Number of personnel in the British Army in the UK 2012-2019, by gender

The reduction in personnel witnessed by the British Army in recent years is the result of a conscious attempt by the UK government to cut costs and modernize its Armed Forces. This policy has been pursued since the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review, which among other things sought to replace many full-time regulars with reservists, and to end the UK’s permanent deployment in Germany. As of 2019, there are 71.52 thousand men and 7.51 thousand women in the British Army, a decrease when compared to the previous years.

Cuts across air land and sea
While the army has born the brunt of these cuts to personnel, the other branches of the British Armed forces have also had to contend with the same issue. The Royal Navy saw its staff fall from 35.5 thousand in 2012 to 32.5 thousand by 2017, while the Royal Air Force lost just over seven thousand personnel in the same time period.

Women in the armed forces
Across the entire armed forces there were over 15 thousand female personnel as of 2018. Almost half of these women were in the British Army, with 2.9 thousand in the Royal Navy, 4.6 thousand in the Royal Air Force and just 110 in the Royal Marines.

Number of personnel employed in the British Army of the United Kingdom (UK) from 2012 to 2019, by gender

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Release date

June 2019


United Kingdom

Survey time period

2012 to 2019

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Statistics on "Armed Forces of the United Kingdom"

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