# List of countries by number of military and paramilitary personnel

This is a **list of countries by number of military and paramilitary personnel**. It includes any government-sponsored soldiers used to further the domestic and foreign policies of their respective government. The term "country" is used in its most common use, in the sense of state which exercises sovereignty or has limited recognition.

## Guide to the list[edit]

The list consists of columns that can be sorted by clicking on the appropriate title:

- The names of the states, accompanied by their respective national flags.
- The number of military personnel on active duty that are currently serving full-time in their military capacity.
- 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.
- The number of personnel in paramilitary forces: armed units that are not considered part of a nation's formal military forces.
- The total number of active, reserve, and paramilitary personnel.
- The ratio per thousand inhabitants of total military (active, reserve, and paramilitary).
- The ratio per thousand inhabitants of active military only.

As military forces around the world are constantly changing in size, no definitive list can ever be compiled.

All of the 172 countries listed here, especially those with the highest number of total soldiers such as the two Koreas and Vietnam, include a large number of paramilitaries, civilians and policemen in their reserve personnel. Some countries, such as Italy and Japan, have only volunteers in their armed forces. Other countries, such as Mauritius and Panama, have no national armies, but only a paramilitary force.

### Tooth-to-tail ratio[edit]

The numbers of military personnel listed include both support personnel (supplies, construction, and contracting) and actual combat personnel. For a typical country, the proportion of this total that comprises actual combat forces is about 26%^{[citation needed]} (so, for every soldier there will be around three support personnel). This proportion is referred to as the "tooth-to-tail ratio".

Some countries have a considerably smaller tooth-to-tail ratio: For example, the United States Armed Forces has a tooth-to-tail ratio of 17%, meaning that for every combat unit there are around five support units.^{[1]}

## List by the International Institute for Strategic Studies[edit]

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Per 1,000 capita (active) |
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Not included in the list are the militaries of Abkhazia, Andorra, Artsakh, Transnistria, Bhutan, Comoros, Eswatini, Maldives, Monaco, Northern Cyprus, San Marino, Saint Kitts and Nevis, São Tomé and Príncipe, Somaliland, Tonga and Vanuatu.

## See also[edit]

- List of countries by level of military equipment
- List of countries by military expenditures
- List of countries by military expenditure per capita
- List of countries by Military Strength Index
- List of countries by Global Militarization Index
- List of countries without armed forces
- List of militaries by country
- List of militaries that recruit foreigners
- List of countries and dependencies by number of police officers

## Notes[edit]

## References[edit]

- ↑ Gansler, J.; Lucyshyn, William (3 April 2014). "Improving the DoD's Tooth-to-Tail Ratio. Revision". S2CID 14067427.
- ↑ 2019-2021 editions of "The Military Balance"

## Bibliography[edit]

- International Institute for Strategic Studies (15 February 2019).
*The Military Balance 2019*. London: Routledge. ISBN 9781857439885. - International Institute for Strategic Studies (14 February 2020).
*The Military Balance 2020*. London: Routledge. ISBN 9780367466398. - International Institute for Strategic Studies (25 February 2021).
*The Military Balance 2021*. London: Routledge. ISBN 9781032012278.

## Further reading[edit]

- Cordesman, Anthony; Fitzgerald, Erin (27 August 2009).
*The 2010 Quadriennal Defense Review*(PDF). Center for Strategic and International Studies. Retrieved 31 August 2010. - Cordesman, Anthony; Nerguizian, Aram (22 April 2010).
*The Gulf Military Balance in 2010*(PDF). Center for Strategic and International Studies. Retrieved 31 August 2010. - Cordesman, Anthony; Nerguizian, Aram (29 June 2010).
*The Arab-Israeli Military Balance*. Center for Strategic and International Studies. ISBN 978-0275969394. - International Institute for Strategic Studies (3 February 2010).
*The Military Balance 2010*. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-1857435573. - International Institute for Strategic Studies (2 March 2011).
*The Military Balance 2011*. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-1857436068. - International Institute for Strategic Studies (7 March 2012).
*The Military Balance 2012*. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-1857436426. - International Institute for Strategic Studies (14 March 2013).
*The Military Balance 2013*. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-1857436808. - International Institute for Strategic Studies (3 February 2014).
*The Military Balance 2014*. London: Routledge. ISBN 9781857437225. - International Institute for Strategic Studies (14 February 2018).
*The Military Balance 2018*. London: Routledge. ISBN 9781857439557.