Member states of NATO

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Current NATO members highlighted in blue
Timeline of countries becoming NATO members as of 2020. Dark blue marks countries that were already NATO members at the given time. Light blue marks new members.

NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is an international military alliance that consists of 30 member states from Europe and North America. It was established at the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty on 4 April 1949. Article 5 of the treaty states that if an armed attack occurs against one of the member states, it shall be considered an attack against all members, and other members shall assist the attacked member, with armed forces if necessary.[1] Article 6 of the treaty limits the scope of Article 5 to the islands north of the Tropic of Cancer, the North American and European mainlands, the entirety of Turkey, and French Algeria. As such, an attack on Hawaii, Puerto Rico, French Guiana, Ceuta, or Melilla, among other places, would not trigger an Article 5 response.

Of the 30 member countries, 28 are in Europe and two in North America. Between 1994 and 1997, wider forums for regional cooperation between NATO and its neighbours were set up, including the Partnership for Peace, the Mediterranean Dialogue initiative and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council.

All members have militaries, except for Iceland, which does not have a typical army (but it does have a coast guard and a small unit of civilian specialists for NATO operations). Three of NATO's members are nuclear weapons states: France, the United Kingdom, and the United States. NATO has 12 original founding member states. Three more members joined between 1952 and 1955, and a fourth new member joined in 1982. After the end of the Cold War, NATO added 14 more members from 1999 to 2020.

NATO currently recognizes Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, Georgia, Sweden, and Ukraine as aspiring members as part of their Open Doors enlargement policy.[2]

Map of NATO in Europe. Blue: current members, light blue: countries in the process of accession, purple: countries seeking membership, grey: membership is not a goal, red: CSTO.

Founding members and enlargement[edit]

NATO was established on 4 April 1949 via the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty (Washington Treaty). The 12 founding members of the Alliance were: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States.[3]

The various allies all sign the Ottawa Agreement,[4] which is a 1951 document that acts to embody civilian oversight of the Alliance.[5][4]

Current membership consists of 30 countries. In addition to the 12 founding countries, four new members joined during the Cold War: Greece (1952), Turkey (1952), West Germany (1955) and Spain (1982). In 1990, the territory of the former East Germany was added with the reunification of Germany. NATO further expanded after the Cold War, adding the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland (1999), Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia (2004), Albania and Croatia (2009), Montenegro (2017) and North Macedonia (2020).[3] Of the territories and members added between 1990 and 2020, all were either formerly part of the Warsaw Pact (including the formerly Soviet Baltic states) or territories of the former Yugoslavia (which was not a Warsaw Pact member). No countries have left NATO since its founding.

Membership aspirations[edit]

As of June 2022, five additional states have formally informed NATO of their membership aspirations: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, Georgia, Sweden and Ukraine.[2]

List of member countries[edit]

The current members and their dates of admission are listed below.

