NATO

NATO: Where Does UK Rank Among Alliance's Biggest Militaries?

The new NATO estimates put the United States clear at the top of the list for most military personnel.

NATO has published the latest military personnel figures for each of its member nations.

But how does the UK stack up compared to its NATO allies?

With NATO estimating Britain's personnel numbers for 2020 at around 156,200, the UK has seen an increase in serving personnel compared to the previous year's figure of 144,400.

However, despite the increase of more than 10,000, the UK does not feature in the top five countries, according to the latest statistics.

The United States leads the way, with 1,346,000 servicemen and women, followed by Turkey (437,200), France (208,000), Germany (186,900) and Italy (175,500).

Of the countries with a larger estimated military, only Turkey and Italy have seen their numbers of Armed Forces personnel shrink.

Turkey's estimated military size dropped to 437,200 in 2020, from 444,800 the previous year, while Italy's approximate personnel numbers dropped from 176,400 (2019) to 175,500 in 2020.

NATO's estimates for UK personnel are similar to the latest British Government data, which records the total strength of full-time trained and untrained UK Armed Forces at about 156,600.

56% of that number within the British Army and the rest split equally between the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force.

The UK ranked sixth for estimated personnel numbers despite being NATO's 4th biggest spender (Picture: NATO).

The US, Germany and France have all seen the size of their military grow.

It comes after NATO figures put the UK fourth in the list of defence expenditure among the alliance's members, with a spend of 2.32% – above NATO's target 2% of a country's gross domestic product (GDP).

Of the countries with the top five largest estimated servicemen and women numbers, only the US spent more on defence (3.73%).

And of those nations, France was the only other nation to spend above 2% at 2.04%, with Germany (1.56%), Turkey (1.86) and Italy (1.39%)  all falling below the alliance's target.

The country with the smallest estimated military size was Luxembourg, with 900 troops.

Notably, Poland saw a large increase in its estimated troop numbers, with a jump from 113,100 in 2019 to 120,000 in 2020.

The figures comes as NATO's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance's spending has increased for the sixth consecutive year.

NATO has also released data on the amount of defence outlay which goes towards equipment among member states, with the United Kingdom ranking 16th.