Mapped: All the World’s Military Personnel


This post is by Avery Koop from Visual Capitalist


map infographic showing military personnel by country. China has the largest active military.

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Mapped: All the World’s Military Personnel

While much of the world is living in one of the most peaceful periods in history, the spark of new conflicts like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine reminds us of the importance of military personnel.

Between ongoing armed conflicts to building of defenses preemptively, many countries have amassed significant militaries to date.

This map, using data from World Population Review, displays all the world’s military personnel.

Who Has the Largest Military?

So who has the largest military? Well, the answer isn’t so simple.

There are three commonly measured categories of military personnel:

  • Active military: Soldiers who work full-time for the army
    Country with the largest active military: ?? China (over 2 million)
  • Military reserves: People who do not work for the army full-time, but have military training and can be called up and deployed at any moment
    Country with the largest military reserves: ?? Vietnam (5 million)
  • Paramilitary: Groups that aren’t officially military but operate in (Read more...)