Member states of NATO


NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is an international alliance that consists of 30 member states from North America and Europe. It was established at the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty on 4 April 1949. Article Five of the treaty states that if an armed attack occurs against one of the member states, it shall be considered an attack against all members, and other members shall assist the attacked member, with armed forces if necessary.[1]

Current NATO members highlighted in blue
Timeline of countries becoming NATO members as of 2020. Dark blue marks countries that were already NATO members at the given time. Light blue marks new members.

Of the 30 member countries, two are located in North America (Canada and the United States), 28 are in Europe, one of which (Turkey) is in both Europe and Asia. All members have militaries, except for Iceland, which does not have a typical army (but it does have a coast guard and a small unit of civilian specialists for NATO operations). Three of NATO's members are nuclear weapons states: France, the United Kingdom, and the United States. NATO has 12 original founding member nation states, and from 18 February 1952 to 6 May 1955, it added three more member nations, and a fourth on 30 May 1982. After the end of the Cold War, NATO added 14 more member nations (10 former Warsaw Pact members and four former Yugoslav republics) from 12 March 1999 to 27 March 2020.

Founding and changes in membership


NATO has added new members eight times since its foundation, in 1949, with a current total of 30 members. Twelve countries took part in the founding of NATO: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In 1952, Greece and Turkey became members of the Alliance, joined later by West Germany (in 1955) and Spain (in 1982). In 1990, with the reunification of Germany, NATO grew to include the former country of East Germany. Between 1994 and 1997, wider forums for regional cooperation between NATO and its neighbors were set up, including the Partnership for Peace, the Mediterranean Dialogue initiative and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. In 1997, three former Warsaw Pact countries, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Poland, were invited to join NATO. After this fourth enlargement in 1999, the Vilnius group of the Baltics and seven East European countries formed in May 2000 to cooperate and lobby for further NATO membership. Seven of these countries joined in the fifth enlargement in 2004. The Adriatic States Albania and Croatia joined in the sixth enlargement in 2009, Montenegro in 2017 and North Macedonia in 2020.

Former United States president Donald Trump expressed interest in withdrawing from the organization during his 2016 presidential campaign, but he later stated that the United States would protect allies in the event that Article V is invoked.[2][3][4]

Member countries


Flag Map Member state Capital Accession[5] Population[lower-alpha 1] Area[7]
Albania Tirana 1 April 2009 2,821,977 28,748 km2 (11,100 sq mi)
Belgium Brussels 24 August 1949[lower-alpha 2] 11,720,716 30,528 km2 (11,787 sq mi)
Bulgaria Sofia 29 March 2004 6,966,899 110,879 km2 (42,811 sq mi)
Canada Ottawa 24 August 1949[lower-alpha 2] 37,694,085 9,984,670 km2 (3,855,103 sq mi)
Croatia Zagreb 1 April 2009 4,227,746 56,594 km2 (21,851 sq mi)
Czech Republic Prague 12 March 1999 10,702,498 78,867 km2 (30,451 sq mi)
Denmark Copenhagen 24 August 1949[lower-alpha 2] 5,869,410 2,210,000 km2 (853,286 sq mi)
Estonia Tallinn 29 March 2004 1,228,624 45,228 km2 (17,463 sq mi)
France Paris 24 August 1949[lower-alpha 2] 67,848,156 643,427 km2 (248,429 sq mi)
Germany[lower-alpha 3] Berlin 8 May 1955 80,159,662 357,022 km2 (137,847 sq mi)
Greece Athens 18 February 1952 10,607,051 131,957 km2 (50,949 sq mi)
Hungary Budapest 12 March 1999 9,771,827 93,028 km2 (35,918 sq mi)
Iceland Reykjavík 24 August 1949[lower-alpha 2] 350,734 103,000 km2 (39,769 sq mi)
Italy Rome 24 August 1949[lower-alpha 2] 62,402,659 301,340 km2 (116,348 sq mi)
Latvia Riga 29 March 2004 1,881,232 64,589 km2 (24,938 sq mi)
Lithuania Vilnius 29 March 2004 2,731,464 65,300 km2 (25,212 sq mi)
Luxembourg Luxembourg 24 August 1949[lower-alpha 2] 628,381 2,586 km2 (998 sq mi)
Montenegro Podgorica 5 June 2017 609,859 13,812 km2 (5,333 sq mi)
Netherlands Amsterdam 24 August 1949[lower-alpha 2] 17,280,397 41,543 km2 (16,040 sq mi)
North Macedonia Skopje 27 March 2020 2,125,971 25,713 km2 (9,928 sq mi)
Norway Oslo 24 August 1949[lower-alpha 2] 5,467,439 323,802 km2 (125,021 sq mi)
Poland Warsaw 12 March 1999 38,282,325 312,685 km2 (120,728 sq mi)
Portugal Lisbon 24 August 1949[lower-alpha 2] 10,302,674 92,090 km2 (35,556 sq mi)
Romania Bucharest 29 March 2004 21,302,893 238,391 km2 (92,043 sq mi)
Slovakia Bratislava 29 March 2004 5,440,602 49,035 km2 (18,933 sq mi)
Slovenia Ljubljana 29 March 2004 2,102,678 20,273 km2 (7,827 sq mi)
Spain Madrid 30 May 1982 47,260,584 505,370 km2 (195,124 sq mi)
Turkey Ankara 18 February 1952 82,017,514 783,562 km2 (302,535 sq mi)
United Kingdom London 24 August 1949[lower-alpha 2] 65,761,117 243,610 km2 (94,058 sq mi)
United States Washington, D.C. 24 August 1949[lower-alpha 2] 332,639,102 9,833,520 km2 (3,796,743 sq mi)

