known
  4. ^ The reserve paramilitary of Cuba consists of the Youth Labour Army, Civil Defence and Territorial Troops Militia and count 1,120,000 units. Ready reserves serve 45 days per year.
  5. ^ Size of paramilitary is not known
  6. ^ The Basij, a paramilitary militia with claimed membership of 12.6 million (including women and children), can after mobilization reach about 600,000 people able to fight.
  7. ^ The paramilitary forces of Italy consists of the Carabinieri and the Guardia di Finanza.
  8. ^ No data due to the ongoing civil war.
  9. ^ The paramilitary forces of Malaysia includes 240,000 reservists from the People's Volunteer Corps.
  10. ^ The Worker-Peasant Red Guards count 5,700,000 units and are used as a reserve paramilitary.
  11. ^ Precise personnel-strength figures for the various Palestinian groups are not known.
  12. ^ The potential reserve personnel of Russia may be as high as 20 million, depending on how the figures are counted. However, an est. 2 million have seen military service within the last 5 years.

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Bibliography

Further reading