List of countries by number of military and paramilitary personnel

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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[edit]

The list consists of columns which 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 military and paramilitary personnel, and the ratio per thousand inhabitants.
  • 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; while others, such as Mauritius and Panama, have no national armies, but only a paramilitary force.

The list[edit]

The following list is sourced from the 2014 edition of "The Military Balance" published annually by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Flag Country Active military Reserve military Paramilitary Total Per 1000 capita
(total)
Per 1000 capita
(active)
Afghanistan Afghanistan[1] 185,800 0 152,350 338,150 10.6 5.8
Albania Albania[2] 14,250 0 500 14,750 5.1 4.9
Algeria Algeria[3] 130,000 150,000 187,200 467,200 11.8 3.3
Angola Angola[4] 107,000 0 10,000 117,000 9.1 8.4
Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda[5] 180 70 0 250 2.9 2.1
Argentina Argentina[6] 73,100 0 31,240 104,340 2.6 1.8
Armenia Armenia[7][Note 1][Note 2] 44,800 210,000 4,300 259,100 86 14.9
Australia Australia[8] 56,200 28,550 0 84,750 3.6 2.4
Austria Austria[9] 22,800 171,400 0 194,200 22.6 2.7
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan[10] 66,950 300,000 15,000 381,950 40.1 7
The Bahamas Bahamas[11] 850 0 0 850 2.8 2.8
Bahrain Bahrain[12] 8,200 0 11,260 19,460 14.5 6.1
Bangladesh Bangladesh[13] 157,050 0 63,900 220,950 1.4 1
Barbados Barbados[14] 610 430 0 1,040 3.7 2.1
Belarus Belarus[15] 48,000 289,500 110,000 447,500 47.2 5.1
Belgium Belgium[16] 30,700 6,800 0 37,500 3.6 2.9
Belize Belize[17] 1,050 700 0 1,750 5.7 3.4
Benin Benin[18] 6,950 0 2,500 9,450 1.1 0.8
Bolivia Bolivia[19] 46,100 0 37,100 83,200 8.5 4.7
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina[20] 10,500 0 0 10,500 2.3 2.3
Botswana Botswana[21] 9,000 0 1,500 10,500 5.3 4.5
Brazil Brazil[22] 318,480 1,340,000 395,000 2,053,480 10 1.6
Brunei Brunei[23] 7,000 700 2,250 9,950 23.9 16.8
Bulgaria Bulgaria[24] 31,300 303,000 16,000 350,300 48.6 4.3
Burkina Faso Burkina Faso[25] 11,200 0 250 11,450 0.7 0.7
Myanmar Burma[26] 406,000 0 107,250 513,250 10 7.9
Burundi Burundi[27] 20,000 0 31,000 51,000 5.4 2.1
Cambodia Cambodia[28] 124,300 0 67,000 191,300 13.2 8.6
Cameroon Cameroon[29] 14,100 0 9,000 23,100 1.2 0.7
Canada Canada[30][Note 3] 66,000 30,950 4,500 101,450 2.8 1.8
Cape Verde Cape Verde[31] 1,200 0 0 1,200 2.8 2.8
Central African Republic Central African Republic[32] 7,150 0 1,000 8,150 1.8 1.6
Chad Chad[33] 25,350 0 9,500 34,850 3.4 2.5
Chile Chile[34] 61,400 40,000 44,700 146,100 8.8 3.7
China People's Republic of China[35][Note 4] 2,333,000 510,000 660,000 3,503,000 2.6 1.7
Colombia Colombia[36] 466,713 61,900 159,000 687,613 14.3 9.7
Costa Rica Costa Rica[37] 0 0 9,800 9,800 2.1 0
Croatia Croatia[38] 16,550 3,000 19,550 4.4 3.7
Ivory Coast Côte d'Ivoire[39] 40,000 0 0 40,000 1.9 1.9
Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo[40] 134,250 0 0 134,250 2 2
Cuba Cuba[41][Note 5] 49,000 39,000 1,146,500 1,234,500 107.8 4.3
Cyprus Cyprus[42] 12,000 50,000 750 62,750 73.1 14
Czech Republic Czech Republic[43] 23,650 0 3,100 26,750 2.5 2.2
North Korea Democratic People's Republic of Korea[44][Note 6] 1,190,000 600,000 5,889,000 7,679,000 308.5 47.8
Denmark Denmark[45] 17,200 53,500 0 70,700 12.5 3
Djibouti Djibouti[46] 10,450 0 2,500 12,950 16 12.9
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic[47] 46,000 0 15,000 61,000 6.3 4.8
