Special Report

All 30 NATO Members Ranked By Military Power

my_public_domain_photos / Flickr

Despite receiving arms support from many other NATO nations, including Belgium, France, Poland, Canada, and Denmark, Ukraine’s requests for NATO membership have gone unanswered, largely due to the fear of igniting a broader war with Russia.

Sweden and Finland, however, were formally welcomed to join the alliance a few months after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began in 2022. With the addition of these two Scandinavian countries, NATO may reap the benefits of an additional combined force of over 47,000 active military personnel as well as Finland’s cache of one of the most powerful arsenals in Western Europe.

To determine the strongest North Atlantic Treaty Organization members by military power, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed 2023 data from GlobalFirepower, an annually updated defense-related statistics website with information on 145 countries. We ranked countries according to GlobalFirepower’s military strength index, the Power Index, which rates stronger countries closer to zero and weaker countries with higher index values. The index takes into account over 60 factors, including the arsenal, vehicles, aircraft, and more at each countries’ disposal. Only the 30 countries that were NATO members at the beginning of 2023 are included in our analysis.

NATO is a multinational security force of 30 countries that will come to one another’s aid in the case of attack by another nation or force. While 28 of NATO’s members are European nations, two are North American – Canada and the United States. (Here is how Russia’s and NATO’s military capabilities compare.)

The latest country to join the alliance was North Macedonia, which ranks near the bottom of the firepower index, with 9,000 active military, 20 aircraft, and no naval fleet. Other countries on the lower end of the list are Luxembourg, Montenegro, and Iceland. One of NATO’s founding members, Iceland is the only country in the bloc without a military. Its strategic position in the North Atlantic, however, makes it a valuable ally, and the island nation has provided land and facilities for the stationing of troops. (These are the nations without a military.)

Among the most powerful NATO members are Italy, France, the U.K., and the U.S. With over 1.39 million active military members and an aircraft fleet of 13,300, the U.S. military provides more personnel than the next six countries combined and more airpower than all other 29 NATO countries combined.

Click here to see all NATO members ranked by military power.

Click here to see our detailed methodology.

30. Iceland
> GlobalFirepower military strength index: 3.4845
> Active military: None
> Naval fleet size: None
> Aircraft fleet size: None
> Military spending (2021): $0
> Spending as percent of GDP: 0.0%
> Population (2021): 372,520 – #30 most of 30
> Year joined NATO: 1949

[in-text-ad]

Source: CatEyePerspective / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

29. Montenegro
> GlobalFirepower military strength index: 2.8704
> Active military: 2,500 – #28 most of 30
> Naval fleet size: 13 – #21 most of 30
> Aircraft fleet size: 11 – #25 most of 30
> Military spending (2021): $98.6 million – #29 most of 30
> Spending as percent of GDP: 1.7% – #14 most of 30
> Population (2021): 619,210 – #29 most of 30
> Year joined NATO: 2017

Source: SvetlanaSF / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

28. Luxembourg
> GlobalFirepower military strength index: 2.8202
> Active military: 1,000 – #29 most of 30
> Naval fleet size: None
> Aircraft fleet size: 1 – #29 most of 30
> Military spending (2021): $460.0 million – #26 most of 30
> Spending as percent of GDP: 0.6% – #29 most of 30
> Population (2021): 640,060 – #28 most of 30
> Year joined NATO: 1949

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

27. North Macedonia
> GlobalFirepower military strength index: 2.1717
> Active military: 9,000 – #23 most of 30
> Naval fleet size: None
> Aircraft fleet size: 20 – #23 most of 30
> Military spending (2021): $214.6 million – #28 most of 30
> Spending as percent of GDP: 1.5% – #18 most of 30
> Population (2021): 2,065,090 – #25 most of 30
> Year joined NATO: 2020

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: marine_corps / Flickr

26. Estonia
> GlobalFirepower military strength index: 2.0686
> Active military: 4,000 – #27 most of 30
> Naval fleet size: 6 – #23 most of 30
> Aircraft fleet size: 6 – #27 most of 30
> Military spending (2021): $764.0 million – #24 most of 30
> Spending as percent of GDP: 2.2% – #5 most of 30
> Population (2021): 1,330,930 – #27 most of 30
> Year joined NATO: 2004

