Largest Active Militaries in the World

By  Vince J , views , updated
Categories: World General
Dataset contains 172 data items (see table below).

Overview

Which country has the largest active military force in the world?
The country with the largest active military force is China with a force strength of 2,185,000 personnel. At second and third, are India with a 1,455,550-strong military and United States with a military force of 1,388,100 personnel.
In comparison, the average size of the active military forces worldwide is around 117,185.2 military personnel.

 Compare China with Indonesia

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These are the countries with the largest active military forces:

China.

How is China strengthening its military? (Credit: Youtube/CGTN)

The country with the second-highest defence budget in the world is China. China's defence expenditure is estimated to be US$261,082M (1.90% of its GDP).

With a 4,015,000-strong military, China has a per-capita ratio of 2.9 military personnel per 1000 in population. Its total military consists of 2,185,000 active personnel (largest in the world), 1,170,000 reserve personnel and 660,000 from paramilitary forces.

China has the third-largest battle tank force in the world. On land, China has a mobile force of 9,000 tanks. For aerial defence, China has an air force of 2,615 military aircrafts and 450 attack helicopters.

China has the largest naval fleet in the world. China has a naval fleet of 270 vessels, including 2 aircraft carriers, 14 nuclear submarines and 55 non-nuclear submarines. The naval fleet of warships also include 52 frigates, 36 destroyers and 42 corvettes.

 

 Compare China with Laos

 Compare China with Azerbaijan


India.

India's Military Might On Display At Grand Republic Day Parade (Credit: Youtube/NDTV)

India has the third-highest defence budget in the world. India allocates about 2.40% of its GDP (estimated at US$71,125M) for its defence budget.

With a 5,137,500-strong military, India has a per-capita ratio of 4 military personnel per 1000 in population. Its total military consists of 1,455,550 active personnel (second-largest globally), 1,155,000 reserve personnel and 2,526,950 from paramilitary forces.

India has the third-largest battle tank force in Asia. On land, India has a mobile force of 6,464 tanks. For aerial defence, India has an air force of 544 military aircrafts and 23 attack helicopters.

India has a naval fleet of 69 vessels, including 1 aircraft carriers, 2 nuclear submarines and 14 non-nuclear submarines. Rounding up the fleet of warships are 14 frigates, 11 destroyers and 26 corvettes.

 

 Compare India with Uzbekistan

 Compare India with Malaysia


United States.

New U.S. Military Power 2020 | The Best Military In The World | How Powerful is USA? (Credit: Youtube/Daily US Military)

United States's defence budget is the highest in the world. United States allocates about 3.40% of its GDP (estimated at US$731,751M) for its defence budget. Its percentage of GDP allocated to defence spending is the highest in North America.

United States has the largest military force in North America. United States has a military that is composed of 1,388,100 active personnel (third-largest in the world) and 844,950 in reserve, totalling 2,233,050 or 6.8 military personnel per 1000 in population.

United States's battle tank force is the largest in North America. On land, United States has a mobile force of 8,850 tanks. For aerial defence, United States has an air force of 14,061 military aircrafts and 3,720 attack helicopters.

United States's naval fleet is the second-largest in the world. United States has a naval fleet of 254 vessels, including 11 aircraft carriers and 70 nuclear submarines. The naval fleet also possesses numerous warships, including 21 frigates, 69 destroyers and 27 corvettes.

 

 Compare United States with Panama

 Compare United States with Dominican Republic


North Korea.

North Korea's military among world's largest (credit: Youtube/CNN)

North Korea has the largest military force in the world. North Korea has a military that is composed of 1,280,000 active personnel (third-largest in Asia), 600,000 in reserve and 5,889,000 from paramilitary forces, totalling 7,769,000 or 306.1 military personnel per 1000 in population. Its per-capita military is the highest in the world.

North Korea's battle tank force is the second-largest in the world. On land, North Korea has a mobile force of 10,375 tanks. For aerial defence, North Korea has an air force of 576 military aircrafts and 100 attack helicopters.

North Korea's naval fleet is the third-largest in Asia. North Korea has a naval fleet of 73 vessels, including 70 non-nuclear submarines.