Flag Map Member state Capital Accession[9] Population[a] Area[11]
Flag of Albania
Map showing Albania in an orthographic projection
Albania Tirana 1 April 2009 3,088,385 28,748 km2 (11,100 sq mi)
Flag of Belgium
Map showing Belgium in an orthographic projection
Belgium Brussels 24 August 1949[b] 11,778,842 30,528 km2 (11,787 sq mi)
Flag of Bulgaria
Map showing Bulgaria in an orthographic projection
Bulgaria Sofia 29 March 2004 6,919,180 110,879 km2 (42,811 sq mi)
Flag of Canada
Map showing Canada in an orthographic projection
Canada Ottawa 24 August 1949[b] 37,943,231 9,984,670 km2 (3,855,103 sq mi)
Flag of Croatia
Map showing Croatia in an orthographic projection
Croatia Zagreb 1 April 2009 4,208,973 56,594 km2 (21,851 sq mi)
Flag of the Czech Republic
Map showing the Czech Republic in an orthographic projection
Czech Republic[c] Prague 12 March 1999 10,702,596 78,867 km2 (30,451 sq mi)
Flag of Denmark
Map showing Denmark in an orthographic projection
Denmark Copenhagen 24 August 1949[b] 5,894,687 42,943 km2 (16,580 sq mi)[12]
2,210,573 km2 (853,507 sq mi)[d]
Flag of Estonia
Map showing Estonia in an orthographic projection
Estonia Tallinn 29 March 2004 1,220,042 45,228 km2 (17,463 sq mi)
Flag of France
Map showing France in an orthographic projection
France Paris 24 August 1949[b] 68,084,217 643,427 km2 (248,429 sq mi)
Flag of Germany
Map showing Germany in an orthographic projection
Germany[e] Berlin 6 May 1955
(West Germany)
3 October 1990
(Germany)
79,903,481 357,022 km2 (137,847 sq mi)
Flag of Greece
Map showing Greece in an orthographic projection
Greece Athens 18 February 1952 10,569,703 131,957 km2 (50,949 sq mi)
Flag of Hungary
Map showing Hungary in an orthographic projection
Hungary Budapest 12 March 1999 9,728,337 93,028 km2 (35,918 sq mi)
Flag of Iceland
Map showing Iceland in an orthographic projection
Iceland Reykjavík 24 August 1949[b] 354,234 103,000 km2 (39,769 sq mi)
Flag of Italy
Map showing Italy in an orthographic projection
Italy Rome 62,390,364 301,340 km2 (116,348 sq mi)
Flag of Latvia
Map showing Latvia in an orthographic projection
Latvia Riga 29 March 2004 1,862,687 64,589 km2 (24,938 sq mi)
Flag of Lithuania
Map showing Lithuania in an orthographic projection
Lithuania Vilnius 2,711,566 65,300 km2 (25,212 sq mi)
Flag of Luxembourg
Map showing Luxembourg in an orthographic projection
Luxembourg Luxembourg 24 August 1949[b] 639,589 2,586 km2 (998 sq mi)
Flag of Montenegro
Map showing Montenegro in an orthographic projection
Montenegro Podgorica 5 June 2017 607,414 13,812 km2 (5,333 sq mi)
Flag of the Netherlands
Map showing the Netherlands in an orthographic projection
Netherlands Amsterdam 24 August 1949[b] 17,337,403 41,543 km2 (16,040 sq mi)
Flag of North Macedonia
Map showing North Macedonia in an orthographic projection
North Macedonia Skopje 27 March 2020 2,128,262[f] 25,713 km2 (9,928 sq mi)
Flag of Norway
Map showing Norway in an orthographic projection
Norway Oslo 24 August 1949[b] 5,509,591 323,802 km2 (125,021 sq mi)
Flag of Poland
Map showing Poland in an orthographic projection
Poland Warsaw 12 March 1999 38,185,913 312,685 km2 (120,728 sq mi)
Flag of Portugal
Map showing Portugal in an orthographic projection
Portugal Lisbon 24 August 1949[b] 10,263,850 92,090 km2 (35,556 sq mi)
Flag of Romania
Map showing Romania in an orthographic projection
Romania Bucharest 29 March 2004 21,230,362 238,391 km2 (92,043 sq mi)
Flag of Slovakia
Map showing Slovakia in an orthographic projection
Slovakia Bratislava 5,436,066 49,035 km2 (18,933 sq mi)
Flag of Slovenia
Map showing Slovenia in an orthographic projection
Slovenia Ljubljana 2,102,106 20,273 km2 (7,827 sq mi)
Flag of Spain
Map showing Spain in an orthographic projection
Spain Madrid 30 May 1982 47,260,584 505,370 km2 (195,124 sq mi)
Flag of Turkey
Map showing Turkey in an orthographic projection
Turkey[g] Ankara 18 February 1952 82,482,383 783,562 km2 (302,535 sq mi)
Flag of the United Kingdom
Map showing the United Kingdom in an orthographic projection
United Kingdom London 24 August 1949[b] 67,081,000 243,610 km2 (94,058 sq mi)
Flag the United States
Map showing the United States in an orthographic projection
United States Washington, D.C. 334,998,398 9,833,520 km2 (3,796,743 sq mi)

Special arrangements[edit]

The three Nordic countries which joined NATO as founding members, Denmark, Iceland and Norway, chose to limit their participation in three areas: there would be no permanent peacetime bases, no nuclear warheads and no Allied military activity (unless invited) permitted on their territory. However, Denmark allowed the U.S. Air Force to maintain an existing base, Thule Air Base, in Greenland.[14]

From the mid-1960s to the mid-1990s, France pursued a military strategy of independence from NATO under a policy dubbed "Gaullo-Mitterrandism".[15] Nicolas Sarkozy negotiated the return of France to the integrated military command and the Defence Planning Committee in 2009, the latter being disbanded the following year. France remains the only NATO member outside the Nuclear Planning Group and unlike the United States and the United Kingdom, will not commit its nuclear-armed submarines to the alliance.[16][17]

