Nuclear War: It’s Not Just a Movie Anymore

In 1963, the United States and the Soviet Union had 70,000 warheads between them. By 1967, that number had risen to over 3,000 times that amount — in just five years! Today’s nuclear stockpile contains roughly 15,000 active warheads, but that doesn’t mean you can rest easy. The United Nations just released its second report on the threat of nuclear war in decades and it’s not pretty. It turns out that we’re more likely to see a nuclear conflict today than we were at any point during the Cold War — and it could happen far more quickly than anyone imagined.

7 Cities Most Likely to Get Hit

  • Washington, DC
  • Los Angeles
  • New York City
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Miami, Florida
  • Seattle, Washington

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New York City, NY

As always, densely populated urban areas are at the highest risk of getting hit with a nuclear weapon. The following list is the metropolitan areas that have the largest populations and the most to lose if a nuclear war breaks out (in descending order).

The most likely city to be hit in US by nuclear attack is New York City. They have 7.5 million people living there which would result in severe damage and health risks from radiation exposure from this type of event. The other cities on this list have significant risks as well, with five others boasting populations over three million people each. San Francisco alone has about 2.4 million people live there so it also has a huge risk of being attacked by anyone planning on doing so in the future

Atlantic City, NJ

Most people seem to think that nuclear weapons are something from the past, but this is not the case. They’re real and they’re dangerous and we should always be prepared for when it could happen again. Thankfully there are ways of protecting yourself like by visiting the Nuclear Blast Map website. This map, created by Alex Wellerstein, shows which cities in America would likely be most affected if there was an attack on our country, specifically looking at where all of the targets might be located and how many residents live in those locations.

Philadelphia, PA

The city of Philadelphia is the fifth most populous in the United States. According to a new report by GlobalData, it is also the 5th most likely American city to be bombed during a nuclear war. Based on the study, Philly ranks higher than Atlanta, Baltimore, and New York City due to its strategic military and industrial locations. For example, Philadelphia hosts defense contractors that have been historically used for their research and development efforts by US forces during World War II and more recently by US military efforts in Iraq.

Baltimore, MD

If there is a nuclear war in the US, it is likely that Baltimore will be one of the cities targeted. In particular, since Baltimore is an East Coast city and that area of the country will receive some of the first missiles launched, as well as having major industrial interests along the waterfront. Being close to Washington DC might also mean that it would get hit hard in any attack. Finally, while it is on the Atlantic coast, unlike other coastal cities such as Miami or San Francisco, there are no potential threats from tsunamis coming off those coasts in such an event.

Boston, MA

In the event of nuclear war, the most dangerous city in America would be Boston. With 33,400 people living within 30 miles of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, including 14,000 children who are routinely screened at Children’s Hospital Boston. The area is also home to MIT and other academic institutions that house sensitive and valuable research. Along with these numerous targets there are also many airfields, government buildings and even naval bases that could serve as a potential target. All of this vulnerability has resulted in them being ranked number one on Zuckerman’s list of most likely places in America to experience nuclear fallout if there were to be an attack on the US mainland by Russia or North Korea.

Washington D.C., DC

If you live in Washington D.C., you’re not only sitting pretty on the doorstep of Capitol Hill and ground zero for policy decisions, but if you are looking to be near an executive level enemy target. It was calculated by Lloyds of London that Washington D.C. is the number one American city that would be targeted in a nuclear attack because the city has so many high-ranking political figures residing there. And it was also ranked as number 10 out of 10 cities in America most likely to be targeted by terrorists.

Chicago, IL

The air quality in Chicago, IL is the 15th worst out of 230 major metropolitan areas in the United States. And according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, that pollution makes it more likely for toxic smog to linger and increase the risk of lung cancer. And if that weren’t enough, people who live here have an 85% chance of dying from gun violence.

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