Armed forces personnel, total - Country Ranking

Definition: Armed forces personnel are active duty military personnel, including paramilitary forces if the training, organization, equipment, and control suggest they may be used to support or replace regular military forces.

Source: International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Military Balance.

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 India 3,031,000.00 2017
2 China 2,695,000.00 2017
3 Dem. People's Rep. Korea 1,469,000.00 2017
4 Russia 1,454,000.00 2017
5 United States 1,359,000.00 2017
6 Pakistan 936,000.00 2017
7 Egypt 836,000.00 2017
8 Brazil 730,000.00 2017
9 Indonesia 676,000.00 2017
10 Korea 634,000.00 2017
11 Iran 563,000.00 2017
12 Vietnam 522,000.00 2017
13 Myanmar 513,000.00 2017
14 Turkey 512,000.00 2017
15 Colombia 481,000.00 2017
16 Thailand 455,000.00 2017
17 Italy 347,000.00 2017
18 Venezuela 343,000.00 2017
19 Mexico 336,000.00 2017
20 Afghanistan 323,000.00 2017
21 Sri Lanka 317,000.00 2017
21 Algeria 317,000.00 2017
23 France 307,000.00 2017
24 Ukraine 297,000.00 2017
25 Japan 261,000.00 2017
26 Saudi Arabia 252,000.00 2017
27 Morocco 246,000.00 2017
28 Syrian Arab Republic 239,000.00 2017
29 Bangladesh 221,000.00 2017
30 Nigeria 215,000.00 2017
31 Iraq 209,000.00 2017
32 Eritrea 202,000.00 2017
33 Spain 196,000.00 2017
34 Poland 191,000.00 2017
34 Cambodia 191,000.00 2017
36 Germany 180,000.00 2017
37 Israel 178,000.00 2017
38 Peru 158,000.00 2017
39 Belarus 155,000.00 2017
40 Philippines 153,000.00 2017
41 United Kingdom 148,000.00 2017
42 Greece 146,000.00 2017
43 Ethiopia 138,000.00 2017
44 Malaysia 136,000.00 2017
45 Dem. Rep. Congo 134,000.00 2017
46 Lao PDR 129,000.00 2017
47 Romania 126,000.00 2017
48 Sudan 124,000.00 2017
49 Chile 122,000.00 2017
50 Angola 117,000.00 2017
51 Jordan 116,000.00 2017
52 Nepal 112,000.00 2017
53 Argentina 105,000.00 2017
54 Azerbaijan 82,000.00 2017
55 Singapore 81,000.00 2017
56 Lebanon 80,000.00 2017
56 South Africa 80,000.00 2017
58 Cuba 76,000.00 2017
59 Canada 72,000.00 2017
60 Dominican Republic 71,000.00 2017
60 Bolivia 71,000.00 2017
60 Kazakhstan 71,000.00 2017
63 Uzbekistan 68,000.00 2017
64 United Arab Emirates 63,000.00 2017
65 Australia 58,000.00 2017
66 Portugal 52,000.00 2017
67 Zimbabwe 51,000.00 2017
68 Armenia 49,000.00 2017
69 Tunisia 48,000.00 2017
70 Oman 47,000.00 2017
71 Uganda 46,000.00 2017
72 Guatemala 43,000.00 2017
73 Turkmenistan 42,000.00 2017
73 El Salvador 42,000.00 2017
75 Netherlands 41,000.00 2017
75 Ecuador 41,000.00 2017
77 Hungary 40,000.00 2017
77 Yemen 40,000.00 2017
79 Chad 35,000.00 2017
79 Rwanda 35,000.00 2017
81 Lithuania 34,000.00 2017
82 Serbia 32,000.00 2017
82 Belgium 32,000.00 2017
84 Burundi 31,000.00 2017
84 Bulgaria 31,000.00 2017
86 Sweden 30,000.00 2017
87 Kenya 29,000.00 2017
88 Tanzania 28,000.00 2017
89 Paraguay 27,000.00 2017
89 Côte d'Ivoire 27,000.00 2017
91 Georgia 26,000.00 2017
91 Panama 26,000.00 2017
93 Kuwait 25,000.00 2017
93 Finland 25,000.00 2017
95 Cameroon 24,000.00 2017
96 Czech Republic 23,000.00 2017
96 Norway 23,000.00 2017
96 Honduras 23,000.00 2017
99 Qatar 22,000.00 2017
99 Uruguay 22,000.00 2017
99 Madagascar 22,000.00 2017
102 Mauritania 21,000.00 2017
102 Switzerland 21,000.00 2017
102 Kyrgyz Republic 21,000.00 2017
102 Austria 21,000.00 2017
106 Somalia 20,000.00 2017
107 Bahrain 19,000.00 2017
107 Senegal 19,000.00 2017
109 Mongolia 18,000.00 2017
109 Mali 18,000.00 2017
109 Croatia 18,000.00 2017
112 Tajikistan 17,000.00 2017
113 Namibia 16,000.00 2017
113 Cyprus 16,000.00 2017
113 Zambia 16,000.00 2017
113 North Macedonia 16,000.00 2017
113 Ghana 16,000.00 2017
113 Slovak Republic 16,000.00 2017
119 Denmark 15,000.00 2017
119 Malawi 15,000.00 2017
121 Djibouti 13,000.00 2017
121 Guinea 13,000.00 2017
123 Congo 12,000.00 2017
123 Benin 12,000.00 2017
123 Nicaragua 12,000.00 2017
123 Montenegro 12,000.00 2017
127 Burkina Faso 11,000.00 2017
127 Bosnia and Herzegovina 11,000.00 2017
127 Mozambique 11,000.00 2017
130 Niger 10,000.00 2017
130 Togo 10,000.00 2017
130 Costa Rica 10,000.00 2017
133 Sierra Leone 9,000.00 2017
133 Albania 9,000.00 2017
133 New Zealand 9,000.00 2017
133 Botswana 9,000.00 2017
133 Ireland 9,000.00 2017
138 Central African Republic 8,000.00 2017
138 Brunei 8,000.00 2017
140 Gabon 7,000.00 2017
140 Moldova 7,000.00 2017
140 Slovenia 7,000.00 2017
143 Latvia 6,000.00 2017
143 Bhutan 6,000.00 2000
143 Estonia 6,000.00 2017
146 Guinea-Bissau 4,000.00 2017
146 Jamaica 4,000.00 2017
146 Fiji 4,000.00 2017
146 Papua New Guinea 4,000.00 2017
146 Trinidad and Tobago 4,000.00 2017
151 Eswatini 3,000.00 1999
151 Mauritius 3,000.00 2017
151 Guyana 3,000.00 2017
154 Timor-Leste 2,000.00 2017
154 Belize 2,000.00 2017
154 Liberia 2,000.00 2017
154 Lesotho 2,000.00 2017
154 Malta 2,000.00 2017
154 Suriname 2,000.00 2017
154 Luxembourg 2,000.00 2017
161 Cabo Verde 1,000.00 2017
161 Equatorial Guinea 1,000.00 2017
161 The Gambia 1,000.00 2017
161 The Bahamas 1,000.00 2017
161 Barbados 1,000.00 2017
161 São Tomé and Principe 1,000.00 1999
167 Seychelles 0.00 2017
167 Haiti 0.00 2017
167 Antigua and Barbuda 0.00 2017
167 Iceland 0.00 2017
167 Libya 0.00 2014