Ecuador Ecuador[48] 58,000 118,000 500 176,500 12.1 4
Egypt Egypt[49] 438,500 479,000 397,000 1,314,500 14.9 5
El Salvador El Salvador[50] 15,300 9,900 17,000 42,200 5.9 2.1
Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea[51] 1,100 0 0 1,100 1.7 1.7
Eritrea Eritrea[52] 201,750 120,000 0 321,750 50.4 31.6
Estonia Estonia[53] 5,750 30,000 12,000 47,750 36.3 4.4
Ethiopia Ethiopia[54] 138,000 0 0 138,000 1.6 1.6
Fiji Fiji[55] 3,500 6,000 0 9,500 10.1 3.7
Finland Finland[56] 22,200 354,000 2,800 379,000 69.2 4.1
France France[57] 222,200 29,650 103,400 355,250 5.3 3.3
Gabon Gabon[58] 4,700 0 2,000 6,700 4.4 3.1
The Gambia Gambia[59] 800 0 0 800 0.4 0.4
Georgia (country) Georgia[60] 20,650 0 11,700 32,350 8.7 5.5
Germany Germany[61] 186,450 40,320 0 226,770 2.8 2.3
Ghana Ghana[62] 15,500 0 0 15,500 0.6 0.6
Greece Greece[63] 143,350 216,650 4,000 364,000 33.1 13
Guatemala Guatemala[64] 17,300 63,850 25,000 106,150 8 1.3
Guinea Guinea[65] 9,700 0 2,600 12,300 1.2 1
Guinea-Bissau Guinea-Bissau[66] 4,000 0 2,000 6,000 3.9 2.6
Guyana Guyana[67] 1,100 670 1,500 3,270 4.3 1.5
Haiti Haiti[68] 0 0 50 50 0 0
Honduras Honduras[69] 12,000 60,000 8,000 80,000 10.2 1.5
Hungary Hungary[70] 26,500 44,000 12,000 82,500 8.3 2.7
Iceland Iceland[71] 0 0 200 200 0.6 0
India India[72][Note 7] 1,325,000 1,155,000 2,288,407 4,768,407 3.9 1.1
Indonesia Indonesia[73] 395,500 400,000 281,000 1,076,500 4.2 1.5
Iran Iran[74][Note 8] 523,000 350,000 40,000 913,000 11.4 6.5
Iraq Iraq[75] 271,500 0 531,000 802,500 24.6 8.3
Republic of Ireland Ireland[76] 9,350 4,630 0 13,980 3 2
Israel Israel[77] 176,500 465,000 8,000 649,500 78.3 21.3
Italy Italy[78][Note 9] 176,000 18,300 183,500 377,800 6.2 2.9
Jamaica Jamaica[79] 2,830 980 0 3,810 1.3 1
Japan Japan[80] 247,150 56,100 12,650 315,900 2.5 2
Jordan Jordan[81] 100,500 65,000 15,000 180,500 27.1 15.1
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan[82] 39,000 0 31,500 70,500 4.6 2.5
Kenya Kenya[83] 24,120 0 5,000 29,120 0.7 0.6
Kuwait Kuwait[84] 15,500 23,700 7,100 46,300 17.2 5.8
Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan[85] 10,900 0 9,500 20,400 3.8 2
Laos Laos[86] 29,100 0 100,000 129,100 18.9 4.3
Latvia Latvia[87] 5,310 7,850 0 13,160 5.9 2.4
Lebanon Lebanon[88] 60,000 0 20,000 80,000 17.9 13.4
Lesotho Lesotho[89] 2,000 0 0 2,000 0.9 0.9
Liberia Liberia[90] 2,050 0 0 2,050 0.6 0.6
Libya Libya[91] 7,000 0 0 7,000 1.1 1.1
Lithuania Lithuania[92] 11,800 6,700 11,550 30,050 8.5 3.3
Luxembourg Luxembourg[93] 900 0 610 1,510 3.1 1.8
Madagascar Madagascar[94] 13,500 0 8,100 21,600 1 0.7
Malawi Malawi[95] 5,300 0 1,500 6,800 0.5 0.4
Malaysia Malaysia[96][Note 10] 109,000 51,600 269,300 429,900 16.7 4.2
Mali Mali[97] 3,000 0 7,800 10,800 0.8 0.2
Malta Malta[98] 1,950 180 0 2,130 5.3 4.8
Mauritania Mauritania[99] 15,870 0 5,000 20,870 6.7 5.1
Mauritius Mauritius[100] 0 0 2,500 2,500 1.9 0
Mexico Mexico[101] 270,250 87,350 59,500 417,100 3.8 2.4
Moldova Moldova[102] 5,350 58,000 2,400 65,750 15.2 1.2
Mongolia Mongolia[103] 10,000 137,000 7,200 154,200 50.7 3.3
Montenegro Montenegro[104] 2,080 0 10,100 12,180 18.1 3.1
Morocco Morocco[105] 195,800 150,000 50,000 395,800 12.7 6.3
Mozambique Mozambique[106] 11,200 0 0 11,200 0.5 0.5
Namibia Namibia[107] 9,200 0 6,000 15,200 7.2 4.4
Nepal Nepal[108] 95,750 0 62,000 157,750 5.5 3.4
Netherlands Netherlands[109] 37,400 3,200 5,900 46,500 2.7 2.2
New Zealand New Zealand[110] 8,550 2,290 0 10,840 2.6 2
Nicaragua Nicaragua[111] 12,000 0 0 12,000 2 2
Niger Niger[112] 5,300 0 5,400 10,700 0.7 0.3
Nigeria Nigeria[113] 80,000 0 82,000 162,000 1 0.5
