Top 10 Most Powerful Militaries in 2020 | Military/Army Comparison

Although peace is what the world is trying to promote in the modern era, each country still has their own military forces to back up the country. The mission of a military is to support the nation and bring peace to the nationwide citizens. However, there are many keys to determine the power of the military of a country, which include population, national GDP, military budget and geographical advantage.

So, today, we are going to make a comparison of these powerful militaries by evaluating the population, GDP, GDP per population, military spending budget and power index of the nation. As a result, it will generate the rank of top ten most powerful militaries in the world in 2020.

10. Saudi Arabia

Being well known for its wealth, Saudi Arabia is known to be the rank tenth of the top ten most powerful militaries in 2020. Its population has exceeded 34 million in March, 2020, and it has its main population centered around 25 – 50 years old. In addition, its annual GDP has been reported to be $782.9 billion in 2019, while almost 10% of the money goes into the military budget, estimated at $67.6 billion, which is known to have the third most budget spending on military countries in the world. Also, its power index score, or known as the PwrIndx in short, calculated by Global Power (GFP) based on more than 50 indicators of the country, is at 0.3034, with the status of being “perfect”.

9. South Korea

For the ninth most powerful militaries in 2020, it goes to South Korea, who was the tenth rank in 2019. With a total population of 51.6 million, it has generated the total GDP for its nation for up to 1.6 trillion. It reports the number of 3,699,000 armed forces, with 599,000 active armies and 3,100,000 for reservation. Since it has a long history of being invaded by North Korea and aided by the United States, it has spent more than 40 billion each year to support its military base.

Due to its democratic system, as opposed to North Korea in the same peninsula, the critical issues continue to urge South Korea to strengthen its military power. Thus, the power index score of South Korea is measured at 0.1509, which is the sixth of the top ten ranks.

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8. Israel

Moving onto the 8th rank of the best military forces in the world, it is the Israel, which is known as the holy land to the three main religions in the world, which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The rank of the military power of Israel remains unchanged from 2019. With a small population of only 8.9 million, it has managed to generate a total GDP of $369.7 billion, with a GDP per population of $37,994.

Because of its strained relationship caused by religious conflicts with surrounding countries, it has the military expenditure up to 14 billion dollars in 2020, which has been increasing annually. For the Power Index, it is estimated at 0.3111, with the status of “perfect”.

7. Japan

Next, the seventh most powerful country belongs to Japan. Japan is not only known for its high technology and natural disaster but also its use of the most advanced military firepower as well. Its rank has seen to be the same since 2019. It has a population of 126.5 million, yet its population is seen to be growing older and older without new and young generations.

However, it has a high GDP of 5 trillion dollars annually, which makes the GDP per population up to $44,246. It has spent about $46.6 billion on its military power, and it has the power index score 0.1501. The overall power indicator of Japan is actually in the rank 5th of the world.

6. France

When people talk about France, they may think of the romantic Paris and high class brand Louis Vuitton, yet France is also one of the best military power countries in the world. The armed force has been created for a history of more than 220 years old, under the name of “French Armed Forces”. In the rank of 6th since last year, it has a total population of 67 million, which is equivalent to 0.64% of the world population.

Surprisingly, it has generated the national GDP up to 2.8 trillion dollars in 2019, which is equivalent to $45,893 per population. Its military expenditure is estimated to be about 1.9% of its GDP, which is about 55 billion dollars each year. According to the Power Index measure, its power is estimated at 0.1702, with the status of being “perfect”.

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5. The United Kingdom

The United Kingdom was once well known for its immense size under the name of British Empire. For hundreds of years, it has its colonized territories all over the world. Until today, its military rank is still on the top fifth rank of the top ten best list. The United Kingdom has the total population of 66.5 million people, and the population is focused on the age below 55.

It measures its annual GDP to be more than 2.5 trillion dollars, with the GDP per population of $45,741. For The United Kingdom, it has spent approximately $50 billion annually to support its military power, including strengthening the base and firepower. In addition, it has the power index in the rank 8th, with the score of 0.1717.

4. Germany

The 4th rank of the top ten most powerful militaries goes to Germany, which is known as the most populous country in the European Union. It also has one of the most powerful economies in the world. With a population of 82.9 million people, it generates the total GDP of more than 4 trillion dollars each year. The GDP per population is estimated at $52,386.

Among this number, it has spent about $49 billion each year on military power. However, since the reunification in the last century, it has seen that the political stability in Germany is increasing every day. The power strength of Germany is measured at 0.2186.

3. China

As one of the oldest and most powerful civilizations in the world, China manages to come to the rank 3rd in a relatively short period of time. 70 years from its independence, China has become the most populous and the second biggest territory in the world. It has a population of 1.4 billion, and it is able to generate a total annual GDP of more than $13 trillion. With such a huge population and landmass, China has also spent a lot of budget on its military power. In 2019, it has spent about $195 billion to sponsor the military base, which is also the 2nd most spending budget in the world. In the power index criteria, it has scored 0.0691 in the rank 3rd of the world.

