World Facts

29 Largest Armies In The World

China has the largest standing army in the world followed by India and the United States.

The world in which we live in is not perfect. Countries need armies, and they also tend to go to war with each other. Countries that face threats from within and outside their borders have to deal with different security risks. This kind of reality forces countries to raise powerful armies to protect and defend their interests. The numbers below are from the International Institute for Strategic Studies in their 2019 report.

Chinese People's Liberation Army Is the Largest Standing Army In The World

When judging the largest standing armies in the world, we see that many armies are really big and strong. China is the country with the largest standing army and is one of the best trained. China has upped its military budgets by more than 10% a year over the last five years. This army was established way back in 1927 and was known as the China People’s Liberation Army, which consists of Ground Forces, NAVY, and Artillery as well as armed police and, of course, a strong air force. The latest estimates about the size of this army at 2,035,000 personnel. Most of the personnel of this army are aged between 18 and 49 years. By law, military service is compulsory in China, although the country has never enforced conscription due to a large number of volunteers from its population. Its army has five main service branches: the Ground Force, the Navy, the Air Force, the Rocket Force, and the Strategic Support Force. The army is well trained, equipped, and considered to be one of the strongest in the world. Although its equipment is considered to be behind the US by about 20 years.

The United States Is the Most Powerful Military In The World

When you think about the largest armies in the world, you will no doubt also think about the US, whose army is considered the strongest and best equipped in the world. It also has the largest military budget of $610 billion, which is far more significant than its closest rival China at $216 billion and is (actually larger than the next nine countries combined). The country’s army formed in 1775, and since then, the military of this country has come a long way. Today, it has about 1,359,450 active-duty personnel. The US has the third-largest army in the world, and it is considered one of the best-trained and most powerfully equipped armies in the world. It has, by far, the most aircraft, biggest advancement in technologies like the Navy's new rail gun, best trained human force, and the world's largest nuclear arsenal.

Other Notable Armies Across The World

Other countries with the largest armies in the world include India, which is ranked number second in size. This army has missiles that can hit targets far away from its shores. Russia has earned an excellent reputation for having a well-trained and powerful army. Currently, it is ranked fifth as far as the 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 148,350 active personnel in its army. It is a country with a small army in terms of personnel, but it has a huge budget. Iran is another country that spends significantly on the 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 and 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.

Which Country Has the Largest Army?

China has the largest active military in the world with over 2 million members. India has the second-largest military with 1.11 members and the United States has the third-largest military with 1.36 million members.

29 Largest Armies In The World In 2020

RankCountryActive Military Personnel
1China2,035,000
2India1,444,500
3United States of America1,359,450
4Democratic People's Republic of Korea1,280,000
5Russian Federation
900,000
6Pakistan653,800
7Republic of Korea625,000
8Iran523,000
9Vietnam482,000
10Egypt438,500
11Myanmar406,000
12Indonesia395,500
13Thailand360,850
14Turkey355,200
15Brazil334,500
16Colombia293,200
17Mexico277,150
18Sri Lanka255,000
19Japan247,150
20Saudi Arabia227,000
21Ukraine209,000
22France203,900
23Eritrea201,750
24Morocco195,800
25South Sudan185,000
26Germany179,400
27Afghanstan174,300
28Italy171,050
29Israel169,500

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