Which Country Has the Largest Army?

Armed Forces Personnel (Total) ('000), 2017 or latest
Military & Defense | May 18, 2019
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Excel Sheet

Based on a comparison of 165 countries in 2017, India ranked the highest in armed forces personnel with 3,031 '000 followed by China and Dem. People's Republic of Korea. On the other end of the scale was Haiti with 0.200 '000, Iceland with 0.250 '000 and Seychelles with 0.840 '000.

Total armed forces personnel reached 27,414 '000 in 2017 in the World according to the SIPRI Military Expenditure Database. This is 0.468 % less than in the previous year and 0.584 % more than 10 years ago.

Historically, total armed forces personnel reached an all time high of 30,197 '000 in 1996 and an all time low of 22,209 '000 in 1985. The average annual growth amounted to 0.729 % since 1985.

The top ranked country, India, accounted for 11.1 % of armed forces personnel in the world. The top 3 countries hold a 26.2 % share while the ten largest countries some 50.4 % in 2017.

Data for more countries are available at Armed Forces Personnel (Total) indicator page.

Armed Forces Personnel (Total) Unit 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Brazil '000 713 713 713 730 730
China '000 2,945 2,993 2,993 2,993 2,843
Colombia '000 440 440 456 456 481
Dem. People's Republic of Korea '000 1,379 1,379 1,379 1,379 1,379
Egypt '000 836 836 836 836 836
India '000 2,647 2,729 2,750 2,750 2,799
Indonesia '000 677 677 677 677 676
Iran '000 563 563 563 563 563
Myanmar '000 513 513 513 513 513
Pakistan '000 946 948 948 926 936
Russia '000 1,364 1,364 1,260 1,287 1,490
South Korea '000 660 660 660 633 635
Turkey '000 613 613 613 613 512
USA '000 1,520 1,492 1,433 1,381 1,347
Vietnam '000 ... 522 522 522 522 522