2. Russia

The world’s largest country, Russia, is also the second most powerful militaries in the world. Its scale in many criteria is hard to imagine and measure. Dominating both Europe and Asia continents, it has the whole population of 145 million. The annual GDP growth of Russia is projected at 1-3% every year, and last year, it generated a total GDP of 1.7 trillion dollars. The GDP per population is measured at $28,797.

However, it has spent about 61.4 billion dollars on its military spending budget to become one of the most powerful countries in the world. In the power index ranking, it is also the 2nd rank with a score of 0.0681, followed by China and India.

1. The United States of America

Last but not least, the United States of America, in the other continent of the world, is known to be the most powerful military in the world. With a relatively small population of only 327.2 million, it has managed to generate the most GDP in the world for its people. The number even surpasses China and Russia, coming to the top rank of 20.5 trillion dollars annually. This means that the GDP per population is up to $62,869. The military spending budget in the United States is also a surprisingly large number.

It is estimated that the United States of America has spent approximately $3794 billion dollars each year, which is almost 2000% of China’s budget on military power. More importantly, it is worth mentioning that the United States of America is one of the largest firepower suppliers in the world. It has the power index score of 0.0606, which is far higher than the second and third rank, Russia and China.

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To sum up with today’s article, above are the top ten most powerful militaries that can be seen in the world. They have a huge size of landmass or comparative geographical advantage, considerably large nationwide population and great amount of money spent on the military spending budget. This is the reason why they can perfect their military system to become the most advanced and powerful country in the world.

Militaries comparison infographic


Most Powerful Militaries in 2017


Every country has its militaries which they can depend on when war or enemies attack their nation. With all the militaries around the world, not all are powerful. There are some that may be weak because they lack equipment and supplies which they can utilize when war outbreaks. But countries that are well-developed are equipped with complete needs which they can when terrorism or other incidents happen.

This 2020, 10 countries made it to the top of the list of the most powerful militaries. These countries are provided with big amounts of budgets and are given great attention.

Here are the countries with powerful militaries.

10. Italy

Italy is the tenth Most Powerful Militaries in 2017. The country has 60 million populations and $34 billion defense budget. The country is well-resourced when the military is the concern.

9. Germany

The ninth country in the Most Powerful Militaries in 2017 is Germany. The country has a 31 million population, and the budget for defense is $36 billion. The country is not entirely complete with military defense equipment, but it has a significant number of AFP and ARP which will help in protecting the country.

8. Turkey

Turkey is another country that is included on the top Most Powerful Militaries in 2017. The country is filled with 75 million people and a defense budget of $18 billion. Turkey is also complete with defensive tactics and has comprehensive military essentials.

7. Japan

Japan is the seventh Most Powerful Militaries in 2017. The country is composed of 126 million people and has a $40 billion budget on defense. The country is well-equipped when it comes to defenses.

6. The United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is the sixth Most Powerful Militaries in 2017. The country has a population of 65 million, and the defense budget is $55 billion. The country may not have a million numbers of AFP and ARP, but they are complete with the necessities.

5. France

France is the fifth spot holder for the Most Powerful Militaries in 2017. The country has a population of 65 million and a $35 billion defense budget. The country is powerful indeed because of its significant numbers of tanks, aircraft, towed artillery and other more military needs which can help in protecting the country.

4. India

At the fourth spot is where India sits. The country has a 1.34 billion population, and its defense budget is $40 billion. The AFP is 1,325,000 and the ARP is 2,143,000. The country has 6,464 tanks, 10 destroyers, 14 submarines, 292 MLRS, 2066 aircraft, 2 carriers, etc.

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3. China

China is the third country that is considered as most powerful military around the world. Its population is 1.38 billion and a whopping $147 billion defense budget. The country is also complete with military needs. It has 9,150 tanks, 4,788 AFCs, 6,245 towed artillery, 68 submarines, 138 coast defense crafts, and a lot more.

2. Russia

Russia comes to the second most powerful militaries this 2020. The country has 143 million populations, and the defense budget is $47 million. The country is also well-equipped with military necessities like tanks, AFVs, aircraft, SPG, corvettes, submarines, and more.

1. America

Last but not the least, America is one of the strongest countries in the world. It has a population of 321 million. It is considered as the top 1 when militaries are the matter because it has a defense budget of $664 billion, an AFP of 1,400,000, and an ARP of 1,100,000. Not only that, the country is complete with war needs like tanks that count up to 8,000. They have aircraft, carriers, submarines, destroyers, AFVs, SPG, towed artillery, and more. The country is loaded when the military is the topic.

In short, these are the top 10 most powerful militaries in the world and don’t try messing up with them because they have full of resources which make them more advance.

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