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Development Relevance: Although national defense is an important function of government and security from external threats that contributes to economic development, high military expenditures for defense or civil conflicts burden the economy and may impede growth. Data on military expenditures are a rough indicator of the portion of national resources used for military activities and of the burden on the economy. Comparisons of military spending among countries should take into account the many factors that influence perceptions of vulnerability and risk, including historical and cultural traditions, the length of borders that need defending, the quality of relations with neighbors, and the role of the armed forces in the body politic.

Limitations and Exceptions: Data excludes personnel not on active duty, therefore it underestimates the share of the labor force working for the defense establishment. The cooperation of governments of all countries listed in “The Military Balance” has been sought by IISS and, in many cases, received. However, some data in “The Military Balance” is estimated.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Military data on manpower represent quantitative assessment of the personnel strengths of the world's armed forces. The IISS collects the data from a wide variety of sources. The numbers are based on the most accurate data available to, or on the best estimate that can be made by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) at the time of its annual publication. The current WDI indicator includes active armed forces and active paramilitary (but not reservists). Armed forces personnel comprise all servicemen and women on full-time duty, including conscripts and long-term assignments from the Reserves (“Reserve” describes formations and units not fully manned or operational in peacetime, but which can be mobilized by recalling reservists in an emergency). The indicator includes paramilitary forces. The source of the data (IISS) reports armed forces and paramilitary forces separately, however these figures are added for the purpose of computing this series. Home Guard units are counted as paramilitary.

Aggregation method: Sum

Periodicity: Annual

General Comments: Data for some countries are based on partial or uncertain data or rough estimates.