Military personnel[edit]

Comparison of military personnel per 1,000 capita.
10
20
30
40
Countries (see legend)
  •   Greece
  •   Estonia
  •   Portugal
  •   Montenegro
  •   Lithuania
  •   Norway
  •   Turkey
  •   Latvia
  •   Denmark
  •   Croatia
  •   North Macedonia
  •   Romania
  •   Hungary
  •   United States
  •   Bulgaria
  •   Italy
  •   France
  •   Poland
  •   Spain
  •   Slovenia
  •   United Kingdom
  •   Slovakia
  •   Canada
  •   Germany
  •   Netherlands
  •   Albania
  •   Belgium
  •   Czech Republic
  •   Luxembourg
  •   Iceland

The following list is constructed from The Military Balance, published annually by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Numbers of military personnel
Country Active Reserve Paramilitary Total Per 1,000 capita
(total) (active)
Albania Albania[18] 7,500 0 500 8,000 2.6 2.4
Belgium Belgium[18] 24,450 5,900 0 30,350 2.6 2.1
Bulgaria Bulgaria[18] 36,950 3,000 0 39,950 5.8 5.3
Canada Canada[18] 66,500 34,400 4,500 105,400 2.8 1.8
Croatia Croatia[18] 16,700 21,000 3,000 40,700 9.7 4
Czech Republic Czech Republic[18] 26,600 3,640 0 30,240 2.8 2.5
Denmark Denmark[18] 15,400 44,200 0 59,600 10.1 2.6
Estonia Estonia[18] 7,200 17,500 15,800 40,500 33.2 5.9
France France[18] 203,250 41,050 100,500 344,800 5.1 3
Germany Germany[18] 183,400 30,050 0 213,450 2.7 2.3
Greece Greece[18] 143,300 221,350 4,000 368,650 34.8 13.5
Hungary Hungary[18] 34,200 20,000 12,000 66,200 6.8 3.5
Iceland Iceland[18] 0 250 250 500 1.4 0
Italy Italy[18][h] 161,550 17,900 176,350 355,800 5.7 2.6
Latvia Latvia[18] 8,750 11,200 0 19,950 10.7 4.7
Lithuania Lithuania[18] 23,000 7,100 14,150 44,250 16.3 8.5
Luxembourg Luxembourg[18] 410 0 600 1,010 1.6 0.6
Montenegro Montenegro[18] 2,350 2,800 10,100 15,250 25.1 3.9
Netherlands Netherlands 41,543 6,643 6,500 54,686 3.2 2.4
North Macedonia North Macedonia[18] 8,000 4,850 7,600 20,450 9.6 3.8
Norway Norway[18] 25,400 40,000 0 65,400 11.9 4.6
Poland Poland[18] 114,050 0 75,400 189,450 5 3
Portugal Portugal[18] 27,250 211,700 24,700 263,650 25.7 2.7
Romania Romania[18] 71,500 55,000 57,000 183,500 8.6 3.4
Slovakia Slovakia[18] 17,950 0 0 17,950 3.3 3.3
Slovenia Slovenia[18] 6,950 1,200 0 8,150 3.9 3.3
Spain Spain[18] 122,850 14,900 75,800 213,550 4.5 2.6
Turkey Turkey[18] 355,200 378,700 156,800 890,700 10.8 4.3
United Kingdom United Kingdom[18] 194,200 37,450 0 231,650 3.5 2.9
United States United States[18] 1,395,350 843,450 0 2,238,800 6.7 4.2
NATO NATO 3,292,810 2,108,950 745,550 6,147,310 6.5 3.5

Military expenditures[edit]

Military spending of the US compared to total of all 29 other NATO member countries (US$ millions).[i]

  United States (70.46%)
  All other NATO countries total (29.53%)

Total military spending of NATO member countries except the United States (US$ millions).[i][j]

