Nuclear Weapons

Updated: May 19

by Max Roser, Bastian Herre and Joe Hasell



© rfcansole


The world’s nuclear powers have nearly 10,000 nuclear warheads in their arsenals. These weapons have the capacity to kill millions directly and through their impact on agriculture have likely the potential to kill billions.

Nuclear weapons technology was developed during the 1930s and 1940s. The first nuclear weapons were detonated over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. Since then, controlling the proliferation of nuclear weapons has been an important issue in international relations.

On this page you find several charts with the most important metrics. For an overview of the risks from nuclear weapons – and how they can be reduced- read the following essay:

Nuclear Weapons - Our World in Data