Global nuclear weapon spending saw a significant increase in 2021 according to the latest International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) report published on Tuesday.
In just one year, the nine nuclear-armed nations – US, China, Russia, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and the United Kingdom – spent a total of $82.4 billion on upgrading and maintaining their estimated 13,000 nuclear weapons, marking a 9% hike from the year before, according to ICAN’s estimates.
The report, which is ICAN’s third annual summary of global nuclear spending and is titled ‘Squandered: 2021 Global Nuclear Weapons Spending,’ highlights that in total, the world spent a combined $156,842 every single minute of 2021 on weapons of mass destruction, amid an ongoing pandemic and rising global food insecurity.
ICAN details exactly how much each of the nine countries spent on atomic weapons, lists the companies that profited, and the lobbyists hired to keep nuclear weapons in business.
The United States turned out to be by far the biggest spender on nuclear armaments in 2021, having spent $44.2 billion – four times more than the next in line. China was the only other country to exceed the ten-billion-dollar mark, at $11.7 billion spent, while Russia holds third place at $8.6 billion. The UK spent $6.8 billion, France, $5.9 billion, and countries like India, Israel and Pakistan each spent a little over a billion on their arsenals in 2021. In last place is North Korea, which spent $642 million.