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Countries with the Most Military Troops

Name the twenty countries with the most active military troops.
As of 20 October 2021, according to Wikipedia
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: October 20, 2021
First submittedMay 6, 2012
Times taken162,837
Average score75.0%
Rating4.93
4:00
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Troops
Country
2,185,000
China
1,455,550
India
1,388,100
United States
1,280,000
North Korea
1,014,000
Russia
654,000
Pakistan
610,000
Iran
Troops
Country
599,000
South Korea
482,000
Vietnam
438,500
Egypt
406,000
Myanmar
395,500
Indonesia
366,500
Brazil
360,850
Thailand
Troops
Country
355,200
Turkey
293,200
Colombia
255,000
Sri Lanka
247,150
Japan
227,000
Saudi Arabia
216,000
Mexico
+4
Level 33
May 13, 2012
Nice one!
+5
Level 41
May 15, 2012
nice quiz :)
+3
Level 52
May 23, 2012
Good quiz, I got them all!
+23
Level 39
Jul 24, 2012
good quiz, surprised not to see the UK on there! well it seems our military punches above its weight then!
+11
Level 76
Mar 3, 2019
Yes
+7
Level 72
Apr 6, 2020
Aye
+4
Level 75
Jul 7, 2020
I guess Trident might be one of the reasons.
+6
Level 50
Dec 17, 2012
Syria and Colombia! C'mon! I always miss those two nations.
+3
Level 83
Mar 30, 2014
I missed those exact ones!
+3
Level 48
May 9, 2014
I guess Colombia last and did not have time for Syria.. (facepalm)
+2
Level 50
Mar 20, 2022
I'm surprised that Sri Lanka is on this list.
+3
Level 76
Jan 22, 2021
They're not on here (not anymore at least)
+1
Level 55
May 29, 2022
Colombia's still on here, which I got along with all the others people are complaining about like Sri Lanka... but somehow missed Russia. Just Russia. Please send help.
+8
Level 41
Feb 15, 2021
i tried syria when it wasn't there anymore lol
+1
Level 37
Nov 10, 2021
yeah same
+21
Level 63
Jan 25, 2013
France! Ha! Cheese eating surrender monkeys.
+51
Level 44
May 9, 2013
Third in military spending... how much do white flags cost these days?!?
+6
Level 75
Oct 9, 2013
A lot less than jack boots, which is why France spends less than the USA :o)
+15
Level 84
May 24, 2016
What are you even talking about?
+5
Level 76
Dec 1, 2019
You must be 'joking', right?
+26
Level 87
Feb 24, 2020
Guys, relax. It's a Simpsons reference.
+5
Level 76
Jan 22, 2021
Whew. 🙄
+6
Level 87
Feb 10, 2021
Lol. The video was removed for hate speech. YouTube really sucks sometimes. Try this one.
+5
Level 69
Feb 27, 2020
Make cheese, not war!
+2
Level 76
May 14, 2021
Speaking of cheese, I like Gouda cheese
+2
Level 41
Feb 15, 2021
scp-3390 would like to know your location
+5
Level 84
May 5, 2013
There are some countries with active reserves 10 or more times larger than some of these standing armies.

http://www.jetpunk.com/user-quizzes/30947/countries-largest-military-reserves

+8
Level 39
May 20, 2013
You can see who the developed countries are by looking at how precise their figures are. Turkey = 666,576 whereas Syria = 325,000 :)
+2
Level 58
Aug 31, 2013
The UK has 205,000 in active service and 182,000 in reserve
+19
Level 69
Sep 27, 2013
Liechtenstein isn't on here? I'm shocked!
+28
Level 37
May 9, 2014
I'm more shocked by the lack of Nauru on the quiz. Nauru has a massive, well trained army, that is a severe threat to places like the Marshall Islands and Kiribati. I think we might see a war erupt thanks to Nauru's militarism.
+1
Level 43
Aug 30, 2021
counterpoint: it's literally called the m a r s h a l l islands

they have a much larger military and could probably take over most of oceania if they had time or whatever