Source: imantsu / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

25. Latvia
> GlobalFirepower military strength index: 1.9161
> Active military: 6,500 – #26 most of 30
> Naval fleet size: 18 – #19 most of 30
> Aircraft fleet size: 4 – #28 most of 30
> Military spending (2021): $826.6 million – #23 most of 30
> Spending as percent of GDP: 2.3% – #4 most of 30
> Population (2021): 1,884,490 – #26 most of 30
> Year joined NATO: 2004

[in-text-ad]

Source: Sean Gallup / Getty Images News via Getty Images

24. Lithuania
> GlobalFirepower military strength index: 1.9026
> Active military: 16,000 – #19 most of 30
> Naval fleet size: 11 – #22 most of 30
> Aircraft fleet size: 10 – #26 most of 30
> Military spending (2021): $1.24 billion – #21 most of 30
> Spending as percent of GDP: 2.0% – #10 most of 30
> Population (2021): 2,800,840 – #23 most of 30
> Year joined NATO: 2004

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

23. Albania
> GlobalFirepower military strength index: 1.8466
> Active military: 8,000 – #24 most of 30
> Naval fleet size: 19 – #18 most of 30
> Aircraft fleet size: 19 – #24 most of 30
> Military spending (2021): $236.4 million – #27 most of 30
> Spending as percent of GDP: 1.4% – #20 most of 30
> Population (2021): 2,811,670 – #22 most of 30
> Year joined NATO: 2009

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

22. Slovenia
> GlobalFirepower military strength index: 1.7261
> Active military: 7,000 – #25 most of 30
> Naval fleet size: 2 – #24 most of 30
> Aircraft fleet size: 37 – #22 most of 30
> Military spending (2021): $734.4 million – #25 most of 30
> Spending as percent of GDP: 1.2% – #27 most of 30
> Population (2021): 2,108,080 – #24 most of 30
> Year joined NATO: 2004

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Goran Jakus Photography / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

21. Croatia
> GlobalFirepower military strength index: 1.2141
> Active military: 15,000 – #21 most of 30
> Naval fleet size: 34 – #16 most of 30
> Aircraft fleet size: 80 – #18 most of 30
> Military spending (2021): $1.7 billion – #20 most of 30
> Spending as percent of GDP: 2.7% – #3 most of 30
> Population (2021): 3,899,000 – #21 most of 30
> Year joined NATO: 2009

Source: Alexandros Michailidis / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

20. Belgium
> GlobalFirepower military strength index: 1.1836
> Active military: 26,000 – #14 most of 30
> Naval fleet size: 17 – #20 most of 30
> Aircraft fleet size: 106 – #14 most of 30
> Military spending (2021): $6.3 billion – #13 most of 30
> Spending as percent of GDP: 1.1% – #28 most of 30
> Population (2021): 11,592,950 – #12 most of 30
> Year joined NATO: 1949

[in-text-ad]

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

19. Slovakia
> GlobalFirepower military strength index: 1.1789
> Active military: 13,000 – #22 most of 30
> Naval fleet size: None
> Aircraft fleet size: 48 – #21 most of 30
> Military spending (2021): $2.0 billion – #19 most of 30
> Spending as percent of GDP: 1.7% – #14 most of 30
> Population (2021): 5,447,250 – #19 most of 30
> Year joined NATO: 2004

Source: martin-dm / iStock via Getty Images

18. Bulgaria
> GlobalFirepower military strength index: 0.9757
> Active military: 25,000 – #16 most of 30
> Naval fleet size: 29 – #17 most of 30
> Aircraft fleet size: 66 – #19 most of 30
> Military spending (2021): $1.2 billion – #22 most of 30
> Spending as percent of GDP: 1.6% – #16 most of 30
> Population (2021): 6,877,740 – #17 most of 30
> Year joined NATO: 2004

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

17. Hungary
> GlobalFirepower military strength index: 0.8643
> Active military: 23,000 – #17 most of 30
> Naval fleet size: None
> Aircraft fleet size: 57 – #20 most of 30
> Military spending (2021): $2.8 billion – #18 most of 30
> Spending as percent of GDP: 1.6% – #16 most of 30
> Population (2021): 9,709,890 – #16 most of 30
> Year joined NATO: 1999

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Plougmann / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

