modeling probable futures exploring contingent estimations exploring precise contingencies crowdsourcing definitive wisdom generating critical predictions mapping the future aggregating quantitative contingencies formulating intelligent futures delivering intelligent forecasts mapping precise contingencies composing accurate predictions predicting critical predictions aggregating critical futures exploring critical forecasts


Metaculus Help: Spread the word

If you like Metaculus, tell your friends! Share this question via Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit.

If the US does not pursue nuclear disarmament, how many nuclear warheads will it have in 2029?

The size of the US's nuclear weapons stockpile reached a peak in 1966 at around 30,000 warheads. Following the deescalation and the end of the Cold War, the number has substantially decreased. Kristensen and Korda (2019) estimate that the US maintains a deployed stockpile of nearly 3,800 warheads. The approximate breakdown is as follows:

  • 1,750 warheads are currently deployed, of which
    • 1,300 strategic warheads are deployed on ballistic missiles,
    • 300 at strategic bomber bases in the United States,
    • 150 tactical bombs are deployed at air bases in Europe.
  • 2,050 are in storage as a so-called hedge against technical or geopolitical surprises.

It is possible that this trend will reverse in a period of nuclear rearmament, especially if world tensions get worse. The Trump Administration’s Nuclear Posture Review takes a confrontational tone, presenting an assertive posture that embraces “Great Power competition” and includes plans to expand the US' nuclear arsenal.

If the US has at least 3,800 nuclear warheads in 2029, what is the largest number of nuclear warheads it will maintain in its inventory in 2029?

This resolves as the largest number of nuclear warheads deployed or in storage in the 2029 period, conditional on this number being at least 3,800, as reported by credible sources such as the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists' Nuclear Notebook (such as this one for 2019). A similar credible source may be consulted if the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists in no longer active or publishing reports. For the purposes of question resolution, warheads that are retired and awaiting dismantlement will not be counted.

This question resolves ambiguously if the US maintains strictly fewer than 3,800 nuclear warheads in its inventory at any time in 2029.

See also the related question, In 2029, will the US have fewer nuclear warheads than it did in 2019?


Metaculus help: Predicting

Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.

The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available.

The displayed score is split into current points and total points. Current points show how much your prediction is worth now, whereas total points show the combined worth of all of your predictions over the lifetime of the question. The scoring details are available on the FAQ.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. All of your predictions came after the resolution, so you did not gain (or lose) any points for it.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. You earned points up until the question resolution, but not afterwards.

This question is not yet open for predictions.

Thanks for predicting!

Your prediction has been recorded anonymously.

Want to track your predictions, earn points, and hone your forecasting skills? Create an account today!

Track your predictions
Continue exploring the site

Community Stats

Metaculus help: Community Stats

Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.

When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.

Embed this question

You can use the below code snippet to embed this question on your own webpage. Feel free to change the height and width to suit your needs.