The United States is releasing newly declassified information on the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile to update the information previously released in September 2017. Increasing the transparency of states’ nuclear stockpiles is important to nonproliferation and disarmament efforts, including commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and efforts to address all types of nuclear weapons, including deployed and non-deployed, and strategic and non-strategic.
As of September 2020, the U.S. stockpile of nuclear warheads consisted of 3,750 warheads. This number represents an approximate 88 percent reduction in the stockpile from its maximum (31,255) at the end of fiscal year 1967, and an approximate 83 percent reduction from its level (22,217) when the Berlin Wall fell in late 1989. The below figure shows the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile from 1945 through September 30, 2020.
From fiscal years 1994 through 2020, the United States dismantled 11,683 nuclear warheads. Since September 30, 2017, the United States has dismantled 711 nuclear warheads. Approximately 2,000 additional nuclear warheads are currently retired and awaiting dismantlement.
Non-Strategic Nuclear Weapons
The number of U.S. non-strategic nuclear weapons has declined by more than 90 percent since September 30, 1991.1
1 During the Cold War, the United States possessed large numbers and a wide range of non-strategic nuclear weapons, also known as theater or tactical nuclear weapons. Since 1991, the United States has retired and dismantled nearly all of those weapons. Note, non-Strategic Nuclear Weapons are non-accountable systems under the New START Treaty.