+4
Level 48
Dec 23, 2015
Liechtenstein doesn't have an army. Though they supplied men to the NAZI forces on Operation Barbossa.
+4
Level 76
Apr 5, 2020
It's Barbarossa*
+17
Level 59
May 24, 2016
What about the Vatican? They are surrounded by friendly Italy, they need to actively protect themselves at all times!
+5
Level 47
Apr 24, 2017
I am more surprised by the fact that Andorra is not here. After all, it is surrounded by Spain and France, both of which have significantly more people, land, and money.
+4
Level 71
Dec 18, 2017
They get round that problem by calling the President of France 'The Prince of Andorra' shares a co-principality with the Catholic Bishop of Urgell (Catalonia, Spain). (that must make the President of France a reigning Monarch)
+3
Level 50
Mar 3, 2018
You may like this 1960s tribute to Andorra's defense budget

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOCWTRJCnf0

+1
Level 46
Dec 2, 2019
Also the palce isn't of any particular value... Monaco on the other hand...
+1
Level 76
Apr 5, 2020
Liechtenstein, Nauru and the Vatican either do not have their own armies, or have very small ones due to the minute size of these countries and their populations.
+1
Level 39
Oct 27, 2022
Bro Palau has a bigger, strong, and experienced armies, no one can stop them
+5
Level 40
Oct 9, 2013
guiz.. weres costa rica?
+2
Level 35
Dec 18, 2015
Costa Rica doesn't have an army
+31
Level 36
May 24, 2016
I think you might have missed the sarcasm there...
+3
Level 53
Nov 14, 2018
The joke flew over your head. RIP.
+14
Level 87
Feb 24, 2020
To be fair though, it was a pretty bad joke.
+3
Level 65
Jan 11, 2022
If it flew over their head then they should have survived, so I feel the "RIP" is unneeded.
+4
Level 63
Nov 10, 2021
Costa Rica don't need an army. They have velociraptors.
+1
Level 23
Dec 8, 2013
Yo!!!! Quizmasterastan, you really need to change Burma to Myanmar. I know you accepted Myanmar, but use correct terminology. I checked on the website and it said Burma, so it's not really your fault.
+1
Level 36
Dec 10, 2013
Only Thailand and Vietnam for me. Meh- it k
+1
Level 77
May 9, 2014
What about Kronos, the Klingon homeland?
+6
Level 65
Sep 23, 2019
You mean Q'onos?
+1
Level 40
May 12, 2014
I only got 2 wrong! 19/21 90%
+1
Level 71
Nov 30, 2014
Why would Brazil need Three Hundred and Twenty Seven Thousand soldiers?
+8
Level 77
Mar 3, 2018
Brazil has a large coastline to patrol and borders ten countries, some of which have huge drug cartels. Their military also works on infrastructure projects. It's a huge area and those numbers don't seem extraordinary to me.
+4
Level 57
Aug 6, 2015
Taiwan is technically part of China (Peoples republic of)
+32
Level 71
May 24, 2016
perhaps you should go there 'Orangeajgreen' and explain it to the Taiwanese people.
+6
Level 76
Feb 25, 2020
Yeah, especially now.
+8
Level 49
Oct 16, 2020
"Technically"

I disagree, Taiwan has its own Military, Economy, even a passport. Taiwan is a Democratic State while China is a Communist State. Its essentially calling Cuba part of the US.

