List of countries by number of military and paramilitary personnel

Countries by number of active soldiers (2009)

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.

Guide to the list

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.

List by the International Institute for Strategic Studies

The following list is sourced from the 2019 edition 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[1] 174,300 0 148,700 323,000 9.2 5
  Albania[2] 12,500 5,000 500 18,000 5.9 4.1
  Algeria[3] 130,000 150,000 187,200 467,200 11.2 3.1
  Angola[4] 107,000 0 10,000 117,000 3.9 3.5
  Antigua and Barbuda[5] 180 80 0 260 2.7 1.9
  Argentina[6] 74,200 0 31,250 105,450 2.4 1.7
  Armenia[7][Note 1][Note 2] 44,800 210,000 4,300 259,100 85.3 14.7
  Australia[8] 57,050 21,050 0 78,100 3.3 2.4
  Austria[9] 21,200 157,900 0 179,100 20.4 2.4
  Azerbaijan[10] 66,950 300,000 15,000 381,950 38 6.7
  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] 157,050 0 63,900 220,950 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] 26,550 5,100 0 31,650 2.7 2.3
  Belize[17] 1,500 700 150 2,350 6.1 3.9
  Benin[18] 7,250 0 4,800 12,050 1.1 0.6
  Bolivia[19] 34,100 0 37,100 71,200 6.3 3
  Bosnia and Herzegovina[20] 10,500 0 0 10,500 2.7 2.7
  Botswana[21] 9,000 0 0 9,000 4 4
  Brazil[22] 334,500 1,340,000 395,000 2,069,500 9.9 1.6
  Brunei[23] 7,200 700 500 8,400 18.6 16
  Bulgaria[24] 31,300 3,000 0 34,300 4.9 4.4
  Burkina Faso[25] 11,200 0 250 11,450 0.6 0.6
  Burundi[26] 30,050 0 21,000 51,050 4.3 2.5
  Cambodia[27] 124,300 0 67,000 191,300 11.6 7.6
  Cameroon[28] 15,400 0 9,000 24,400 1 0.6
  Canada[29] 66,600 27,000 4,500 98,100 2.7 1.9
  Cape Verde[30] 1,200 0 0 1,200 2.1 2.1
  Central African Republic[31] 7,150 0 1,000 8,150 1.4 1.2
  Chad[32] 30,350 0 4,500 34,850 2.2 1.9
  Chile[33] 77,200 40,000 44,700 161,900 9 4.3
  China[34] 2,035,000 510,000 660,000 3,205,000 2.3 1.5
  Colombia[35] 293,200 34,950 187,900 516,050 10.7 6.1
  Costa Rica[36] 0 0 9,800 9,800 2 0
  Côte d'Ivoire[37] 27,400 0 0 27,400 1 1
  Croatia[38] 15,200 18,350 3,000 36,550 8.6 3.6
  Cuba[39][Note 3] 49,000 39,000 1,146,500 1,234,500 110.9 4.4
  Cyprus[40] 15,000 50,000 750 65,750 53.1 12.1
  Czech Republic[41] 23,200 0 0 23,200 2.2 2.2
  Democratic Republic of the Congo[42] 134,250 0 0 134,250 1.6 1.6
  Denmark[43] 14,500 45,700 0 60,200 10.4 2.5
  Djibouti[44] 10,450 0 2,650 13,100 14.8 11.8
  Dominican Republic[45] 56,050 0 15,000 71,050 6.9 5.4
  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] 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] 6,600 12,000 15,800 34,400 27.6 5.3
  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] 21,500 216,000 14,200 251,700 45.5 3.9
  France[55] 203,900 36,300 143,400 383,600 5.7 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] 179,400 28,250 0 207,650 2.6 2.2
  Ghana[60] 15,500 0 0 15,500 0.6 0.6
  Greece[61] 142,350 220,500 4,000 366,850 34.1 13.2
  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[66] 150 0 50 200 0 0
  Honduras[67] 14,950 60,000 8,000 82,950 9 1.6