  Greece (1.58%)
  Estonia (0.21%)
  Portugal (1.09%)
  Montenegro (0.03%)
  Lithuania (0.35%)
  Norway (2.34%)
  Turkey (4.54%)
  Latvia (0.23%)
  Denmark (1.55%)
  Croatia (0.35%)
  North Macedonia (0.035%)
  Romania (1.64%)
  Hungary (0.67%)
  Bulgaria (0.35%)
  Italy (7.99%)
  France (16.55%)
  Poland (3.91%)
  Spain (4.29%)
  Slovenia (0.18%)
  United Kingdom (19.72%)
  Slovakia (0.62%)
  Canada (7.15%)
  Germany (17.68%)
  Netherlands (4.05%)
  Other (2.895%)

United States omitted - see above

The defence spending of the United States is more than double the defence spending of all other NATO members combined.[19] Criticism of the fact that many member states were not contributing their fair share in accordance with the international agreement by then US president Donald Trump caused various reactions from American and European political figures, ranging from ridicule to panic.[20][21][22]

Total Military budget of European NATO countries (excluding Turkey) as a percentage of US military budget. Chinese and Russian military spending included for comparison[23]

Pew Research Center's 2016 survey among its member states showed that while most countries viewed NATO positively, most NATO members preferred keeping their military spending the same. The response to whether their country should militarily aid another NATO country if it were to get into a serious military conflict with Russia was also mixed. Roughly half or fewer in six of the eight countries surveyed say their country should use military force if Russia attacks a neighboring country that is a NATO ally. And at least half in three of the eight NATO countries say that their government should not use military force in such circumstances. The strongest opposition to responding with armed force is in Germany (58%), followed by France (53%) and Italy (51%). More than half of Americans (56%) and Canadians (53%) are willing to respond to Russian military aggression against a fellow NATO country. A plurality of the British (49%) and Poles (48%) would also live up to their Article 5 commitment. The Spanish are divided on the issue: 48% support it, 47% oppose.[24][25]

Member state Population[a] GDP
(nominal)[k]
Defence expenditure (US$)[l] Personnel[l]
Total
($millions)
% real GDP Per capita Per 1000
personnel
($millions)
 Albania 3,074,579 16.75 198 1.26 58 29 6,800
 Belgium 11,720,716 529.55 4,921 0.93 392 189 26,000
 Bulgaria 6,966,899 70.13 1,079 1.61 132 43 25,000
 Canada 38,436,447 2,016.00 21,885 1.27 569 304 72,000
 Croatia 4,227,746 63.17 1,072 1.75 238 71 15,000
 Czech Republic 10,702,498 261.73 2,969 1.19 236 114 26,000
 Denmark 5,869,410 360.51 4,760 1.35 760 280 17,000
 Estonia 1,228,624 32.74 669 2.13 429 106 6,300
 France 67,413,000 2,938.00 50,659 1.84 709 244 208,000
 Germany 83,190,556 4,319.00 54,113 1.36 591 294 184,000
 Greece 10,718,565 211.64 4,844 2.24 431 46 105,000
 Hungary 9,771,827 180.50 2,080 1.21 178 104 20,000
 Iceland 350,734 24.24
 Italy 60,317,116 2,106.00 24,482 1.22 385 137 179,000
 Latvia 1,881,232 36.77 724 2.01 325 113 6,400
 Lithuania 2,731,464 56.23 1,084 2.13 336 53 21,000
 Luxembourg 628,381 72.99 391 0.55 552 434 900
 Montenegro 609,859 5.69 92 1.65 126 58 1,600
 Netherlands 17,674,000 1,012.99 12,419 1.35 655 303 41,000
 North Macedonia 2,125,971 13.33 108 1.09 51 15 7,200
 Norway 5,467,439 422.06 7,179 1.70 1,308 359 20,000
 Poland 38,282,325 606.73 11,971 2.01 296 97 123,000
 Portugal 10,344,802 251.70 3,358 1.41 299 112 30,000
 Romania 21,302,893 261.87 5,043 2.04 225 73 69,000
 Slovakia 5,440,602 111.87 1,905 1.74 322 147 13,000
 Slovenia 2,102,678 56.85 581 1.04 253 85 6,800
 Spain 47,450,795 1,450.00 13,156 0.92 264 109 121,000
 Turkey 83,614,362 794.53 13,919 1.89 225 32 435,000
 United Kingdom 67,081,000 3,108.00 60,376 2.13 979 419 144,000
 United States 332,639,102 22,320.00 730,149 3.42 2,072 546 1,338,000
 NATO 953,365,622 43,711.57 1,036,186 2.51 1,045 317 3,268,000

