Countries With Largest Active Military And Powerful Forces

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Unfortunately, we live in a world where there are international criminals who take advantage of weakness. So long as there are criminals in our streets, we will need to protect ourselves with local police. So long as there are international criminals we need our armies to protect us. That’s the reason every country has to build a strong powerful armies to protect and defend their interests.

Its not necessary the country have highest number of military forces, is the strongest one, similarly country which has lesser number of armies, is not the weaker one. Countries like U.S., China, India etc. are more remarkable countries in terms of huge army. First of all lets get introduced with the powerful countries.

Most Powerful Military In The World – U.S.

The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States of America. It consists of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. United states of America is the most powerful country in the world and it ranks no. one in terms of strongest army, with power index rating of 0.085 and third largest military in terms of the number of personnel.

As of 2019, the U.S. spends US$693 billion to fund its armed forces mandatory needs for the DoD and for “Overseas Contingency Operations” in the War on Terrorism. Outside of direct DoD spending, the United States spends another $218 to $262 billion each year on other defense-related programs, such as Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, nuclear weapons maintenance and DoD. The U.S. Armed Forces has significant capabilities in both defense and power projection due to its large budget, resulting in advanced and powerful technologies which enables a widespread deployment of the force around the world, including around 800 military bases outside the United States.

The U.S. Air Force is the world’s largest air force, the U.S. Navy is the world’s largest navy by tonnage, and the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps combined are the world’s second largest air arm. In terms of size, the U.S. Coast Guard is the world’s 12th largest naval force. The U.S. as of FY2019 has about 14,061 aircraft in inventory.



Interesting to know that on March 1st, 2019, the Department of Defense sent a proposal to Congress that would establish the United States Space Force as an independent military service within the Department of the Air Force. If approved, this would become the sixth military service branch to be created.

Highest Number of Active Military Personnel In The World – China

China, one of the fastest modernizing military powers in the word, ranks first in terms of highest number of active military personnel. The PLA (Chinese People’s Liberation Army) consists of five professional service branches which includes, the Ground Force, Navy, Air Force, Rocket Force, and the Strategic Support Force. This way, the PLA is the world’s largest military force and constitutes, the second largest defense budget in the world. The latest estimates about the size of this army is 2,035,000 active on duty, 510,000 are reserved, and 1,500,000 personnel are assigned as paramilitary forces. Talking about budget, China has upped its military budgets by more than 10% a year over the last 15 years. As per Stockholm International Peace Research Institute report, it has spent on military expenditure by 2019, (US$177.61 billion), an increase of 7.5% what was in year 2018 (US$165.5 billion).

Largest Military Personnel in the world – Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

If we discuss about total number of military personnel any country have, then Korea will rank first. Democratic People’s Republic of Korea turns largest in size in world as this country has has total 7,039,000 military personnel with 950,000 personnel active on duty, 200,000 reserved personnel, and 5,889,000 are paramilitary personnel. These numbers serves as 25% of the North Korean population. The Korean People’s Army (KPA) consists of five branches which includes, Ground Force, the Navy, the Air Force, the Strategic Rocket Forces, and the Special Operation Force. These numbers serves as 25% of the North Korean population. The KPA’s annual budget is approximately US$6 billion.

Remarkable Countries In The World with Powerful and Largest Military Forces – India, Russia, France and Iran

Other countries with the largest armies in the world include India, which is ranked number second in size. This army is well equipped with missiles that can hit targets far away from its shores. Russia has earned an enviable reputation for having a well-trained and powerful army. Currently it is ranked fifth as far as largest armies in the world go. Its army is made up of personnel aged between 18 and 27 and it currently has 1,013,628 soldiers.

Countries like France do not enjoy a reputation for having large armies in the world but it is nevertheless a country with a budget of over 62.3 billion dollars, which is the fifth largest in the world. The report showed that the United Kingdom has more than 150,250 strong personnel in its army. This is a country with small army in terms of personnel but it has a huge budget. Iran is another country that spends significantly on military, with an army consisting of about 523,000 active personnel with a defense budget of about 30 billion dollars.



Almost every country in the world has an army that protects it against both external as well as internal forces. When comparing militaries the size of the standing army does not judge the strength of the military alone. Their military histories, budgets and current operations also have to be taken into account.

Here are Top 30 Countries with highest number of Active Military Forces

Most of the country has kept their total forces divided into three categories – active forces, reserved forces, and paramilitary forces.

Active Military Forces: Those military personnel who are active on duty and currently serving full-time in their military capacity.

Reserve Military Forces: 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.

Paramilitary Forces: The number of personnel in paramilitary forces are those that are armed units but not considered part of a nation’s formal military forces.



RankCountryActive MilitaryReserve MilitaryParamilitary
1China2,035,000510,0001,500,000
2India1,440,0002,096,0001,585,950
3United States1,358,193811,000 2,918,161
4Russia1,013,6282,572,5002,310,859
5North Korea950,000200,0005,889,000
6Pakistan653,00000
7South Korea599,0003,100,000900,000
8Iran523,0001,350,0002,640,000
9Vietnam482,0005,000,00040,000
10Egypt438,500479,000397,000
11Myanmar406,0000107,250
12Indonesia395,500400,000280,000
13Thailand360,850245,00093,700
14Turkey355,200378,700156,800
15Sri Lanka346,70035,90062,200
16Brazil334,5001,340,000395,000
17Colombia293,20034,950187,900
18Mexico277,15081,50058,900
19Taiwan275,0002,800,0001,883,450
20Japan247,15056,00013,740
21Saudi Arabia227,000024,500
22Ukraine204,000900,00088,000
23France202,70072,300103,400
24Eritrea201,750120,0000
25Morocco195,800150,00050,000
26South Sudan185,00000
27Germany178,60027,900500
28Israel176,500465,0008,000
29Italy174,50018,300182,350
30Afghanistan174,3000148,700

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