Is India’s Ministry of Defence the world’s biggest employer?

A report by Statista says the Indian defence ministry employs about 2.92 million people and has the largest workforce, globally


The Ministry of Defence, Government of India is apparently the biggest employer in the world. A survey by the German organisation called Statista reveals that India’s defence ministry employs about 2.92 million people, comprising both civilian staff, those in active service as well as reservists.

The US Department of Defence comes in a close second at 2.91 million employees.

Statista is a Germany-based private organisation that provides data and statistics about various issues worldwide.

The People’s Liberation Army of China has about 2.5 million people. China’s Central Military Commission, which is like the American Department of Defense, has about 6.8 million employees, but due to lack of accuracy, the numbers were not included in the survey.

The US alone spent about $801 billion on military in 2021, while China spent about $293 billion on its military. The budget for the Indian military was $76.6 billion, as per the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Data from SIPRI suggests that India was the third largest spend last year. Ahead of it were the US and China. The UK and Russia came fourth and fifth, respectively.

The Indian Railways is also amongst the top employers in the world.

In 2015, as per a World Economic Forum (WEF) report, the Indian Army and Indian Railways were in the 8th and 9th positions, in the list of the world’s biggest employers. The US Department of Defense topped the list with 3.2 million people then.

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