650 million civilian arms: the global small arms and ammunition trade

Over 60 percent of all violent deaths are due to small arms and light weapons;
more than three quarters of the world’s small arms lie in the hands of
civilians, that’s over 650 million civilian arms

Small arms such as revolvers, assault rifles and light machine guns represent a multi-billion dollar industry. The Google Ideas initiative on illicit networks has created an interactive data visualisation of the global small arms and ammunition trade. The visualisation maps the arms trade giving us an invaluable understanding of who is selling and buying small arms and ammunition.

The tool was created by Google’s Creative Lab team in collaboration with the Igarape Institute; it includes over 1 million data points (provided by the Peace Research Institute Oslo) on imports and exports across 250 states and territories over an 18 year time scale.

See the Global Arms Trade Interactive Map – you can explore these data points by zooming in and out of the globe, clicking on any country to readjust the view, and using the histogram tool at the bottom to see trading patterns over the years. You can see, for example, that the scale of the global trade in ammunition rivals the scale of trade in actual weapons, an insight underexplored by policymakers today in conflict prevention and resolution.

Source: Google Blog & visionofhumanity.org

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