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Population data is based on a July 2021 estimate by the Central Intelligence Agency in The World Factbook.[10]
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Founding member of NATO.
  3. ^ Officially referred to by the name Czechia. (See Czech Republic#Name.)
  4. ^ including Faroe Islands and Greenland.
  5. ^ Germany initially joined NATO as West Germany. The former country of East Germany became part of NATO after German reunification.
  6. ^ North Macedonia's population estimate was missing from Central Intelligence Agency's Country Comparison list in The World Factbook but available in the country's entry.[13]
  7. ^ Officially referred to by the name Türkiye. (See Turkey#Name.)
  8. ^ The paramilitary forces of Italy consist of the Carabinieri and the Guardia di Finanza.
  9. ^ a b Country order is the same as the preceding chart (military personnel per 1,000 capita) to maintain the same country colours between charts.
  10. ^ The pie chart format does not allow as many slices as there are countries in NATO, so the countries with the fewest military personnel per capita (Albania, Belgium, Czech Republic, Iceland and Luxembourg) have been combined into a single slice.
  11. ^ Gross domestic product (nominal) data (in billions of US dollars) is based on an October 2019 issue of the World Economic Outlook, which is published by the International Monetary Fund.[26]
  12. ^ a b Defence expenditure and personnel data are based on a June 2019 press release from NATO.[27]

References[edit]

Citations

  1. ^ "The North Atlantic Treaty". North Atlantic Treaty Organization. 4 April 1949. Retrieved 16 June 2008.
  2. ^ a b "Enlargement and Article 10". NATO. 10 June 2022. Retrieved 1 July 2022. Currently, five partner countries have declared their aspirations to NATO membership: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, Georgia, Sweden and Ukraine.
  3. ^ a b NATO. "Member countries". NATO. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  4. ^ a b Mosquera, Andrés B. Muñoz (2019). "The North Atlantic Treaty: Article 9 and NATO's Institutionalization". Volume 34. Emory International Law Review. Really, the Agreement on the Status of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, National Representatives and International Staff signed in Ottawa
  5. ^ "03. Agreement on the Status of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, National Representatives and International Staff, done at Ottawa September 20, 1951". US Department of State.
  6. ^ a b NATO. "Enlargement and Article 10". NATO. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  7. ^ NATO. "Relations with Finland". NATO. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  8. ^ NATO. "Relations with Sweden". NATO. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  9. ^ "Member countries". NATO. 4 October 2022. Archived from the original on 9 October 2022. Retrieved 6 November 2022.
  10. ^ "Country Comparisons — Population". Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  11. ^ "Field Listing :: Area". Central Intelligence Agency. Archived from the original on 31 January 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  12. ^ "AREA". Statistics Denmark. Archived from the original on 14 April 2019. Retrieved 29 January 2022.
  13. ^ "North Macedonia — People and Society". Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  14. ^ "Denmark and NATO - 1949".
  15. ^ "Why the concept of Gaullo-Mitterrandism is still relevant". IRIS. 29 April 2019. Archived from the original on 7 March 2022. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  16. ^ Cody, Edward (12 March 2009). "After 43 Years, France to Rejoin NATO as Full Member". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 26 October 2017. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
  17. ^ Stratton, Allegra (17 June 2008). "Sarkozy military plan unveiled". The Guardian. UK. Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac The International Institute for Strategic Studies (February 2022). The Military Balance 2022. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-032-27900-8. ISSN 0459-7222.
  19. ^ Where Does The Relationship Between NATO And The U.S. Go From Here?, Huffington Post
  20. ^ NATO allies boost defense spending in the wake of Trump criticism, The Washington Post
  21. ^ Former US ambassador to Nato in withering criticism of Donald Trump, The Independent
  22. ^ Shaken by Trump's Criticism of NATO, Europe Mulls Building Own Military Force, Voice Of America
  23. ^ "SIPRI Military Expenditure Database". SIPRI The independent resource on global security. STOCKHOLM INTERNATIONAL PEACE RESEARCH INSTITUTE.
  24. ^ Support for NATO is widespread among member nations, Pew Research
  25. ^ U.S. would defend NATO despite Trump's criticism, Europeans believe: study, Reuters
  26. ^ "GDP, current prices". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  27. ^ "Defence Expenditure of NATO Countries (2012-2019)" (PDF). NATO. 25 June 2019. Retrieved 30 March 2020.

Bibliography