Just The Facts

U.S.-China: Per Capita Troop Strength

While the United States has 0.48% of its population in the military, China has only 0.17%.

Credit: Gary Blakeley - Shutterstock.com


  • The US has 1.5 million troops. China has 50% more, at 2.28 million.
  • One in every 591 Chinese is in uniform, compared to one in every 207 Americans.
  • China has 1.35 billion people and 2.28 million troops. The US has 315 million people and 1.5 million troops.

1. China’s troop strength is actually much smaller than the U.S. military, when measured relative to the size of its population.

2. With a population of 1.35 billion people and 2.285 million troops, only 0.17% of China’s population serves in the military.

3. In other words, just one in every 591 Chinese is in uniform.

4. The United States, with its 1.52 million troops in a population of 315 million, has 0.48% of its population in uniform.

5. One in every 207 Americans is serving in the armed forces.

6. If China had the same share of its population in uniform as that of the United States, it would have almost 6.5 million people serving in its military.

7. Among the ten largest militaries in the world in terms of absolute troop size, the United States is the only country in the Western world.

8. Nine of the ten largest militaries in the world are Asian or the vast majority of their landmass is located in Asia.

9. Russia and Turkey, bridging Europe and Asia, are the “transcontinental” countries among the ten largest militaries.

Source: The Globalist Research Center, from International Institute for Strategic Studies’ “Military Balance 2013” and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s “Military Expenditure Database.”



Tags: , , , , ,

Responses to “U.S.-China: Per Capita Troop Strength”

Archived Comments.

  1. On June 26, 2014 at 6:48 am Shangha1 responded with... #

    Another important fact. China has not fought in any war since 1962.

  2. On June 26, 2014 at 10:59 am H. H. GAFFNEY responded with... #

    Not quite. They invaded Vietnam in 1979 — only with ground forces, no air support — to teach North Vietnam “a lesson” for interfering in the genocide taking place in Cambodia by “a good communist,” Pol Pot. They lost big, though both sides lost about 20,000 soldiers. A good defense in rugged terrain beats an invader every time. And we could have told them what happens when you take on the North Vietnamese.

  3. On June 26, 2014 at 1:26 pm Shangha1 responded with... #

    Thanks for correcting me. Agree with your other points.