Data

Country position on nuclear weapons

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What you should know about this indicator

  • A country is classified as not considering nuclear weapons if it neither considers, pursues, or possesses nuclear weapons.
  • A country is classified as considering nuclear weapons if its leaders explore whether it is possible and desirable for them to attempt to acquire nuclear weapons, or they work to increase their nuclear weapons capabilities, but without launching a dedicated program.
  • A country is classified as pursuing nuclear weapons if it has an active program to acquire nuclear weapons or to obtain the ability to construct them on short notice.
  • A country is classified as possessing nuclear weapons if it has a nuclear-explosive device that it can deliver. Conducting an explosive nuclear test is therefore neither sufficient nor necessary.
  • Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine are not classified as possessing nuclear weapons because they never had operational control of the nuclear weapons left over from the Soviet Union.
Country position on nuclear weapons
Whether a country does not consider (0), considers (1), pursues (2), or possesses (3) nuclear weapons.
Source
Bleek (2017); Nuclear Threat Initiative (2024) – with major processing by Our World in Data
Last updated
January 11, 2024
Next expected update
January 2025
Date range
1938–2023

Sources and processing

This data is based on the following sources

This dataset provides information on nuclear weapons states.

More details can be found in the original document by Bleek (2017).

Retrieved on
January 11, 2024
Citation
This is the citation of the original data obtained from the source, prior to any processing or adaptation by Our World in Data. To cite data downloaded from this page, please use the suggested citation given in Reuse This Work below.
Philipp C. Bleek, "When Did (and Didn't) States Proliferate? Chronicling the Spread of Nuclear Weapons", Discussion Paper (Cambridge, MA: Project on Managing the Atom, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School and the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Middlebury Institute of International Studies, Monterey, CA., June 2017).

Overviews of national nuclear, chemical, biological, and missile programs and nonproliferation efforts.

Retrieved on
January 11, 2024
Citation
This is the citation of the original data obtained from the source, prior to any processing or adaptation by Our World in Data. To cite data downloaded from this page, please use the suggested citation given in Reuse This Work below.
Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) - Overview (2024).
Material prepared for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies.

How we process data at Our World in Data

All data and visualizations on Our World in Data rely on data sourced from one or several original data providers. Preparing this original data involves several processing steps. Depending on the data, this can include standardizing country names and world region definitions, converting units, calculating derived indicators such as per capita measures, as well as adding or adapting metadata such as the name or the description given to an indicator.

At the link below you can find a detailed description of the structure of our data pipeline, including links to all the code used to prepare data across Our World in Data.

Read about our data pipeline
Notes on our processing step for this indicator
  • The information on the number and status of nuclear weapons was manually extracted from Bleek (2017). For recent years, the data has been double-checked with information from the Nuclear Threat Initiative.

Reuse this work

  • All data produced by third-party providers and made available by Our World in Data are subject to the license terms from the original providers. Our work would not be possible without the data providers we rely on, so we ask you to always cite them appropriately (see below). This is crucial to allow data providers to continue doing their work, enhancing, maintaining and updating valuable data.
  • All data, visualizations, and code produced by Our World in Data are completely open access under the Creative Commons BY license. You have the permission to use, distribute, and reproduce these in any medium, provided the source and authors are credited.

Citations

How to cite this page

To cite this page overall, including any descriptions, FAQs or explanations of the data authored by Our World in Data, please use the following citation:

“Data Page: Country position on nuclear weapons”, part of the following publication: Bastian Herre, Pablo Rosado, Max Roser and Joe Hasell (2024) - “Nuclear Weapons”. Data adapted from Bleek, Nuclear Threat Initiative. Retrieved from https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/country-position-nuclear-weapons [online resource]
How to cite this data

In-line citationIf you have limited space (e.g. in data visualizations), you can use this abbreviated in-line citation:

Bleek (2017); Nuclear Threat Initiative (2024) – with major processing by Our World in Data

Full citation

Bleek (2017); Nuclear Threat Initiative (2024) – with major processing by Our World in Data. “Country position on nuclear weapons” [dataset]. Bleek, “Spread of Nuclear Weapons”; Nuclear Threat Initiative, “Nuclear Threat Initiative Overview” [original data]. Retrieved July 14, 2024 from https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/country-position-nuclear-weapons