 

 Compare North Korea with Malaysia

 Compare North Korea with Japan


Russia.

Russia's Military Capability: Six Days (Short Film) - Russian Armed Forces - Вооруженные силы России

Russia's defence budget is the highest in Europe. The defence budget of Russia is estimated at US$65,103M at around 3.90% of its GDP. Its percentage of GDP allocated to defence spending is the second-highest in Europe.

Russia has the largest military force in Europe. With a 3,568,000-strong military, Russia has a per-capita ratio of 25.1 military personnel per 1000 in population. Its total military consists of 1,014,000 active personnel (largest in Europe), 2,000,000 reserve personnel and 554,000 from paramilitary forces.

Russia's battle tank force is the largest in the world. On land, Russia has a mobile force of 22,710 tanks. For aerial defence, Russia has an air force of 3,212 military aircrafts and 1,438 attack helicopters.

Russia's naval fleet is the third-largest in the world. Russia has a naval fleet of 220 vessels, including 1 aircraft carriers and 59 nuclear submarines. The naval fleet of warships also include 6 frigates, 18 destroyers and 78 corvettes.

 

 Compare Russia with Romania

 Compare Russia with Turkey


Pakistan.

Pakistan Army Power in the World 2019 By PAK Army official

Pakistan's defence expenditure is estimated to be US$10,256M (4% of its GDP). Its percentage of GDP allocated to defence spending is the highest in Asia.

Pakistan has a military of 1,495,000 personnel, with 654,000 active, 550,000 in reserve and 291,000 from paramilitary forces, making up 7.2 military personnel per 1000 in population.

On land, Pakistan has a mobile force of 3,010 tanks. For aerial defence, Pakistan has an air force of 356 military aircrafts and 56 attack helicopters.

Pakistan has a naval fleet of 5 vessels, including 5 non-nuclear submarines.

 

 Compare Pakistan with Taiwan

 Compare Pakistan with Brunei


Iran.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard: Who are they and what is their role? (Credit: Youtube/FRANCE 24 English)

Iran has the third-highest defence budget in Middle East. Iran allocates about 2.30% of its GDP (estimated at US$12,623M) for its defence budget.

Iran has the largest military force in Middle East. Iran has a military that is composed of 610,000 active personnel (largest in Middle East), 350,000 in reserve and 40,000 from paramilitary forces, totalling 1,000,000 or 12 military personnel per 1000 in population.

Iran's battle tank force is the largest in Middle East. On land, Iran has a mobile force of 1,663 tanks. For aerial defence, Iran has an air force of 337 military aircrafts and 62 attack helicopters.

Iran has the largest naval fleet in Middle East. Iran has a naval fleet of 27 vessels, including 21 non-nuclear submarines.

 

 Compare Iran with Qatar

 Compare Iran with Saudi Arabia


Check out these military rankings by region and force type:

Gap Analysis  - Ukraine vs Russia | NATO vs Russia

Largest Militaries Worldwide  - by total force | by active force | by force per capita

Largest Militaries (region) - Asia | N. Asia | Europe | Africa | Middle East | N. America | S. America

NATO Nations - Defense Spending | Air Force | Military | Tanks | Navy | Submarines

G20 Nations - Defense Spending | Air Force | Military | Tanks | Navy | Submarines | Nuclear

ASEAN Nations - Defense Spending | Air Force | Military | Tanks | Navy

Northeast Asia Nations - Defense Spending | Air Force | Military | Tanks | Navy | Submarines

Gap Analysis - NATO & Russia | Ukraine & Russia | China & Taiwan

Highest Military Budgets - World | Asia | N. Asia | Europe | Africa | Middle East | N. America | S. America

Largest Navy - World | Asia | N. Asia | Europe | S. America

Most Submarines - World | Asia | N. Asia | Europe | S. America

Largest Air Force - World | Africa | Asia | N. Asia | Europe | Middle East | N. America | S. America

Most Battle Tanks - World | Africa | Asia | N. Asia | Europe | Middle East

Attributions