National Service: Interactive map shows how many teens could get called up in your area

Soldiers marching in line
-Credit: (Image: Getty)


Rishi Sunak's plan to reintroduce compulsory national service could see over 800,000 18 year olds either joining the armed forces or carrying out voluntary work, with thousands potentially being called up from each London borough. The Tory scheme, if Mr Sunak wins the election, is set to be fully operational by 2029-30 and will legally require all 18 year olds to either serve a 12-month placement in the armed forces or cyber defence, or volunteer in their communities for the equivalent of one weekend a month.

This means that the first generation of teenagers to undertake national service since 1960 are currently around 13 years old. Population estimates suggest that there will be approximately 830,000 18 year olds in 2029 who would be obligated to join the military or carry out voluntary work.

Under this plan, more teenagers from Birmingham would be conscripted than from any other council area in the country, exceeding 17,000.

READ MORE: When would national service come in, who will have to do it and would you have to join the Army?

Rishi Sunak, UK prime minister, speaks at a Conservative Party election campaign event in London
Rishi Sunak defended his National Service policy, claiming it would 'strengthen' the country -Credit:Jose Sarmento Matos/Bloomberg via Getty Images

However, in 2029, 18 year olds will constitute a larger proportion of the population in Barking and Dagenham than anywhere else. In this London borough, 1.7 per cent of the population will be 18 in mid-2029, meaning about one in 59 people in Barking and Dagenham would be eligible for National Service.

You can find out how many 18 year olds in your area could be required to carry out national service using our interactive map.

Mr Sunak defended his proposal for the reintroduction of compulsory National Service, stating: "It's going to foster a culture of service which is going to be incredibly powerful for making our society more cohesive and in a more uncertain and dangerous world it's going to strengthen our country's security and resilience."

However, Labour leader Keir Starmer criticised the policy as "desperate", adding that it would result in a "teenage Dad's Army". The scheme will offer around 30,000 full-time military placements, with the majority of 18 year olds expected to undertake compulsory community roles instead, collaborating with organisations such as charities, the NHS, police or fire services.

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