World nuclear forces when you were born
What did nuclear armament look like on the day you were born?
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Developed by Kuang Keng Kuek Ser/
Photo by Reuters
You were born in the year
That year there were testno detected nuclear tests conducted by testcountryno countries and approximately warheadno nuclear warheads controlled by countryno countries.
It was a world free from nuclear weapons. The first test of an atomic weapon was conducted on July 16, 1945 near Alamogordo, New Mexico, during the Manhattan Project — a research and development project, led by the US Army Corps of Engineers, established to produce a nuclear weapon during World War II.
Nuclear explosion tests by country
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Zoom into 1990-2016

Four years after the US dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, the Soviet Union detonated its first atomic bomb on Aug. 29, 1949, setting the stage for an intensive nuclear arm race between the two superpowers.

The race was temporarily halted when the US and the Soviet Union, together with the UK — the third country with nuclear weapons — reached a moratorium on nuclear testing at the end of 1958.

Once the moratorium was lifted in 1961, nuclear tests peaked in 1962 with 178 tests detected in just one year.

Nuclear warhead stockpile by country
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The US and the Soviet Union then spent more than 20 years expanding their nuclear arsenals. The global stockpile of nuclear warheads reached its highest point in 1986 with more than 60,000 warheads excluding retired warheads.

Both nuclear tests and nuclear stockpiles were significantly reduced after the end of Cold War in 1991. In 1996, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, which bans nuclear explosions, was opened for signature. After 1996, only a handful of nuclear tests were conducted — by Pakistan, India and North Korea.

Note & Source
Nuclear test data is from the Arms Control Association.
Nuclear stockpile data is from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' Nuclear Notebook. Figures are approximate estimates. They exclude retired warheads waiting to be dismantled.
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