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%.

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  • 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.”



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