Military personnel


The following list is sourced from the 2018 edition of "The Military Balance" published annually by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Country Active military Reserve military Paramilitary Total Per 1,000 capita
(total)
Per 1,000 capita
(active)
Albania[8] 10,000 0 500 10,500 3.4 3.3
Belgium[9] 28,800 5,000 0 33,800 2.9 2.5
Bulgaria[10] 31,300 3,000 0 34,300 4.8 4.4
Canada[11] 67,490 36,300 4,500 108,290 3 1.9
Croatia[12] 15,650 0 3,000 18,650 4.3 3.6
Czech Republic[13] 23,200 2,359 0 25,559 2.4 2.2
Denmark[14] 16,100 45,700 0 61,800 11 2.9
Estonia[15] 6,600 12,000 15,800 34,400 27.5 5.3
France[16] 202,700 72,300 103,400 378,400 5.6 3
Germany[17] 178,600 27,900 500 207,000 2.6 2.2
Greece[18] 141,350 220,500 4,000 365,850 34 13.1
Hungary[19] 27,800 44,000 12,000 83,800 8.5 2.8
Iceland[20] 200 200 250 650 1.9 0.6
Italy[21][lower-alpha 4] 174,500 18,300 182,350 375,150 6 2.8
Latvia[22] 5,310 7,850 0 13,160 6.8 2.7
Lithuania[23] 20,521 90,000 14,400 124,921 44.2 7.3
Luxembourg[24] 900 0 600 1,500 2.5 1.5
Montenegro[25] 1,950 0 10,100 12,050 18.8 3
Netherlands[26] 35,410 4,660 5,900 45,970 2.7 2.1
North Macedonia[27] 8,000 4,850 7,600 20,450 9.7 3.8
Norway[28] 23,950 38,590 0 62,540 11.8 4.5
Poland[29] 105,000 0 73,400 178,400 4.6 2.7
Portugal[30] 30,500 211,950 44,000 286,450 26.4 2.8
Romania[31] 69,300 50,000 79,900 199,200 9.3 3.2
Slovakia[32] 15,850 0 0 15,850 2.9 2.9
Slovenia[33] 7,250 1,760 5,950 14,960 7.6 3.7
Spain[34] 121,200 15,450 76,750 213,400 4.4 2.5
Turkey[35] 355,200 378,700 156,800 890,700 11 4.4
United Kingdom[36] 146,650 44,250 0 190,900 2.9 2.3
United States[37] 1,348,400 857,950 0 2,206,350 6.8 4.2

Military expenditures


The United States has a larger defence expenditure than all other members combined.[38] Criticism of the organization by US president Donald Trump caused various reactions from American and European political figures, ranging from ridicule to panic.[39][40][41] Pew Research Center's 2016 survey among its member states showed that while most countries viewed NATO positively, most NATO members preferred keeping their military spending the same. The response to whether their country should militarily aid another NATO country if it were to get into a serious military conflict with Russia was also mixed. Only in the US and Canada did more than 50% of the people answer that they should.[42][43]

