NATO Countries with the Largest Military Forces
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  Overview

NATO or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is an alliance of 30 nations formed to provide collective protection for the territories of member states in Europe and North America, and islands in the North Atlantic north of the Tropic of Cancer, plus French Algeria.

Which NATO country has the largest military force?
The country with the largest military force in NATO is United States with a force strength of 2,233,050 personnel. At second and third, are Turkey with a 890,700-strong military and France with a military force of 375,100 personnel.
In comparison, the average size of military forces in NATO is around 204,438.7 military personnel.

 Compare United States with North Macedonia


  Data Table

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  Interactive Chart

Chart 1: Largest Militaries among G20 Countries
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DEFENSE SPENDING

Defense Budget. United States has the highest military budget at US$731,751M . Average size of defense budgets among NATO countries stand at US$34,512.7M.

Percentage of GDP on Defense. United States's defence budget makes up 3.40% of its GDP - the highest among countries in NATO. On average, NATO countries spend %1.7 of their GDPs on defense.


FORCE STRUCTURE

Active Forces. United States has the largest active military, with 1,388,100 personnel. Average size of active military forces among NATO countries stand at 108,725.3 personnel.

Reserve Forces. United States has the largest reserve military, with 844,950 personnel. On average, countries in NATO maintain a reserve strength of 70,228.3 personnel.

Paramilitary Forces. Italy has the largest paramilitary force, with 175,750 personnel. The average paramilitary force size is 25,485.0 personnel.

Total Military Force Per Capita. Greece has the highest total military per capita at 34.2 per 1000 in population - the highest among NATO countries. The average total military force per capita for NATO countries is around 8.6 per 1000 in population.


These are the NATO countries with the largest military forces:

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's defence expenditure is estimated to be US$731,751M (3.40% of its GDP). 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 El Salvador

 Compare United States with Belize


Turkey.

How Strong Is Turkey's Military? (Credit: Youtube/Newsweek)

Turkey's defence expenditure is estimated to be US$20,448M (2.70% of its GDP).

Turkey's military force is the third-largest in Europe. Turkey has a military that is composed of 355,200 active personnel (second-largest in Europe), 378,700 in reserve and 156,800 from paramilitary forces, totalling 890,700 or 11 military personnel per 1000 in population.

Turkey's battle tank force is the second-largest in Europe. On land, Turkey has a mobile force of 2,504 tanks. For aerial defence, Turkey has an air force of 335 military aircrafts and 339 attack helicopters.

Turkey's naval fleet is the second-largest in Europe. Turkey has a naval fleet of 38 vessels, including 14 non-nuclear submarines. Other offensive warships in the naval arsenal include 18 frigates and 6 corvettes.

 

 Compare Turkey with Luxembourg

 Compare Turkey with Netherlands


France.

French Armed Forces 2018 (Credit: Youtube/The Marine)

The country with the second-highest defence budget in Europe is France. France's defence expenditure is estimated to be US$50,119M (1.90% of its GDP).

France has a military of 375,100 personnel, with 203,250 active, 41,050 in reserve and 130,800 from paramilitary forces, making up 5.6 military personnel per 1000 in population.

On land, France has a mobile force of 200 tanks. For aerial defence, France has an air force of 395 military aircrafts and 293 attack helicopters.

France's naval fleet is the third-largest in Europe. France has a naval fleet of 36 vessels, including 1 aircraft carriers and 10 nuclear submarines. Rounding up the fleet of warships are 11 frigates and 11 destroyers.

 

 Compare France with Belgium

 Compare France with United Kingdom


Greece.

Hellenic/Greece Armed Forces 2017 (Credit: Youtube/The Marine)

The defence budget of Greece is estimated at US$5,472M at around 2.60% of its GDP.

Greece has a military that is composed of 142,700 active personnel, 221,350 in reserve and 4,000 from paramilitary forces, totalling 368,050 or 34.2 military personnel per 1000 in population.

Greece has the third-largest battle tank force in Europe. On land, Greece has a mobile force of 1,354 tanks. For aerial defence, Greece has an air force of 244 military aircrafts and 48 attack helicopters.