  Hungary[68] 27,800 20,000 12,000 59,800 6.1 2.8
  Iceland[69] 0 0 250 250 0.7 0
  India[70] 1,444,500 1,155,000 2,526,950 5,126,450 4 1.1
  Indonesia[71] 395,500 400,000 280,000 1,075,500 4.1 1.5
  Iran[72][Note 4] 523,000 350,000 1,050,000 1,923,000 23.2 6.3
  Iraq[73] 64,000 0 145,000 209,000 5.2 1.6
  Ireland[74] 9,500 4,050 0 13,550 2.7 1.9
  Israel[75] 169,500 465,000 8,000 642,500 76.3 20.1
  Italy[76][Note 5] 171,050 18,300 175,750 365,100 5.9 2.7
  Jamaica[77] 3,950 980 0 4,930 1.8 1.4
  Japan[78] 247,150 56,000 14,000 317,150 2.5 2
  Jordan[79] 100,500 65,000 15,000 180,500 17.3 9.6
  Kazakhstan[80] 39,000 0 31,500 70,500 3.8 2.1
  Kenya[81] 24,100 0 5,000 29,100 0.6 0.5
  Kosovo[82] 5,000 3,000 1,300 9,300 4.8 2.6
  Kuwait[83] 17,500 23,700 7,100 48,300 16.6 6
  Kyrgyzstan[84] 10,900 0 9,500 20,400 3.5 1.9
  Laos[85] 29,100 0 100,000 129,100 17.8 4
  Latvia[86] 6,210 15,900 0 22,110 11.5 3.2
  Lebanon[87] 60,000 0 20,000 80,000 13.1 9.8
  Lesotho[88] 2,000 0 0 2,000 1 1
  Liberia[89] 2,010 0 0 2,010 0.4 0.4
  Libya[90][Note 6] 0 0 0 0 0 0
  Lithuania[91] 19,850 6,700 14,400 40,950 14.7 7.1
  Luxembourg[92] 900 0 600 1,500 2.5 1.5
  Madagascar[93] 13,500 0 8,100 21,600 0.8 0.5
  Malawi[94] 10,700 0 4,200 14,900 0.8 0.5
  Malaysia[95][Note 7] 113,000 51,600 267,200 431,800 13.6 3.6
  Mali[96] 10,000 0 7,800 17,800 1 0.5
  Malta[97] 1,950 180 0 2,130 4.7 4.3
  Mauritania[98] 15,850 0 5,000 20,850 5.4 4.1
  Mauritius[99] 0 0 2,550 2,550 1.9 0
  Mexico[100] 277,150 81,500 58,900 417,550 3.3 2.2
  Moldova[101] 5,150 58,000 900 64,050 18.6 1.5
  Mongolia[102] 9,700 137,000 7,500 154,200 49.7 3.1
  Montenegro[103] 1,950 0 10,100 12,050 19.6 3.2
  Morocco[104] 195,800 150,000 50,000 395,800 11.5 5.7
  Mozambique[105] 11,200 0 0 11,200 0.4 0.4
  Myanmar[106] 406,000 0 107,000 513,000 9.2 7.3
  Namibia[107] 9,900 0 6,000 15,900 6.3 3.9
  Nepal[108] 96,600 0 15,000 111,600 3.8 3.3
  Netherlands[109] 35,400 4,500 5,900 45,800 2.7 2.1
  New Zealand[110] 9,000 2,300 0 11,300 2.5 2
  Nicaragua[111] 12,000 0 0 12,000 2 2
  Niger[112] 5,300 0 5,400 10,700 0.5 0.3
  Nigeria[113] 135,000 0 80,000 215,000 1.1 0.7
  North Korea[114][Note 8] 1,280,000 600,000 5,889,000 7,769,000 306.1 50.4
  North Macedonia[115] 8,000 4,850 7,600 20,450 9.7 3.8
  Norway[116] 23,250 40,000 0 63,250 11.8 4.3
  Oman[117] 42,600 0 4,400 47,000 13.5 12.2
  Pakistan[118] 653,800 0 282,000 935,800 4.5 3.1
  Palestine[119][Note 9] 0 0 43,800 43,800 9.4 0
  Panama[120] 0 0 26,000 26,000 6.8 0
  Papua New Guinea[121] 3,600 0 0 3,600 0.5 0.5
  Paraguay[122] 11,900 164,500 14,800 191,200 27.2 1.7
  Peru[123] 81,000 188,000 77,000 346,000 11 2.6
  Philippines[124] 142,350 131,000 61,100 334,450 3.2 1.3
  Poland[125] 117,800 0 73,400 191,200 5 3.1
  Portugal[126] 27,200 211,950 24,700 263,850 25.5 2.6
  Qatar[127] 16,500 0 5,000 21,500 9.1 7
  Republic of the Congo[128] 10,000 0 2,000 12,000 2.4 2
  Romania[129] 69,300 50,000 57,000 176,300 8.2 3.2
  Russia[130][Note 10] 900,000 2,000,000 554,000 3,454,000 24.3 6.3
  Rwanda[131] 33,000 0 2,000 35,000 2.9 2.7
