World's largest armies by active military personnel 2020

In 2020, China had the largest active duty military force in the world, with about 2.18 million active military personnel. India, the United States, North Korea, and Russia rounded out the top five countries with the largest active duty military forces.

What is active personnel?

Active personnel, also known as active duty in the United States and active service in the United Kingdom, are those individuals whose full-time occupation is being part of a military force. Active duty is in contrast to a military’s reserve force, which are individuals who have both a military role and a civilian career. In the United States, the number of reserve forces is much larger than its active duty membership.

Military spending worldwide

While the United States has the third largest active duty military force in the world, it leads the rest of the world in military spending, followed by China and Saudi Arabia. The U.S. also led military spending among NATO countries, which is the most influential military alliance in the world.

The largest armies in the world based on active military personnel in 2020

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Source

Release date

2020

Region

Worldwide

Survey time period

2020

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