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Countries With the Most Troops in the Military
by Wade Bruffey
FindTheData used data from the World Bank to rank the 10 countries with the most troops, measured as a percentage of the country's total labor force.
Countries value their national security above all else. Today, organized militaries employ nearly 200 million people worldwide -- modern countries rarely lack a standing army. Armed services can be generally broken down into land-based armies, seafaring navies and high-flying air forces, though some countries do have additional branches such as the United States Coast Guard and Marines.
Using data from the World Bank, FindTheData, part of the Graphiq network, crunched the numbers to find the top 10 countries with the most troops. Rather than using aggregate troop count to rank the list, we ordered it by the percentage of a country's total labor force represented by its troops. The World Bank defines armed forces as any active military personnel that have received some form of training and are properly organized. This includes paramilitary forces, such as private contracted defense agencies like Academi (formerly known as Blackwater) that have adequate training to qualify them to support or replace state troops. Labor force is defined as a country's economically active population.
Armed Forces as a Percentage of Labor Force: 4.6%
Total Military Personnel: 280,500
Armed Forces as a Percentage of Labor Force: 4.75%
Total Military Personnel: 147,600
Armed Forces as a Percentage of Labor Force: 4.84%
Total Military Personnel: 12,180
Armed Forces as a Percentage of Labor Force: 4.85%
Total Military Personnel: 80,000
Armed Forces as a Percentage of Labor Force: 4.94%
Total Military Personnel: 184,500
Armed Forces as a Percentage of Labor Force: 5.39%
Total Military Personnel: 5,000
Armed Forces as a Percentage of Labor Force: 5.76%
Total Military Personnel: 56,000
Armed Forces as a Percentage of Labor Force: 6.52%
Total Military Personnel: 115,500
Armed Forces as a Percentage of Labor Force: 8.13%
Total Military Personnel: 201,750
#1. North Korea
Armed Forces as a Percentage of Labor Force: 8.99%
Total Military Personnel: 1,379,000
The secretive, volatile nation of North Korea tops the list with the greatest percentage of overall labor force employed in the armed services. South Korea's military is sizeable enough to have made our list, but it is notably smaller than North Korea's. This discrepancy is peculiar considering the frequency of armed clashes between the two. Though neither country is featured on this list, we also discovered that China has more than twice the military troops of the United States. As a percentage of labor force however, the United States is greater, with 0.9 percent compared to China's 0.38 percent.
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World News: "Countries With the Most Troops in the Military"