+2
Level 51
Jun 18, 2021
No.
+1
Level 50
Jan 14, 2022
no. it is not. it functions completely independent of the peoples republic of china, and there is no basis for saying that it doesnt. it has official relations with 14 countries, and unofficial relations with many other countries, including US and japan, both of which have pledged to protect Taiwan in the event of a chinese invasion.
+1
Level 71
Mar 3, 2022
Is that in writing?
+2
Level 69
Aug 8, 2015
No hope of world peace with all these countries and their armies :(
+8
Level 67
May 24, 2016
There is a school of thought in political science that the only way to achieve peace is through building armies. The thinking is basically that if you knew you might have to go up against a powerful army of five million, you'd probably behave yourself rather than risk the fight. Basically, if you bumped into a menacing, 280-pound guy in a bar, you'd probably apologize rather than pick a fight. I think it's a simplistic position, but it makes some sense.
+5
Level 86
May 24, 2016
To put it succinctly; si vis pacem, para bellum. ;)
+5
Level 71
Jan 27, 2017
Then again, you may go away, find a group of 280 pound bullies and go back to the bar and beat the ' bejabers'out of the bar bully.
+1
Level 65
Jan 11, 2022
"bejeebers"?
+3
Level 63
Oct 1, 2020
There is never a realistic hope of world peace. It would be glorious, but extremely unrealistic
+3
Level 71
May 9, 2016
Many of these countries receive financial aid, and then go on to build massive armies and buy jet aircraft etc. .......... does nobody find this sickening?
+10
Level 61
May 24, 2016
That is the point of financial aid. The UK (for example) invests in the Indian space programme, and the Indian government buys aerospace equipment from BAE Systems, a UK-based company, which creates jobs in the UK. It's not us altruistically giving money to help poorer nations because we're nice, it's investment in overseas markets which increases opportunities for the UK. The same applies elsewhere.
+2
Level 71
Jan 27, 2017
Great idea but it doesn't really work. UK are the 17th greatest exporters to India. Even a country such as Belgium (1/6th the size of UK) exports more to India and they don't give umpteen millions in aid to India to get the benefit.
+2
Level 67
May 12, 2020
Ah, that's totally not sickening then. :PP
+4
Level 84
May 24, 2016
YAY!!! DPRK and ROK work finally. Thank you QM.
+1
Level 69
May 24, 2016
=/ I could have sworn I typed in south korea, but I guess not
+3
Level 59
May 27, 2016
Please accept Republic of China for "Taiwan" There is no country on Earth that calls itself Taiwan. There might be a Republic of Taiwan in the future but there isn't one yet. As of now Taiwan is a geographic location but it is technically not a political one.
+9
Level 53
Dec 17, 2017
You're right, no other country calls themselves "Taiwan," or else it would be 196 Taiwans of the World.
+3
Level 67
Dec 19, 2017
His point is that Taiwan don't call themselves Taiwan either.
+1
Level 74
Apr 5, 2020
tripsaplenty, you have been brainwashed by the Commies.
+6
Level 73
Feb 14, 2021
This has nothing to do with communist brainwashing, it's just a pointless technicality. It's like saying "there's no country called South Korea" because the official name is not South Korea.
+2
Level 47
Dec 26, 2020
It's called Taiwan to differentiate from ... you know, the other China.
+1
Level 51
Jun 18, 2021
Excuse me?
+1
Level 59
May 27, 2016
I said south Korea like a million times and it still didn't accept it
+43
Level 65
Apr 21, 2017
Maybe you should try writing it instead?
+3
Level 71
Oct 6, 2017
+1
+8
Level 74
Oct 8, 2018
or even typing it
+1
Level 76
Mar 3, 2019
Yep
+3
Level 65
Jan 11, 2022
Maybe the best reply I've ever seen
+1
Level 48
May 29, 2016
First quiz I think that I have got above average score on. Certainly wouldnt have guessed it would have been this one of all of them. Any where there are a few usa-based questions/answers then I will be lower than average.

Thank you questionmaster for updating it too!

I have to agree with the others about myanmar. Finally it has been updated.