  Saudi Arabia[132] 227,000 0 24,500 251,500 7.6 6.9
  Senegal[133] 13,600 0 5,000 18,600 1.2 0.9
  Serbia[134] 28,150 50,150 3,700 82,000 11.6 4
  Seychelles[135] 420 0 0 420 4.4 4.4
  Sierra Leone[136] 8,500 0 0 8,500 1.3 1.3
  Singapore[137] 72,500 312,500 8,400 393,400 65.6 12.1
  Slovakia[138] 15,850 0 0 15,850 2.9 2.9
  Slovenia[139] 7,250 1,500 5,950 14,700 7 3.4
  Somalia[140] 19,800 0 0 19,800 1.8 1.8
  South Africa[141] 65,350 15,050 0 80,400 1.5 1.2
  South Korea[142] 625,000 3,100,000 3,009,000 6,734,000 131 12.2
  Spain[143] 120,350 15,150 75,800 211,300 4.4 2.5
  Sri Lanka[144] 255,000 5,500 92,600 353,100 15.6 11.3
  South Sudan[145] 185,000 0 0 185,000 18.1 18.1
  Sudan[146] 104,300 85,000 20,000 209,300 4.9 2.4
  Suriname[147] 1,840 0 0 1,840 3.1 3.1
  Sweden[148] 29,750 0 21,200 50,950 5.1 3
  Switzerland[149] 21,450 217,800 0 239,250 28.9 2.6
  Syria[150] 139,000 0 100,000 239,000 12.3 7.1
  Taiwan[151] 163,000 1,657,000 11,450 1,831,450 77.8 6.9
  Tajikistan[152] 8,800 0 7,500 16,300 1.9 1
  Tanzania[153] 27,000 80,000 1,400 108,400 2 0.5
  Thailand[154] 360,850 200,000 138,700 699,550 10.2 5.3
  Timor Leste[155] 2,280 0 0 2,280 1.7 1.7
  Togo[156] 8,550 0 750 9,300 1.1 1
  Trinidad and Tobago[157] 4,050 0 0 4,050 3.3 3.3
  Tunisia[158] 35,800 0 12,000 47,800 4.2 3.1
  Turkey[159] 355,200 378,700 156,800 890,700 11 4.4
  Turkmenistan[160] 36,500 0 5,000 41,500 7.7 6.7
  Uganda[161] 45,000 10,000 1,400 56,400 1.4 1.1
  Ukraine[162] 209,000 900,000 88,000 1,197,000 27.2 4.8
  United Arab Emirates[163] 63,000 0 0 63,000 6.5 6.5
  United Kingdom[164] 148,350 80,000 0 228,350 3.5 2.3
  United States[165] 1,359,450 845,600 0 2,205,050 6.7 4.1
  Uruguay[166] 21,000 0 1,400 22,400 6.6 6.2
  Uzbekistan[167] 48,000 0 20,000 68,000 2.3 1.6
  Venezuela[168] 123,000 8,000 220,000 351,000 11.1 3.9
  Vietnam[169] 482,000 0 5,040,000 5,522,000 56.9 5
  Yemen[170] 40,000 0 0 40,000 1.4 1.4
  Zambia[171] 15,100 3,000 1,400 19,500 1.2 0.9
  Zimbabwe[172] 29,000 0 21,800 50,800 3.6 2.1

Not included in the list are the militaries of Abkhazia, Andorra, Bhutan, Northern Cyprus, Maldives, Monaco, Artsakh, San Marino, Saint Kitts and Nevis, São Tomé and Príncipe, Somaliland, Eswatini, 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. ^ 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.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ The paramilitary forces of Italy consists of the Carabinieri and the Guardia di Finanza.
  6. ^ No data due to the ongoing civil war.
  7. ^ The paramilitary forces of Malaysia includes 240,000 reservists from the People's Volunteer Corps.
  8. ^ The Worker-Peasant Red Guards count 5,700,000 units and are used as a reserve paramilitary.
  9. ^ Precise personnel-strength figures for the various Palestinian groups are not known.
  10. ^ 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

  • International Institute for Strategic Studies (15 February 2019). The Military Balance 2019. London: Routledge. ISBN 9781857439885.

Further reading