Number of personnel in the Royal Marines in the UK 2019, by gender

In 2018 there were 6.72 thousand men and 110 women in the United Kingdom’s Royal Marines. There has been a slight increase in women working for the Royal Marines since 2012 but the overall size of the force has shrunk following the loss of around one thousand male marines in this period.

A new modern army
Following a review of the United Kingdom’s defense infrastructure in 2010, successive governments have reduced the number of personnel across all the armed forces. In the Army there were 23.1 thousand fewer personnel in 2012 than there were in 2018, with the Royal Navy losing 2.1 thousand personnel in the same time period. For the Royal Air Force personnel losses amounted to 6.18 thousand men and 860 women.

Defense spending falling
At the end of the Cold War the United Kingdom spent around 3.5 percent of it’s Gross Domestic Product on defense. The share of GDP spent on defense fell throughout the 1990s before stabilizing at levels of between 2.2 and 2.5 percent between 1996 and 2014. In 2015/16 the UK’s defense spending fell to 1.9 percent, a level it has stayed at since this point.

Number of personnel employed in the Royal Marines of the United Kingdom (UK) in 2019, by gender

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Release date

June 2019


United Kingdom

Survey time period

April 1, 2019

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