Although the world's nuclear arsenals have declined significantly since the 1980s, about 90 percent of the nearly 14,000 strategic nuclear weapons that still exist are controlled by Russia and the United States. The two countries have 6,500 and 6,035 weapons, respectively, far more than any of the other seven nuclear-armed nations. About a third of the U.S. and Russian weapons are retired and awaiting dismantlement; the rest are either deployed or available for use. Deployed warhead figures for Russia and the U.S. exceed the 1,550 allowed in New START because they include bombs stored on bomber bases, which the START cap does not cover. France has 280 warheads deployed and 20 stockpiled. The U.K. has 120 warheads deployed and 95 stockpiled.

Source: Hans M. Kristensen and Matt Korda, “Status of World Nuclear Forces,” Federation of American Scientists, May 2019, https://tinyurl.com/junbna7

Data for the graphic are as follows:

Country Number of Warheads Deployed (stored on bomber bases or installed on ballistic missiles) Number of Warheads Stockpiled (potentially available for use) Number of Warheads Retired (awaiting dismantlement)
Russia 1,600 2,730 2,170
United States 1,600 2,050 2,385
France 280 20 0
China 0 290 0
United Kingdom 120 95 0
Pakistan 0 140-150 0
India 0 130-140 0
Israel 0 80 0
North Korea 0 20-30 0

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