Member state Population[lower-alpha 1] GDP (nominal)[lower-alpha 5] Defence expenditure (US$)[lower-alpha 6] Personnel[lower-alpha 6]
In millions  % real GDP Per capita
 Albania3,074,57916.751981.26586,800
 Belgium11,720,716529.554,9210.9339226,000
 Bulgaria6,966,89970.131,0791.6113225,000
 Canada37,694,0851,810.0021,8851.2756972,000
 Croatia4,227,74663.171,0721.7523815,000
 Czech Republic10,702,498261.732,9691.1923626,000
 Denmark5,869,410360.514,7601.3576017,000
 Estonia1,228,62432.746692.134296,300
 France67,848,1562,770.0050,6591.84709208,000
 Germany80,159,6623,980.0054,1131.36591184,000
 Greece10,607,051222.794,8442.24431105,000
 Hungary9,771,827180.502,0801.2117820,000
 Iceland350,73424.24N/AN/AN/AN/A
 Italy62,402,6592,010.0024,4821.22385179,000
 Latvia1,881,23236.777242.013256,400
 Lithuania2,731,46456.231,0842.1333620,521
 Luxembourg628,38172.993910.55552900
 Montenegro609,8595.69921.651261,600
 Netherlands17,280,397930.9912,4191.3565541,000
 North Macedonia2,125,97113.331081.09517,200
 Norway5,467,439422.067,1791.701,30820,000
 Poland38,282,325606.7311,9712.01296123,000
 Portugal10,302,674243.233,3581.4129930,000
 Romania21,302,893261.875,0432.0422569,000
 Slovakia5,440,602111.871,9051.7432213,000
 Slovenia2,102,67856.855811.042536,800
 Spain50,015,7921,440.0013,1560.92264121,000
 Turkey82,017,514813.8113,9191.89225435,000
 United Kingdom65,761,1172,720.0060,3762.13979144,000
 United States332,639,10222,320.00730,1493.422,0721,338,000
 NATO951,214,08642,444.531,036,0772.511,0453,258,000

Notes


  1. Population data is based on a July 2020 estimate by the Central Intelligence Agency in The World Factbook.[6]
  2. Founding member of NATO.
  3. Germany initially joined NATO as West Germany. The former country of East Germany joined NATO after German reunification.
  4. The paramilitary forces of Italy consist of the Carabinieri and the Guardia di Finanza.
  5. Gross domestic product (nominal) data (in billions of US dollars) is based on an October 2019 issue of the World Economic Outlook, which is published by the International Monetary Fund.[44]
  6. Defence expenditure and personnel data are based on a June 2019 press release from NATO.[45]

References


Citations
  1. "The North Atlantic Treaty". North Atlantic Treaty Organization. 4 April 1949. Retrieved 16 June 2008.
  2. "Trump threatens to quit NATO: White House official - France 24". France 24. 18 May 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  3. Landler, Michael D. Shear, Mark; Kanter, James (25 May 2017). "In NATO Speech, Trump Is Vague About Mutual Defense Pledge". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  4. Lauter, David (26 May 2017). "A glowing orb and a not-so-glowing review of the GOP healthcare bill: Trump's week was filled with events he didn't control". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  5. "Member countries". NATO. 24 March 2020. Archived from the original on 29 March 2020. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  6. "Country Comparison :: Population". Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  7. "Field Listing :: Area". Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  8. IISS 2018, pp. 82
  9. IISS 2018, pp. 85
  10. IISS 2018, pp. 88
  11. IISS 2018, pp. 43
  12. IISS 2018, pp. 90
  13. IISS 2018, pp. 94
  14. IISS 2018, pp. 96
  15. IISS 2018, pp. 98
  16. IISS 2018, pp. 102
  17. IISS 2018, pp. 107-108
  18. IISS 2018, pp. 111
  19. IISS 2018, pp. 114
  20. IISS 2018, p. 116
  21. IISS 2018, pp. 118
  22. IISS 2018, pp. 122
  23. IISS 2018, pp. 124
  24. IISS 2018, p. 125-126
  25. IISS 2018, pp. 128
  26. IISS 2018, pp. 130
  27. IISS 2018, pp. 126
  28. IISS 2018, pp. 132-133
  29. IISS 2018, pp. 135
  30. IISS 2018, pp. 138
  31. IISS 2018, pp. 140
  32. IISS 2018, pp. 145
  33. IISS 2018, pp. 147
  34. IISS 2018, pp. 148
  35. IISS 2018, pp. 156-157
  36. IISS 2018, pp. 160-161
  37. IISS 2018, pp. 46
  38. Where Does The Relationship Between NATO And The U.S. Go From Here?, Huffington Post
  39. NATO allies boost defense spending in the wake of Trump criticism, The Washington Post
  40. Former US ambassador to Nato in withering criticism of Donald Trump, The Independent
  41. Shaken by Trump’s Criticism of NATO, Europe Mulls Building Own Military Force, Voice Of America
  42. Support for NATO is widespread among member nations, Pew Research
  43. U.S. would defend NATO despite Trump's criticism, Europeans believe: study, Reuters
  44. "GDP, current prices". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  45. "Defence Expenditure of NATO Countries (2012-2019)" (PDF). NATO. 25 June 2019. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
Bibliography