Special Report

The Countries With the Largest Active-Duty Militaries


To determine the 20 countries with the largest militaries, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed 2023 Military Manpower Ranking from Global Firepower, an annually updated defense-related statistics website with information on 145 countries. 

Data on each country’s PowerIndex score (which estimates overall military strength with lower values indicating greater strength) and military reserves also came from Global Firepower. Data on the number of active military aircraft for 2023 came from FlightGlobal, an aviation and aerospace industry website. Military expenditure data for 2022 came from Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Population data for 2023 came from the CIA World Factbook.

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