Norway Norway[114] 25,800 45,940 0 71,740 14 5
Oman Oman[115] 42,600 0 4,400 47,000 13.8 12.5
Pakistan Pakistan[116] 643,800 0 304,000 947,800 4.8 3.2
State of Palestine Palestine[117][Note 11] 0 0 56,000 56,000 14 0
Panama Panama[118] 0 0 12,000 12,000 3.6 0
Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea[119] 1,900 0 0 1,900 0.3 0.3
Paraguay Paraguay[120] 10,650 164,500 14,800 189,950 27.2 1.5
Peru Peru[121] 115,000 188,000 77,000 380,000 12.9 3.9
Philippines Philippines[122] 125,000 131,000 80,500 336,500 3.4 1.3
Poland Poland[123] 99,300 0 73,400 172,700 4.5 2.6
Portugal Portugal[124] 42,600 211,950 47,700 302,250 29 4.1
Qatar Qatar[125] 11,800 0 0 11,800 5.5 5.5
Republic of Macedonia Republic of Macedonia[126] 8,000 4,850 0 12,850 6.2 3.9
Republic of the Congo Republic of the Congo[127] 10,000 0 2,000 12,000 3 2.5
Romania Romania[128] 71,400 45,000 79,900 196,300 8.8 3.2
Russia Russian Federation[129][Note 12] 845,000 2,000,000 519,000 3,364,000 23.4 5.9
Rwanda Rwanda[130] 33,000 0 2,000 35,000 3.3 3.1
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia[131] 233,500 0 15,500 249,000 8.7 8.1
Senegal Senegal[132] 13,600 0 5,000 18,600 1.4 1
Serbia Serbia[133] 40,000 170,000 4,500 214,500 29.1 5.4
Seychelles Seychelles[134] 420 0 450 870 9.9 4.8
Sierra Leone Sierra Leone[135] 10,500 0 0 10,500 2 2
Singapore Singapore[136] 72,500 312,500 119,100 504,100 92.2 13.3
Slovakia Slovakia[137] 15,850 0 0 15,850 2.9 2.9
Slovenia Slovenia[138] 7,600 1,500 5,950 15,050 7.3 3.7
Somalia Somalia[139] 20,000 0 0 20,000 1.9 1.9
South Africa South Africa[140] 62,100 15,050 0 77,150 1.6 1.3
South Korea Republic of Korea[141][Note 13] 630,000 2,970,000 3,004,500 6,604,500 128.7 12.3
Spain Spain[142] 134,900 14,200 80,700 229,800 4.9 2.9
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka[143] 160,900 5,500 92,600 259,000 12.1 7.5
Sudan Sudan[144] 244,300 85,000 20,000 349,300 8.5 5.9
South Sudan South Sudan[145] 210,000 0 0 210,000 5.1 5.1
Suriname Suriname[146] 1,840 0 100 1,940 4 3.8
Sweden Sweden[147][Note 14] 15,300 0 22,800 38,100 3.9 1.6
Switzerland Switzerland[148] 22,650 161,250 74,000 257,900 31.5 2.8
Syria Syria[149] 125,000 0 125,000 250,000 13.9 7
Taiwan Republic of China[150] 290,000 1,657,000 17,000 1,964,000 84.1 12.4
Tajikistan Tajikistan[151] 8,800 0 7,500 16,300 2.2 1.2
Tanzania Tanzania[152] 27,000 80,000 1,400 108,400 2.6 0.7
Thailand Thailand[153] 360,850 200,000 137,700 698,550 10.4 5.4
East Timor Timor Leste[154] 1,330 0 0 1,330 1.3 1.3
Togo Togo[155] 8,550 0 750 9,300 1.5 1.4
Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago[156] 4,050 0 0 4,050 3.3 3.3
Tunisia Tunisia[157] 35,800 0 12,000 47,800 4.6 3.4
Turkey Turkey[158] 510,600 378,700 102,200 991,500 12.8 6.6
Turkmenistan Turkmenistan[159] 22,000 0 0 22,000 4.5 4.5
Uganda Uganda[160] 45,000 10,000 0 55,000 1.7 1.4
Ukraine Ukraine[161] 250,000 900,000 84,900 1,234,900 27.9 5.6
United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates[162] 51,000 0 0 51,000 5.5 5.5
United Kingdom United Kingdom[163] 169,150 79,100 0 248,250 3.8 2.6
United States United States of America[164] 1,492,200 843,750 14,000 2,349,950 7.3 4.6
Uruguay Uruguay[165] 24,650 0 800 25,450 7.3 7.1
Uzbekistan Uzbekistan[166] 48,000 0 20,000 68,000 2.5 1.7
Venezuela Venezuela[167] 115,000 8,000 0 123,000 4.6 4.3
Vietnam Vietnam[168][Note 15] 482,000 5,000,000 40,000 5,522,000 60.9 5.3
Yemen Yemen[169] 66,700 0 71,200 137,900 6 2.9
Zambia Zambia[170] 15,100 3,000 1,400 19,500 1.6 1.3
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe[171] 29,000 0 21,800 50,800 3.9 2.2

