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Countries with the Most Military Troops

Try to name the countries that have the most active military troops.
As of 7 September 2023, according to Wikipedia
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: September 7, 2023
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First submittedMay 6, 2012
Times taken208,547
Average score77.3%
Rating4.93
4:00
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 / 22 guessed
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Troops
Country
2,185,000
China
1,455,550
India
1,328,000
United States
1,280,000
North Korea
1,154,000
Russia
654,000
Pakistan
610,000
Iran
599,000
South Korea
Troops
Country
482,000
Vietnam
438,500
Egypt
425,000
Turkey
406,000
Myanmar
395,500
Indonesia
366,500
Brazil
360,850
Thailand
Troops
Country
293,200
Colombia
255,000
Sri Lanka
250,000
Afghanistan
247,150
Japan
227,000
Saudi Arabia
216,000
Mexico
209,000
Ukraine
101 Recent Comments
+5
Level 70
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?
+17
Level 60
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.
+6
Level 70
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.
+6
Level 82
May 24, 2016
YAY!!! DPRK and ROK work finally. Thank you QM.
+1
Level 71
May 24, 2016
=/ I could have sworn I typed in south korea, but I guess not
+2
Level 54
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.
+17
Level 47
Dec 17, 2017
You're right, no other country calls themselves "Taiwan," or else it would be 196 Taiwans of the World.
+4
Level 66
Dec 19, 2017
His point is that Taiwan don't call themselves Taiwan either.
+4
Level 77
Apr 5, 2020
tripsaplenty, you have been brainwashed by the Commies.
+22
Level 74
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.
+4
Level 70
Dec 26, 2020
It's called Taiwan to differentiate from ... you know, the other China.
+1
Level 50
Jun 18, 2021
Excuse me?
+2
Level 52
Feb 15, 2024
What is bro on, Taiwan isn’t even on the quiz
+2
Level 76
Mar 18, 2024
The comment is eight years old. Taiwan was apparently on the list back then. Quizzes do get updated, you know.
+1
Level 59
May 27, 2016
I said south Korea like a million times and it still didn't accept it
+67
Level 67
Apr 21, 2017
Maybe you should try writing it instead?
+4
Level 70
Oct 6, 2017
+1
+10
Level 73
Oct 8, 2018
or even typing it
+1
Level 79
Mar 3, 2019
Yep
+4
Level 66
Jan 11, 2022
Maybe the best reply I've ever seen
+1
Level 49
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.

+5
Level 66
Dec 19, 2016
I'm very surprised not to see Israel on this list. I thought they were all about their army.
+6
Level 47
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 38
Jan 11, 2017
Got all except Myanmar! nice quiz
+5
Level 74
Jun 5, 2017
Surprised I didn't see Eritrea here.
+1
Level 55
Oct 6, 2017
How did I miss Taiwan lol would have had 100%
+2
Level 67
Dec 18, 2017
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_military_and_paramilitary_personnel
+6
Level 43
Jan 28, 2018
missed on sri lanka
+4
Level 82
Mar 3, 2018
Took me a while to get that one, too.
+3
Level 49
Jun 9, 2020
Sri Lanka is a somewhat surprising one for me as well, not immediately intuative.
+3
Level 58
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 82
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.
+7
Level 74
May 20, 2018
Quality over quantity. The most powerful European countries now prefer professionalism and training over numbers.
+11
Level 83
Feb 27, 2020
Also subsidized by US force projection in Germany and elsewhere. Much less need to maintain their own troops.
+2
Level 70
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?
+7
Level 70
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 59
Nov 10, 2021
well im also guessing the soldiers arent evenly dispersed throughout the land
+1
Level 64
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 39
Apr 29, 2018
I've lost a point because of Srí Lanka. Danke schön!
+3
Level 66
Jan 11, 2022
I doubt you lost one...Probably actually gained four.
+1
Level 70
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?
+11
Level 73
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 71
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 69
Jan 17, 2019
This quiz would be nice per capita! (Or countries with the leadt military troops
+2
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.
+3
Level 44
Sep 30, 2019
sad sad world
+3
Level 67
Sep 30, 2019
Only missed Sudan and Sri Lanka. Honestly wouldn't have ever guessed the latter.
+2
Level 50
Feb 21, 2020
Wow I got Sudan somehow but missed Sri Lanka. Don’t understand those two at all
+1
Level 71
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
+5
Level 75
Mar 22, 2020
Im sry, little sri lanka
+2
Level 32
Apr 6, 2020
Good one
+1
Level 35
Apr 5, 2020
Felice che l'Italia non ci sia
+3
Level 25
Apr 5, 2020
Didn't expect Sri Lanka here tbh it was the one that i was missing
+4
Level 51
Apr 5, 2020
Got them all. Hope the US is proud being on here with all those military dictatorships.
+2
Level 45
Apr 6, 2020
lmaoooo why do you think we need them all? Freedom isn't cheap
+5
Level 52
Apr 7, 2020
I'm sure Iran is about to launch a sneak attack on Washington any day now.
+3
Level 28
Apr 15, 2020
Why does Sri Lanka have so many troops?
+1
Level 82
May 26, 2020
you gotta fight for your right to படி
+6
Level 58
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.
+5
Level 54
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.