+2
Level 66
Dec 19, 2016
I'm very surprised not to see Israel on this list. I thought they were all about their army.
+4
Level 48
Dec 19, 2016
The list is not per capita so obviously Israel isn't on the list with their population of 8 million.
+1
Level 40
Jan 11, 2017
Got all except Myanmar! nice quiz
+4
Level 72
Jun 5, 2017
Surprised I didn't see Eritrea here.
+1
Level 53
Oct 6, 2017
How did I miss Taiwan lol would have had 100%
+2
Level 68
Dec 18, 2017
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_military_and_paramilitary_personnel
+4
Level 45
Jan 28, 2018
missed on sri lanka
+4
Level 84
Mar 3, 2018
Took me a while to get that one, too.
+3
Level 52
Jun 9, 2020
Sri Lanka is a somewhat surprising one for me as well, not immediately intuative.
+3
Level 61
Mar 3, 2018
Only missed two. I was going to guess Sri Lanka, but then second guessed myself and didn't think it would be on here. I don't know why I didn't think to guess Syria though.
+2
Level 36
Mar 4, 2018
wow sri lanka?~
+1
Level 83
Mar 15, 2018
Surprised Taiwan misses out. Also amazing how small European militaries have become - once this list would have been completely dominated by Europe.
+3
Level 72
May 20, 2018
Quality over quantity. The most powerful European countries now prefer professionalism and training over numbers.
+6
Level 87
Feb 27, 2020
Also subsidized by US force projection in Germany and elsewhere. Much less need to maintain their own troops.
+1
Level 71
Apr 11, 2018
China has 0.227 soldiers per square Km. USA has 0.137 S per Km2, Russia 0.06 S per Km2, North Korea 9.87 soldiers per Km2.... interesting yes?
+6
Level 47
Dec 26, 2020
Well obviously North Korea is much smaller than those countries.

Monaco has 121 soldiers per km2, even though they only have 255 soldiers...

+3
Level 55
Nov 10, 2021
well im also guessing the soldiers arent evenly dispersed throughout the land
+1
Level 57
Apr 26, 2018
See if the Countries with the most troops are also on the list of the 50 Most Powerful Military Nations
+2
Level 40
Apr 29, 2018
I've lost a point because of Srí Lanka. Danke schön!
+2
Level 65
Jan 11, 2022
I doubt you lost one...Probably actually gained four.
+1
Level 71
Sep 9, 2018
Can someone explain why Japan can have 250,000 soldiers when the 9th article of the Japanese Constitution forbids it? Also, is China such a big threat to Japan that they need so many soldiers?
+8
Level 74
Oct 8, 2018
As far as I understand it, their army is purely for defence and that is allowed. The military may be used in law and order, disaster response and as a form of welfare giving youth some training and discipline...

And yes, China is threatening the stability of east Asia

+1
Level 68
Mar 18, 2020
This has been an interesting subject to me; it is rather misleading to discount paramilitary forces. Japan for example has quite small paramilitary forces, so presumably the military takes on tasks which in other countries it might not. Italy on the other hand has military forces that are not small by European standards but also has a large paramilitary force (Carabinieri) which in the eventuality might well be deployed to a war zone in a way that another country's paramilitary would not (but then perhaps Italy's 'civilian' police forces are correspondingly smaller). Having said that, both these countries attempt to avoid doing any such thing, and sometimes it is hard to argue that they are wrong.
+3
Level 67
Jan 17, 2019
This quiz would be nice per capita! (Or countries with the leadt military troops
+1
Level 73
Feb 2, 2019
This quiz says it was updated January 2018 but it appears that Sudan's listed active military is still combining Sudan and South Sudan's military numbers. South Sudan has 185,000 active while Sudan only has 104,300.
+2
Level 46
Sep 30, 2019
sad sad world
+3
Level 59
Sep 30, 2019
Only missed Sudan and Sri Lanka. Honestly wouldn't have ever guessed the latter.
+2
Level 51
Feb 21, 2020
Wow I got Sudan somehow but missed Sri Lanka. Don’t understand those two at all
+1
Level 70
Feb 25, 2020
Just created a similar quiz looking at the countries with the most active military troops per capita (https://www.jetpunk.com/user-quizzes/108298/countries-with-the-most-military-troops-per-capita). Makes for a much different list, though with a couple countries that cross over.
+1
Level 22
Feb 25, 2020
15/20 first try good quiz
+4
Level 73
Mar 22, 2020
Im sry, little sri lanka
+2
Level 35
Apr 6, 2020
Good one
+1
Level 35
Apr 5, 2020
Felice che l'Italia non ci sia
+3
Level 26
Apr 5, 2020
Didn't expect Sri Lanka here tbh it was the one that i was missing
+2
Level 49
Apr 5, 2020
Got them all. Hope the US is proud being on here with all those military dictatorships.
+2
Level 43
Apr 6, 2020
lmaoooo why do you think we need them all? Freedom isn't cheap
+2
Level 53
Apr 7, 2020
I'm sure Iran is about to launch a sneak attack on Washington any day now.
+2
Level 28
Apr 15, 2020
Why does Sri Lanka have so many troops?
+1
Level 84
May 26, 2020
you gotta fight for your right to படி
+4
Level 56
Aug 14, 2020
The sri lankian govt has been fightning the tamil tigers for decades. they also are close to several massive military nations with indonesia, burma, india, pakistan and iran.
+2
Level 55
Aug 6, 2021
Because Sri Lanka had an active war zone against the LTTE Terrorists in the northern part of the island for over 30 years, which ended in 2007. This meant that military recruitment was over the roof to account for the losses in active duty and to overpower the terrorist strongholds. To their credit it worked, and by the time the leader of the LTTE was killed in 2007 the LTTE cause was pretty much finished.

