The number of people in armed forces worldwide in 2002 was two thirds of those in the armed forces in 1985. By 2002, there was an average of 3 armed forces personnel for every 1000 people living in the world. The highest proportion of the population in armed forces were in Eritrea: 43 in every 1000. The lowest proportion were in Ghana at 0.34 in every 1000. Both these proportions are higher than their equivalents in 1985. Two fifths of the 1985-2002 reduction in armed forces was in the Russian Federation.
The largest armed forces in 2002 were in China, followed by the United States and then India. Worldwide there were a total of 19 million people in armed forces.