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Visualizing the Uranium Mining Industry in 3 Charts



When uranium was discovered in 1789 by Martin Heinrich Klaproth, it’s likely the German chemist didn’t know how important the element would become to human life.

Used minimally in glazing and ceramics, uranium was originally mined as a byproduct of producing radium until the late 1930s. However, the discovery of nuclear fission, and the potential promise of nuclear power, changed everything.

What’s the current state of the uranium mining industry? This series of charts from Truman Du highlights production and the use of uranium using 2021 data from the World Nuclear Association (WNA) and Our World in Data.

Who are the Biggest Uranium Miners in the World?

Most of the world’s biggest uranium suppliers are based in countries with the largest uranium deposits, like Australia, Kazakhstan, and Canada.

The largest of these companies is Kazatomprom, a Kazakhstani state-owned company that produced 25% of the world’s new uranium supply in 2021.

A donut chart showing the biggest uranium mining companies and the percentage they contribute to the world's supply of uranium.

As seen in the above chart, 94% of the roughly 48,000 tonnes of uranium mined globally in 2021 came from just 13 companies.

Rank Company2021 Uranium Production (tonnes)Percent of Total
1🇰🇿 Kazatomprom 11,85825%
2🇫🇷 Orano 4,5419%
3🇷🇺 Uranium One 4,5149%
4🇨🇦 Cameco 4,3979%
5🇨🇳 CGN 4,1129%
6🇺🇿 Navoi Mining3,5007%
7🇨🇳 CNNC 3,5627%
8🇷🇺 ARMZ 2,6355%
9🇦🇺 General Atomics/Quasar 2,2415%
10🇦🇺 BHP 1,9224%
11🇬🇧 Energy Asia 9002%
12🇳🇪 Sopamin 8092%
13🇺🇦 VostGok 4551%

France’s Orano, another state-owned company, was the world’s second largest producer of uranium at 4,541 tonnes.

Companies rounding out the top five all had similar uranium production numbers to Orano, each contributing around 9% of the global total. Those include Uranium One from Russia, Cameco from Canada, and CGN in China.

Where are the Largest Uranium Mines Found?

The majority of uranium deposits around the world are found in 16 countries with Australia, Kazakhstan, and Canada accounting for for nearly 40% of recoverable uranium reserves.

But having large reserves doesn’t necessarily translate to uranium production numbers. For example, though Australia has the biggest single deposit of uranium (Olympic Dam) and the largest reserves overall, the country ranks fourth in uranium supplied, coming in at 9%.

Here are the top 10 uranium mines in the world, accounting for 53% of the world’s supply.

A map of the largest mines and countries that undertake uranium mining.

Of the largest mines in the world, four are found in Kazakhstan. Altogether, uranium mined in Kazakhstan accounted for 45% of the world’s uranium supply in 2021.

Uranium MineCountryMain Owner2021 Production
Cigar Lake🇨🇦 CanadaCameco/Orano4,693t
Inkai 1-3🇰🇿 KazakhstanKazaktomprom/Cameco3,449t
Husab🇳🇦 NamibiaSwakop Uranium (CGN)3,309t
Karatau (Budenovskoye 2)🇰🇿 KazakhstanUranium One/Kazatomprom2,561t
Rössing🇳🇦 NamibiaCNNC2,444t
Four Mile🇦🇺 AustraliaQuasar2,241t
SOMAIR🇳🇪 NigerOrano1,996t
Olympic Dam🇦🇺 AustraliaBHP Billiton1,922t
Central Mynkuduk🇰🇿 KazakhstanOrtalyk1,579t
Kharasan 1🇰🇿 KazakhstanKazatomprom/Uranium One1,579t

Namibia, which has two of the five largest uranium mines in operation, is the second largest supplier of uranium by country, at 12%, followed by Canada at 10%.

Interestingly, the owners of these mines are not necessarily local. For example, France’s Orano operates mines in Canada and Niger. Russia’s Uranium One operates mines in Kazakhstan, the U.S., and Tanzania. China’s CGN owns mines in Namibia.

And despite the African continent holding a sizable amount of uranium reserves, no African company placed in the top 10 biggest companies by production. Sopamin from Niger was the highest ranked at #12 with 809 tonnes mined.

Uranium Mining and Nuclear Energy

Uranium mining has changed drastically since the first few nuclear power plants came online in the 1950s.

For 30 years, uranium production grew steadily due to both increasing demand for nuclear energy and expanding nuclear arsenals, eventually peaking at 69,692 tonnes mined in 1980 at the height of the Cold War.

Nuclear energy production (measured in terawatt-hours) also rose consistently until the 21st century, peaking in 2001 when it contributed nearly 7% to the world’s energy supply. But in the years following, it started to drop and flatline.

A chart plotting the total nuclear energy produced since 1950 and the percentage it contributes to the world's energy supply.