+1
Level 66
Sep 7, 2023
pull up in the sri lanka
+4
Level 63
Jul 30, 2020
I never knew Sri Lanka had that many troops
+3
Level 59
Nov 13, 2020
So the lesson is: Laos is screwed?
+1
Level 51
Dec 5, 2020
Cool Quiz!

In the thumbnail you can see a picture of

Mao Tse Tung who is former chairman of china indicating China as one of the answers most likely

+3
Level 31
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 57
Jan 15, 2021
Would have thought Taiwan would have made the list
+2
Level 39
Feb 15, 2021
why does sri lanka have so many troops lmao
+1
Level 38
Aug 11, 2021
Im suprised Columbia and Sri Lanka was on this list
+4
Level 59
Nov 10, 2021
colombia
+1
Level 62
Nov 10, 2021
Sri Lanka!?
+2
Level 32
Nov 10, 2021
Sri lanka? Really? That's a surprise.
+1
Level 53
Nov 10, 2021
Sri Lanka on last second!
+2
Level 55
Nov 10, 2021
I understand Sri Lanka just surprised it beat out Taiwan
+2
Level 47
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
+2
Level 89
Sep 8, 2023
pssst...If you're undercover, you probably shouldn't announce it! ;)
+1
Level 24
Nov 11, 2021
I missed Sri Lanka and Colombia.
+2
Level 27
Dec 29, 2021
You have the wrong name for number one it is actually west taiwan....
+3
Level 67
Jul 28, 2022
You're wrong, the correct name is Mainland Taiwan.
+1
Level 68
Sep 8, 2023
It's actually Eastern Colombia.
+4
Level 49
Jan 14, 2022
since when does sri lanka have more troops than japan, saudi arabia, and mexico?
+2
Level 73
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.
+4
Level 67
Mar 4, 2022
Wow Sri Lanka's an unexpected one, you'd think something like Bangladesh would be higher
+2
Level 38
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 50
Aug 31, 2022
I was really surprised to see Canada, Togo, Chile, Czechia, Bhutan, and Fiji on this list!
+2
Level 39
Jan 29, 2023
france, uk, germany, canada, and the penguin empire has left the chat
+1
Level 66
Apr 24, 2023
Near misses: Ukraine, France, Eritrea.
+2
Level 82
Sep 7, 2023
Ukraine is there now!
+1
Level 64
Sep 8, 2023
yes, but there are significantly more active soldiers in Ukraine at the moment
+1
Level 20
Sep 10, 2023
oh, i only forgot myanmar. nice test
+2
Level 65
Sep 10, 2023
Only missed Sri Lanka, didn't see that one coming!
+1
Level 46
Sep 10, 2023
Damn it, Sri Lanka. I tried every other country from South Asia and Southeast Asia. I even tried Bhutan for some reason, but somehow forgot Sri Lanka.
+1
Level 68
Sep 11, 2023
Got all but Sri Lanka. Like everyone else, apparently.
+1
Level 37
Sep 11, 2023
I just looked at the comments and got Sri Lanka. It's that easy. 100%.
+1
Level 60
Sep 12, 2023
It would be interesting to add a column showing the percentage of the total population for each country.
+1
Level 77
Sep 27, 2023
No European countries on here. Even if you summed up ALL of the European nations that are part of NATO, they would still be 3rd on the list. Double the population of the USA and about equal military personnel, with Russia breathing down their necks. Only 5 of these European NATO nations meet their 2% commitment on defense. Maybe it's time to get those numbers up.
+1
Level 47
Oct 6, 2023
Why isn't Monaco on the list?
+1
Level 61
Nov 19, 2023
*sri lanka rage quit*