Armed forces personnel (% of total labor force) - 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. Labor force comprises all people who meet the International Labour Organization's definition of the economically active population.

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

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 Eritrea 8.86 2015
2 Dem. People's Rep. Korea 8.60 2015
3 Syrian Arab Republic 5.75 2015
4 Jordan 5.04 2015
5 Montenegro 4.86 2015
6 Israel 4.76 2015
7 Singapore 4.58 2015
8 Brunei 4.29 2015
9 Lebanon 3.83 2015
10 Lao PDR 3.74 2015
11 Armenia 3.51 2015
12 Djibouti 3.48 2015
13 Afghanistan 3.17 2015
14 Sri Lanka 3.11 2015
15 Belarus 3.09 2015
16 Greece 2.99 2015
17 Egypt 2.78 2015
18 Bhutan 2.74 2000
19 Algeria 2.69 2015
20 Sudan 2.50 2015
21 Bahrain 2.50 2015
22 São Tomé and Principe 2.43 1999
23 Korea 2.31 2015
24 Iran 2.17 2015
25 Cambodia 2.13 2015
26 Cyprus 2.11 2015
27 Iraq 2.09 2015
28 Myanmar 2.07 2015
29 Oman 2.07 2015
30 Morocco 1.99 2015
31 Russia 1.95 2015
32 Saudi Arabia 1.94 2015
33 Lithuania 1.93 2015
34 Colombia 1.87 2015
35 Venezuela 1.84 2015
36 Turkey 1.72 2015
37 Mauritania 1.69 2015
38 Azerbaijan 1.68 2015
39 Romania 1.65 2015
40 Namibia 1.63 2015
41 Macedonia 1.63 2015
42 El Salvador 1.49 2015
43 Bolivia 1.47 2015
44 Uruguay 1.45 2015
45 Dominican Republic 1.44 2015
46 Turkmenistan 1.44 2015
47 Cuba 1.44 2015
48 Pakistan 1.43 2015
49 Bulgaria 1.41 2015
50 Portugal 1.41 2015
51 Italy 1.41 2015
52 Mongolia 1.37 2015
53 Slovenia 1.31 2015
54 Georgia 1.27 2015
55 Chile 1.25 2015
56 Ukraine 1.22 2015
57 Tunisia 1.18 2015
58 Thailand 1.17 2015
59 Panama 1.16 2015
60 Guyana 1.10 2015
61 Malta 1.06 2015
62 Gabon 1.06 2015
63 Kuwait 1.03 2015
64 Angola 1.02 2015
65 France 1.01 2015
66 United Arab Emirates 0.98 2015
67 Swaziland 0.98 1999
68 Croatia 0.98 2015
69 Nepal 0.98 2015
70 Vietnam 0.94 2015
71 Poland 0.94 2015
72 Fiji 0.94 2015
73 Estonia 0.93 2015
74 Belize 0.93 2015
75 Burundi 0.93 2015
76 Finland 0.92 2015
77 Peru 0.92 2015
78 Serbia 0.92 2015
79 Norway 0.90 2015
80 Malaysia 0.90 2015
81 Suriname 0.90 2015
82 Spain 0.87 2015
83 United States 0.84 2015
84 Botswana 0.84 2015
85 Hungary 0.83 2015
86 Kyrgyz Republic 0.80 2015
87 Paraguay 0.79 2015
88 Kazakhstan 0.77 2015
89 Chad 0.76 2015
90 Bosnia and Herzegovina 0.74 2015
91 Belgium 0.73 2015
92 Brazil 0.71 2015
93 Guatemala 0.68 2015
94 Zimbabwe 0.66 2015
95 Albania 0.64 2015
96 Qatar 0.63 2015
97 Guinea-Bissau 0.60 2015
98 Mexico 0.60 2015
99 Trinidad and Tobago 0.60 2015
100 Congo 0.60 2015
101 Sweden 0.59 2015
102 Rwanda 0.59 2015
103 Somalia 0.58 2015
104 Slovak Republic 0.58 2015
105 Moldova 0.57 2015
106 Denmark 0.57 2015
107 The Bahamas 0.56 2015
108 India 0.56 2015
109 Indonesia 0.55 2015
110 Cabo Verde 0.55 2015
111 Argentina 0.54 2015
112 Ecuador 0.53 2015
113 Luxembourg 0.53 2015
114 Latvia 0.53 2015
115 Tajikistan 0.50 2015
116 Timor-Leste 0.49 2015
117 Austria 0.48 2015
118 Czech Republic 0.47 2015
119 Uzbekistan 0.46 2015
120 Australia 0.46 2015
121 Honduras 0.46 2015
122 Netherlands 0.46 2015
123 United Kingdom 0.46 2015
124 Dem. Rep. Congo 0.45 2015
125 Central African Republic 0.44 2015
126 Switzerland 0.44 2015
127 Nicaragua 0.43 2015
128 Costa Rica 0.42 2015
129 Mauritius 0.42 2015
130 Germany 0.41 2015
131 Ireland 0.41 2015
132 Barbados 0.41 2015
133 Japan 0.39 2015
134 South Africa 0.39 2015
135 Philippines 0.39 2015
136 Senegal 0.38 2015
137 China 0.36 2015
138 Nigeria 0.36 2015
139 New Zealand 0.36 2015
140 Sierra Leone 0.35 2015
141 Bangladesh 0.34 2015
142 Canada 0.34 2015
143 Yemen 0.33 2015
144 Côte d'Ivoire 0.33 2015
145 Uganda 0.32 2015
146 Equatorial Guinea 0.30 2015
147 Ethiopia 0.29 2015
148 Togo 0.28 2015
149 Guinea 0.28 2015
150 Zambia 0.25 2015
151 Mali 0.24 2015
152 Cameroon 0.24 2015
153 Jamaica 0.23 2015
154 Benin 0.23 2015
155 Lesotho 0.22 2015
156 Madagascar 0.18 2015
157 Burkina Faso 0.17 2015
158 Kenya 0.16 2015
159 Liberia 0.14 2015
160 Niger 0.14 2015
161 The Gambia 0.13 2015
162 Iceland 0.12 2015
163 Ghana 0.12 2015
164 Tanzania 0.12 2015
165 Mozambique 0.09 2015
166 Malawi 0.09 2015
167 Papua New Guinea 0.05 2015
168 Haiti 0.00 2015
169 Libya 0.00 2014