By 2021, nuclear energy had fallen to 4.3% of global energy production. Several nuclear accidents—Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and Fukushima—contributed to turning sentiment against nuclear energy.

YearNuclear Energy
% of Total Energy
196572 TWh0.2%
196698 TWh0.2%
1967116 TWh0.2%
1968148 TWh0.3%
1969175 TWh0.3%
1970224 TWh0.4%
1971311 TWh0.5%
1972432 TWh0.7%
1973579 TWh0.9%
1974756 TWh1.1%
19751,049 TWh1.6%
19761,228 TWh1.7%
19771,528 TWh2.1%
19781,776 TWh2.3%
19791,847 TWh2.4%
19802,020 TWh2.6%
19812,386 TWh3.1%
19822,588 TWh3.4%
19832,933 TWh3.7%
19843,560 TWh4.3%
19854,225 TWh5%
19864,525 TWh5.3%
19874,922 TWh5.5%
19885,366 TWh5.8%
19895,519 TWh5.8%
19905,676 TWh5.9%
19915,948 TWh6.2%
19925,993 TWh6.2%
19936,199 TWh6.4%
19946,316 TWh6.4%
19956,590 TWh6.5%
19966,829 TWh6.6%
19976,782 TWh6.5%
19986,899 TWh6.5%
19997,162 TWh6.7%
20007,323 TWh6.6%
20017,481 TWh6.7%
20027,552 TWh6.6%
20037,351 TWh6.2%
20047,636 TWh6.2%
20057,608 TWh6%
20067,654 TWh5.8%
20077,452 TWh5.5%
20087,382 TWh5.4%
20097,233 TWh5.4%
20107,374 TWh5.2%
20117,022 TWh4.9%
20126,501 TWh4.4%
20136,513 TWh4.4%
20146,607 TWh4.4%
20156,656 TWh4.4%
20166,715 TWh4.3%
20176,735 TWh4.3%
20186,856 TWh4.2%
20197,073 TWh4.3%
20206,789 TWh4.3%
20217,031 TWh4.3%

More recently, a return to nuclear energy has gained some support as countries push for transitions to cleaner energy, since nuclear power generates no direct carbon emissions.

What’s Next for Nuclear Energy?

Nuclear remains one of the least harmful sources of energy, and some countries are pursuing advancements in nuclear tech to fight climate change.

Small, modular nuclear reactors are one of the current proposed solutions to both bring down costs and reduce construction time of nuclear power plants. The benefits include smaller capital investments and location flexibility by trading off energy generation capacity.

With countries having to deal with aging nuclear reactors and climate change at the same time, replacements need to be considered. Will they come in the form of new nuclear power and uranium mining, or alternative sources of energy?

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This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.

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Mapped: The Safest Cities in the U.S.

How safe is small town America? This map reveals the safest cities in the U.S. in terms of the total crime rate per every 1,000 residents.



safest cities in the u.s.

Mapped: The Safest Cities in America

The phrase “small town America” often conjures up images of white picket fences, well-trimmed lawns, and big houses. But how safe is modern-day suburbia in America?

Some of the smallest places in the country can actually be among the most dangerous. Take for example Bessemer, Alabama, with a population of around 26,000 and a violent crime rate of 33.1 per every 1,000 residents.

That said, there are many small cities that are true havens for families across the United States. This map showcases the safest cities in the U.S., using FBI data and Census Bureau populations compiled by NeighborhoodScout in 2023.

Note: The source only considered cities with a population of 25,000 or higher. This report is based on total index crimes reported in each city, which includes arson, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, murder, rape, armed robbery, and aggravated assault.

Top 100 Safest Cities in the U.S.

40% of the cities in the ranking are located in Northeastern states, which are typically rated the “safest” based on FBI data.

Here’s a closer look at the full list:

RankCityStateTotal Crime Rate
(per 1,000 residents)
Chance of Being
a Victim
1RidgefieldConnecticut1.91 in 510
2FranklinMassachusetts2.91 in 344
3Lake in the HillsIllinois3.11 in 321
4MarshfieldMassachusetts3.31 in 300
5ArlingtonMassachusetts3.41 in 292
6FulshearTexas3.61 in 276
7ZionsvilleIndiana3.61 in 275
8LexingtonMassachusetts3.71 in 270
9MuskegoWisconsin3.81 in 265
10RexburgIdaho3.91 in 253
11IndependenceKentucky3.91 in 253
12OswegoIllinois4.11 in 238
13MiltonMassachusetts4.21 in 233
14NeedhamMassachusetts4.21 in 233
15White LakeMichigan4.21 in 233
16Avon LakeOhio4.31 in 232
17MadisonMississippi4.51 in 221
18WakefieldMassachusetts4.51 in 218
19WindsorColorado4.51 in 218
20South KingstownRhode Island4.71 in 212
21ColleyvilleTexas4.81 in 206
22West BloomfieldMichigan4.91 in 204
23Johns CreekGeorgia4.91 in 202
24BillericaMassachusetts5.11 in 195
25MasonOhio5.11 in 192
26ReadingMassachusetts5.11 in 192
27North AndoverMassachusetts5.21 in 190
28WellesleyMassachusetts5.21 in 189
29MundeleinIllinois5.31 in 187
30BrandonMississippi5.31 in 186
31CumberlandRhode Island5.41 in 184
32AndoverMassachusetts5.41 in 182
33EdwardsvilleIllinois5.51 in 178
34Little ElmTexas5.61 in 176
35MerrimackNew Hampshire5.71 in 172
36WalthamMassachusetts5.81 in 169
37WylieTexas5.91 in 169
38Commerce TownshipMichigan5.91 in 169
39MiltonGeorgia5.91 in 167
40MelroseMassachusetts6.01 in 164
41BallwinMissouri6.11 in 162
42North KingstownRhode Island6.11 in 162
43BeverlyMassachusetts6.21 in 161
44Rochester HillsMichigan6.21 in 160
45KellerTexas6.31 in 158
46ShrewsburyMassachusetts6.41 in 156
47DracutMassachusetts6.41 in 155
48ProsperTexas6.41 in 155
49NewtonMassachusetts6.51 in 152
50FriendswoodTexas6.51 in 152
51McHenryIllinois6.51 in 152
52Fort MillSouth Carolina6.61 in 151
53WallingfordConnecticut6.81 in 146
54CaledoniaWisconsin6.91 in 144
55BelmontMassachusetts6.91 in 144
56De PereWisconsin6.91 in 143
57Flower MoundTexas7.01 in 142
58EastonMassachusetts7.01 in 141
59Highland ParkIllinois7.01 in 141
60CarmelIndiana7.21 in 138
61SachseTexas7.21 in 138
62AlgonquinIllinois7.21 in 137
63HendersonvilleTennessee7.21 in 137
64San LuisArizona7.31 in 136
65FishersIndiana7.31 in 135
66PerrysburgOhio7.41 in 135
67Lake StevensWashington7.41 in 134
68CheshireConnecticut7.41 in 134
69MilfordMassachusetts7.51 in 132
70Saratoga SpringsUtah7.51 in 132
71Bella VistaArkansas7.51 in 132
72PrincetonNew Jersey7.51 in 131
73BlufftonSouth Carolina7.61 in 130
74NoviMichigan7.61 in 130
75ChelmsfordMassachusetts7.61 in 130
76AmherstMassachusetts7.71 in 129
77RosemountMinnesota7.71 in 129
78GloucesterMassachusetts7.71 in 129
79SyracuseUtah7.81 in 127
80WaukeeIowa7.81 in 126
81MequonWisconsin7.91 in 126
82WestfieldIndiana7.91 in 126
83Spring HillTennessee7.91 in 126
84Upper ArlingtonOhio7.91 in 126
85RahwayNew Jersey7.91 in 125
86MontclairNew Jersey7.91 in 125
87GreenwichConnecticut8.01 in 125
88HuttoTexas8.01 in 124
89Vestavia HillsAlabama8.01 in 123
90BrownsburgIndiana8.11 in 123
91WilmetteIllinois8.11 in 123
92New MilfordConnecticut8.11 in 122
93HilliardOhio8.21 in 120
94Royal OakMichigan8.21 in 120
95DerryNew Hampshire8.31 in 121
96DublinOhio8.31 in 120
97West WarwickRhode Island8.51 in 116
98WatertownMassachusetts8.51 in 116
99WalpoleMassachusetts8.61 in 115
100KaysvilleUtah8.61 in 115

One quarter of the safest cities are located in Massachusetts, with the vast majority clustered around Boston.

The median population of the cities and towns in the top 100 is just 32,000, and few widely-recognized cities make the list. Carmel, Indiana (#60) is the only city with a population above 100,000 to make the rankings. This would seem to follow the logic that bigger cities are more dangerous, but our map covering the most dangerous cities in America shows that many small cities were just as dangerous, and some even more.

Regardless, small towns can truly be idyllic. For example, a person’s chance of falling victim to crime in Ridgefield, Connecticut, the safest ranked city in the U.S., is just 1-in-510. That’s an overall rate of fewer than two incidents of crime per every 1,000 residents.

One surprising observation from the data is that many of the safest U.S. cities are in very close proximity to some of the most dangerous.

safest cities in the US location

One example that illustrates this is Detroit, which ranks as the sixth most dangerous city in America. Despite this, as shown on the map above, there are four communities nearby that have some of the lowest crime rates in America.

In other words, America’s metro areas contain much contrast, and these insights provide valuable information for individuals and families seeking secure places to live across the country.

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