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How Many Nukes Are There In The World?

This interactive chart tracks all the world’s nuclear arsenals over the past 70 years, and finds doomsday isn’t far away.

Since 1945, when the United States first dropped nuclear weapons on Japan, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has been tracking nuclear arsenals around the world and slowly counting down to Armageddon. Although the group has always made its running tallies available in print as a feature called the Nuclear Notebook, the Notebook is available online, too, and web readers now have an interactive way of visualizing the planet’s nuclear stockpiles.

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According to the Nuclear Notebook, there are currently 10,144 nuclear warheads stockpiled around the globe. That’s marginally good news. At the peak of the Cold War, there were over 60,000 stockpiled nukes. The bad news is that 10,144 nukes is enough to nearly irradiate the total land mass of the planet.

See the interactive graphic here.Bulletin of Atomic Statistics

As for who has the most nukes, it’s probably no surprise that the United States and Russia have the vast majority of nuclear weaps, with 4,804 and 4,480 warheads stockpiled respectively. There are approximately 1,861 nukes spread over the rest of the world, between China, Israel, the U.K, Pakistan, and India. France has the largest number of nukes after the U.S. and Russia.

In the Nuclear Notebook interactive, you can click on any bar to get more information about that year’s nuclear milestones, as well as where it fell on the Bulletin of Atomic Scientist’s Doomsday Clock, which is the organization’s ongoing ranking of how close humanity is to snuffing itself in a whirlpool of fire. Considering the fact that we’ve gotten rid of almost 85% of our nukes since the late 1980s, you’d think we’d be farther away from Armageddon than ever. Alas, when the clock was last updated earlier this year, the hands were moved to just three minutes until midnight due to the modernization of nuclear weapons, as well as environmental factors. We may have fewer nukes than ever, but the ones we have are still plenty deadly.

Check out the Nuclear Notebook interactive visualization here.

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