More rankings: Africa | Asia | Central America & the Caribbean | Europe | Middle East | North America | Oceania | South America | World |

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 exclude personnel not on active duty, therefore they underestimate the share of the labor force working for the defense establishment. Governments rarely report the size of their armed forces, so such data typically come from intelligence sources. Unless otherwise indicated, reserves includes all reservists committed to rejoining the armed forces in an emergency, except when national reserve service obligations following conscription last almost a lifetime.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Military data on manpower represent quantitative assessment of the personnel strengths of the world's armed forces. 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 IISS collects the data from national governments. 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. IISS estimates of effective reservist strengths on the numbers available within five years of completing full-time service, unless there is good evidence that obligations are enforced for longer. Although paramilitary forces whose training, organization, equipment and control suggest they may be used to support or replace regular military forces, they are not included in the armed forces personnel. Home Guard units are counted as paramilitary. Data are shown as percentage of total labor force. According to International Labour Organization (ILO armed forces occupations include all jobs held by members of the armed forces. Members of the armed forces are those personnel who are currently serving in the armed forces, including auxiliary services, whether on a voluntary or compulsory basis, and who are not free to accept civilian employment and are subject to military discipline. Included are regular members of the army, navy, air force and other military services, as well as conscripts enrolled for military training or other service for a specified period. Excluded are persons in civilian employment of government establishments concerned with defense issues; police (other than military police); customs inspectors and members of border or other armed civilian services; persons who have been temporarily withdrawn from civilian life for a short period of military training or retraining, according to national requirements, and members of military reserves not currently on active service.

Aggregation method: Weighted average

Periodicity: Annual

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