16. Denmark
> GlobalFirepower military strength index: 0.8011
> Active military: 16,000 – #19 most of 30
> Naval fleet size: 74 – #10 most of 30
> Aircraft fleet size: 115 – #13 most of 30
> Military spending (2021): $5.4 billion – #15 most of 30
> Spending as percent of GDP: 1.4% – #20 most of 30
> Population (2021): 5,856,730 – #18 most of 30
> Year joined NATO: 1949

Source: Chalabala / iStock via Getty Images

15. Czechia
> GlobalFirepower military strength index: 0.7849
> Active military: 26,000 – #14 most of 30
> Naval fleet size: None
> Aircraft fleet size: 97 – #17 most of 30
> Military spending (2021): $3.9 billion – #17 most of 30
> Spending as percent of GDP: 1.4% – #20 most of 30
> Population (2021): 10,505,770 – #14 most of 30
> Year joined NATO: 1999

[in-text-ad]

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

14. Romania
> GlobalFirepower military strength index: 0.7735
> Active military: 67,000 – #11 most of 30
> Naval fleet size: 45 – #15 most of 30
> Aircraft fleet size: 146 – #11 most of 30
> Military spending (2021): $5.6 billion – #14 most of 30
> Spending as percent of GDP: 2.0% – #10 most of 30
> Population (2021): 19,119,880 – #10 most of 30
> Year joined NATO: 2004

Source: mtcurado / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

13. Portugal
> GlobalFirepower military strength index: 0.6116
> Active military: 27,000 – #13 most of 30
> Naval fleet size: 111 – #7 most of 30
> Aircraft fleet size: 104 – #15 most of 30
> Military spending (2021): $4.9 billion – #16 most of 30
> Spending as percent of GDP: 2.1% – #7 most of 30
> Population (2021): 10,325,150 – #15 most of 30
> Year joined NATO: 1949

12. Netherlands
> GlobalFirepower military strength index: 0.5801
> Active military: 35,000 – #12 most of 30
> Naval fleet size: 61 – #12 most of 30
> Aircraft fleet size: 136 – #12 most of 30
> Military spending (2021): $13.8 billion – #9 most of 30
> Spending as percent of GDP: 1.4% – #20 most of 30
> Population (2021): 17,533,040 – #11 most of 30
> Year joined NATO: 1949

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

11. Norway
> GlobalFirepower military strength index: 0.5289
> Active military: 23,000 – #17 most of 30
> Naval fleet size: 48 – #14 most of 30
> Aircraft fleet size: 100 – #16 most of 30
> Military spending (2021): $8.3 billion – #11 most of 30
> Spending as percent of GDP: 1.8% – #13 most of 30
> Population (2021): 5,408,320 – #20 most of 30
> Year joined NATO: 1949

10. Greece
> GlobalFirepower military strength index: 0.4621
> Active military: 130,000 – #7 most of 30
> Naval fleet size: 120 – #6 most of 30
> Aircraft fleet size: 635 – #6 most of 30
> Military spending (2021): $8.1 billion – #12 most of 30
> Spending as percent of GDP: 3.9% – #1 most of 30
> Population (2021): 10,641,220 – #13 most of 30
> Year joined NATO: 1952

[in-text-ad]

Source: zabelin / iStock via Getty Images

9. Canada
> GlobalFirepower military strength index: 0.3956
> Active military: 70,000 – #10 most of 30
> Naval fleet size: 61 – #12 most of 30
> Aircraft fleet size: 376 – #10 most of 30
> Military spending (2021): $26.4 billion – #6 most of 30
> Spending as percent of GDP: 1.3% – #25 most of 30
> Population (2021): 38,246,110 – #8 most of 30
> Year joined NATO: 1949

Source: ewg3D / iStock via Getty Images

8. Germany
> GlobalFirepower military strength index: 0.3881
> Active military: 184,000 – #5 most of 30
> Naval fleet size: 80 – #9 most of 30
> Aircraft fleet size: 601 – #7 most of 30
> Military spending (2021): $56.0 billion – #4 most of 30
> Spending as percent of GDP: 1.3% – #25 most of 30
> Population (2021): 83,196,080 – #3 most of 30
> Year joined NATO: 1955

Source: ISAF Headquarters Public Affairs Office / Wikimedia Commons

7. Spain
> GlobalFirepower military strength index: 0.3556
> Active military: 120,000 – #8 most of 30
> Naval fleet size: 166 – #3 most of 30
> Aircraft fleet size: 517 – #8 most of 30
> Military spending (2021): $19.5 billion – #7 most of 30
> Spending as percent of GDP: 1.4% – #20 most of 30
> Population (2021): 47,415,750 – #7 most of 30
> Year joined NATO: 1982

