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Number of Nuclear Weapons Used by 2050

Flourishing Futures Nuclear Risk Horizons Project


Currently, nine countries possess nuclear weapons. Below is a list of the estimated number of nuclear warheads in each country as of May 2021 (according to the Federation of American Scientists).

  • Russia: 6,257 nuclear warheads

  • US: 5,550 nuclear warheads

  • China: 350 nuclear warheads

  • France: 290 nuclear warheads

  • UK: 225 nuclear warheads

  • Pakistan: 165 nuclear warheads

  • India: 160 nuclear warheads

  • Israel: 90 nuclear warheads

  • North Korea: Estimated 30-40 nuclear warheads with sufficient fissile materials for 45 nuclear warheads ("The[ir] number of assembled warheads is unknown, but lower.")

How many nuclear weapons will be detonated offensively by 2050?

This question will resolve as the number of nuclear weapons (fission or thermonuclear) detonated offensively in total between January 1, 2021 and January 1, 2050 If there are no offensive detonations before 2050 by any state or non-state actor, then this question will resolve as <1. Neither detonations for testing purposes nor peaceful nuclear explosions will count towards question resolution, even if such detonations cause substantial damage.

Test detonations and peaceful nuclear explosions are defined as detonations which are claimed as being a test or a peaceful nuclear explosion by an official government communication within 30 days of the event, without this being disputed by reliable media, state reports, or multinational reports. If information is unclear, then resolution will be left up to the resolution council or Metaculus admins.

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