Only by the time the war was won by the government forces the military was such a juggernaut and the public propoganda was so effective that the army never stopped growing in size. Now thirteen years after the war has ended the military is still getting stronger and larger every year.

+3
Level 62
Jul 30, 2020
I never knew Sri Lanka had that many troops
+2
Level 60
Nov 13, 2020
So the lesson is: Laos is screwed?
+1
Level 34
Dec 8, 2020
Wholeheartedly surprised that Palau isn't on this list. What happens when the strong Tuvalu military comes and attacks them. The Marshall Islands and Solomon Islands should be afraid!
+1
Level 58
Jan 15, 2021
Would have thought Taiwan would have made the list
+1
Level 41
Feb 15, 2021
why does sri lanka have so many troops lmao
+1
Level 34
Aug 11, 2021
Im suprised Columbia and Sri Lanka was on this list
+2
Level 55
Nov 10, 2021
colombia
+1
Level 46
Nov 10, 2021
Sri Lanka!?
+1
Level 31
Nov 10, 2021
Sri lanka? Really? That's a surprise.
+1
Level 51
Nov 10, 2021
Sri Lanka on last second!
+2
Level 49
Nov 10, 2021
I understand Sri Lanka just surprised it beat out Taiwan
+1
Level 49
Dec 2, 2021
I considered Sri Lanka but instantly dismissed it. Also fancied Taiwan as a dark horse here.
+1
Level 22
Nov 10, 2021
nice quiz
+1
Level 24
Nov 11, 2021
I missed Sri Lanka and Colombia.
+1
Level 27
Dec 29, 2021
You have the wrong name for number one it is actually west taiwan....
+1
Level 58
Jul 28, 2022
You're wrong, the correct name is Mainland Taiwan.
+2
Level 50
Jan 14, 2022
since when does sri lanka have more troops than japan, saudi arabia, and mexico?
+2
Level 67
Feb 13, 2022
Fun quiz. I had always thought DPRK was top, maybe that was percentage of population perhaps. Had to really think about some of these so was a nice challenge. Thank you.
+2
Level 59
Mar 4, 2022
Wow Sri Lanka's an unexpected one, you'd think something like Bangladesh would be higher
+1
Level 40
May 6, 2022
Well, No one can easily attack Bangladesh except India,and Bangladesh can't match Indian army Even spending 100% of Their GDP.Also India is friendly toward Bangladesh. So Bangladesh Govt. is not so focused on their military.
+1
Level 55
May 10, 2022
Took me a while to get Sri Lanka. Was not expecting it on here
+1
Level 51
Aug 31, 2022
I was really surprised to see Canada, Togo, Chile, Czechia, Bhutan, and Fiji on this list!