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Kamila Kozioå‚ (Koziolkamila) / iStock via Getty Images

6. Poland
> GlobalFirepower military strength index: 0.3406
> Active military: 120,000 – #8 most of 30
> Naval fleet size: 86 – #8 most of 30
> Aircraft fleet size: 459 – #9 most of 30
> Military spending (2021): $13.7 billion – #10 most of 30
> Spending as percent of GDP: 2.1% – #7 most of 30
> Population (2021): 37,747,120 – #9 most of 30
> Year joined NATO: 1999

Source: CatEyePerspective / iStock via Getty Images

5. Turkey
> GlobalFirepower military strength index: 0.2016
> Active military: 425,000 – #2 most of 30
> Naval fleet size: 154 – #4 most of 30
> Aircraft fleet size: 1,065 – #2 most of 30
> Military spending (2021): $15.5 billion – #8 most of 30
> Spending as percent of GDP: 2.1% – #7 most of 30
> Population (2021): 84,775,400 – #2 most of 30
> Year joined NATO: 1952

[in-text-ad]

Source: naphtalina / iStock via Getty Images

4. Italy
> GlobalFirepower military strength index: 0.1973
> Active military: 170,000 – #6 most of 30
> Naval fleet size: 313 – #2 most of 30
> Aircraft fleet size: 850 – #4 most of 30
> Military spending (2021): $32.0 billion – #5 most of 30
> Spending as percent of GDP: 1.5% – #18 most of 30
> Population (2021): 59,109,670 – #6 most of 30
> Year joined NATO: 1949

Source: Gwengoat / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

3. France
> GlobalFirepower military strength index: 0.1848
> Active military: 205,000 – #3 most of 30
> Naval fleet size: 126 – #5 most of 30
> Aircraft fleet size: 1,004 – #3 most of 30
> Military spending (2021): $56.6 billion – #3 most of 30
> Spending as percent of GDP: 1.9% – #12 most of 30
> Population (2021): 67,749,630 – #4 most of 30
> Year joined NATO: 1949

Source: Scott Nelson / Getty Images

2. United Kingdom
> GlobalFirepower military strength index: 0.1435
> Active military: 194,000 – #4 most of 30
> Naval fleet size: 73 – #11 most of 30
> Aircraft fleet size: 663 – #5 most of 30
> Military spending (2021): $68.4 billion – #2 most of 30
> Spending as percent of GDP: 2.2% – #5 most of 30
> Population (2021): 67,326,570 – #5 most of 30
> Year joined NATO: 1949

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: DanielBendjy / E+ via Getty Images

1. United States
> GlobalFirepower military strength index: 0.0712
> Active military: 1,390,000 – #1 most of 30
> Naval fleet size: 484 – #1 most of 30
> Aircraft fleet size: 13,300 – #1 most of 30
> Military spending (2021): $800.7 billion – #1 most of 30
> Spending as percent of GDP: 3.5% – #2 most of 30
> Population (2021): 331,893,740 – #1 most of 30
> Year joined NATO: 1949

Methodology

To determine the strongest North Atlantic Treaty Organization members by military power, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed 2023 data from GlobalFirepower, an annually updated defense-related statistics website with information on 145 countries. We ranked countries according to GlobalFirepower’s military strength index, the Power Index, which rates stronger countries closer to zero and weaker countries with higher index values. The index takes into account over 60 factors, including the arsenal, vehicles, aircraft, and more at each countries’ disposal.

Active service personnel, total military aircraft, and naval vessels are from GlobalFirepower. From Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s Military Expenditure Database, we included total military spending by country in 2021 and military spending as a percentage of gross domestic product. 2021 population figures came from the World Bank. From NATO, we added the year that each country joined the alliance.

ALERT: Take This Retirement Quiz Now  (Sponsored)

Take the quiz below to get matched with a financial advisor today.

Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests.

Here’s how it works:
1. Answer SmartAsset advisor match quiz
2. Review your pre-screened matches at your leisure. Check out the advisors’ profiles.
3. Speak with advisors at no cost to you. Have an introductory call on the phone or introduction in person and choose whom to work with in the future

Take the retirement quiz right here.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.