Greece has a naval fleet of 25 vessels, including 8 non-nuclear submarines. The naval fleet also possesses numerous warships, including 13 frigates and 4 corvettes.

 

 Compare Greece with United Kingdom

 Compare Greece with Sweden


Italy.

Italian Armed Forces 2018 (Credit: Youtube/The Marine)

Italy allocates about 1.40% of its GDP (estimated at US$26,790M) for its defence budget.

Italy has a military that is composed of 165,500 active personnel, 18,300 in reserve and 175,750 from paramilitary forces, totalling 359,550 or 5.8 military personnel per 1000 in population.

On land, Italy has a mobile force of 200 tanks. For aerial defence, Italy has an air force of 258 military aircrafts and 211 attack helicopters.

Italy has a naval fleet of 30 vessels, including 2 aircraft carriers and 6 non-nuclear submarines. Other offensive warships in the naval arsenal include 10 frigates, 4 destroyers and 5 corvettes.

 

 Compare Italy with Ireland

 Compare Italy with Moldova


Portugal.

Portuguese Armed Forces 2017 (Credit: Youtube/The Marine)

The defence budget of Portugal is estimated at US$4,513M at around 1.90% of its GDP.

Portugal has a military that is composed of 27,250 active personnel, 211,700 in reserve and 24,700 from paramilitary forces, totalling 263,650 or 25.5 military personnel per 1000 in population.

On land, Portugal has a mobile force of 56 tanks. For aerial defence, Portugal has an air force of 42 military aircrafts and 18 attack helicopters.

Portugal has a naval fleet of 12 vessels, including 2 non-nuclear submarines. Rounding up the fleet of warships are 5 frigates and 5 corvettes.

 

 Compare Portugal with Poland

 Compare Portugal with Russia


United Kingdom.

British Armed Forces 2018 (Credit: Youtube/The Marine)

The defence budget of United Kingdom is estimated at US$48,650M at around 1.70% of its GDP.

United Kingdom has a military that is composed of 148,500 active personnel and 78,600 in reserve, totalling 227,100 or 3.5 military personnel per 1000 in population.

On land, United Kingdom has a mobile force of 227 tanks. For aerial defence, United Kingdom has an air force of 278 military aircrafts and 285 attack helicopters.

United Kingdom's naval fleet is the second-largest in Europe. United Kingdom has a naval fleet of 38 vessels, including 2 aircraft carriers and 11 nuclear submarines. The naval fleet of warships also include 13 frigates and 6 destroyers.

 

 Compare United Kingdom with Armenia

 Compare United Kingdom with Romania


Germany.

German Armed Forces 2020 (Credit: Youtube/The Marine)

Germany has the third-highest defence budget in Europe. The defence budget of Germany is estimated at US$49,277M at around 1.30% of its GDP.

Germany has a military of 213,550 personnel, with 183,500 active and 30,050 in reserve, making up 2.7 military personnel per 1000 in population.

On land, Germany has a mobile force of 410 tanks. For aerial defence, Germany has an air force of 245 military aircrafts and 43 attack helicopters.

Germany has a naval fleet of 21 vessels, including 5 non-nuclear submarines. Rounding up the fleet of warships are 11 frigates and 5 corvettes.

 

 Compare Germany with Hungary

 Compare Germany with Ireland


Spain.

Spanish Armed Forces 2019 (Credit: Youtube/The Marine)

Spain's defence expenditure is estimated to be US$17,177M (1.20% of its GDP).

Spain has a military of 211,300 personnel, with 120,350 active, 15,150 in reserve and 75,800 from paramilitary forces, making up 4.4 military personnel per 1000 in population.

On land, Spain has a mobile force of 343 tanks. For aerial defence, Spain has an air force of 166 military aircrafts and 81 attack helicopters.

Spain has a naval fleet of 18 vessels, including 1 aircraft carriers and 3 non-nuclear submarines. Other offensive warships in the naval arsenal include 6 frigates and 5 destroyers.

 

 Compare Spain with Slovenia

 Compare Spain with Sweden


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


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