Not included in the list are the militaries of Abkhazia, Andorra, Bhutan, Northern Cyprus, Monaco,Nagorno-Karabakh, San Marino, Saint Kitts and Nevis, São Tomé and Príncipe, Somaliland, Swaziland, Tonga and Vanuatu.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  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 Nagorno Karabakh, which has an Armenian backed army.
  3. ^ The Canadian Coast Guard is listed as a paramilitary.
  4. ^ China's paramilitary figure does not include some 3,000,000 PLA Militia.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ The Worker-Peasant Red Guards count 5,700,000 units and are used as a reserve paramilitary. They are included in the paramilitary count in the table. Many units are unarmed.
  7. ^ The paramilitary forces of India includes 987,821 personnel from Indian Home Guard and Civil Defence.
  8. ^ The paramilitary forces of Iran largely consists of the Basij, a paramilitary militia with claimed membership of 12.6 million (including women and children), which after mobilization can reach about 1,000,000 people able to fight.
  9. ^ The paramilitary forces of Italy consists of the Carabinieri and the Guardia di Finanza.
  10. ^ The paramilitary forces of Malaysia includes 244,700 personnel from the People's Volunteer Corps.
  11. ^ The personnel of Palestinian National Authority includes only organisations under the Directorate of Police Force; personnel strength figures for the various Palestinian groups in Gaza Strip, such as Hamas, 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.
  13. ^ The reserve personnel of South Korea predominantly consists of ex-conscripts with an obligation to undertake 3 days per year training.
  14. ^ The reserve personnel of Sweden includes 21,204 paramilitary from the Home Guard.
  15. ^ The reserve personnel of Vietnam includes 3,000,000 paramilitary from People's Public Security and Civil Defense.

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Bibliography[edit]

Further reading[edit]