The 'Power Index' Measures The 10 Most Powerful Militaries In The World

1. United States

Obligatory Marine Corps veteran disclaimer — there’s a lot more to military prowess than firepower. There’s no statistic for leadership, no metric for the stuff they pump into you at Parris Island.

But firepower matters … a lot. Those metrics would mean nothing if aircraft carriers and the crafts they carry couldn’t deliver Marines to the battlefield.

In a world rife with global conflicts, the ability to project power, and to wield that power decisively, is an important national security and diplomatic asset.

It’s a complicated calculation when you measure military power, but the folks at Global Firepower tackled the task.

They measure 40 different stats about a country, including number of aircraft characters, available manpower, and labour force. They call the aggregation of those 40  statistics the “Power Index,” and lower numbers = more firepower.

Note: Nuclear capabilities are not included in this calculation — but Russia and the United States far outpace the rest of the world in nuclear armament, with 8,500 and 7,700 nuclear weapons, respectively.

We broke down the list for you here, complete with highlights of key factors.

10. Brazil

Power Index: 0.2475

defence Budget: $689,591,000,000

Active Military Personnel: 1,477,896

labour Force: 153,600,000

Total Aircraft: 15,293

Total Naval Strength: 290

See the full listing.

9. Italy

Power Index: 0.6838

defence Budget: $31,946,000,000

Active Military Personnel: 293,202

labour Force: 25,080,000

Total Aircraft: 770

Total Naval Strength: 179

See the full listing.

8. South Korea

Power Index: 0.6547

defence Budget: $28,280,000,000

Active Military Personnel: 653,000

labour Force: 25,100,000

Total Aircraft: 871

Total Naval Strength: 190

See the full listing.

7. Germany

Power Index: 0.6491

defence Budget: $43,478,000,000

Active Military Personnel: 148,996

labour Force: 43,620,000

Total Aircraft: 925

Total Naval Strength: 67

See the full listing.

6. France

Power Index: 0.6163

defence Budget: $58,244,000,000

Active Military Personnel: 362,485

labour Force: 29,610,000

Total Aircraft: 544

Total Naval Strength: 180

See the full listing.

5. The United Kingdom

Power Index: 0.5185

defence Budget: $57,875,170,000

Active Military Personnel: 224,500

labour Force: 31,720,000

Total Aircraft:1,412

Total Naval Strength: 77

See the full listing.

4. India

Power Index: 0.4346

defence Budget: $44,282,000,000

Active Military Personnel: 1,325,000

labour Force: 487,600,000

Total Aircraft: 1,962

Total Naval Strength: 170

See the full listing.

3. China

Power Index: 0.3351

defence Budget: $129,272,000,000

Active Military Personnel: 2,285,000

labour Force: 795,500,000

Total Aircraft:5,048

Total Naval Strength: 972

See the full listing.

2. Russia

Power Index: 0.2618

defence Budget: $64,000,000,000

Active Military Personnel: 1,200,000

labour Force: 75,330,000

Total Aircraft: 4,498

Total Naval Strength: 224

See the full listing.

1. United States

Power Index: 0.2475

defence Budget: $689,591,000,000

Active Military Personnel: 1,477,896

labour Force: 153,600,000

Total Aircraft: 15,293

Total Naval Strength: 290

See the full listing.

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