Open Access Articles- Top Results for 2010s


Millennium: 3rd millennium
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Years: 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

The 2010s (pronounced "twenty-tens"[1] or "two thousand (and) tens") [2][3][4][5] is the current decade in the Gregorian calendar, which began on January 1, 2010 and will end on December 31, 2019.

Mixed pronunciation

There is some disagreement among experts and the general public on how to pronounce specific years of the 21st century in English.[6] While most people pronounce the years 2000 to 2009 as "two thousand (and) _", the pronunciation of the 2010s has been mixed. Using the current year as an example, 2015 is referred to by some people as "twenty-fifteen", while by others as "two thousand (and) fifteen", and this mixed pronunciation still occurs.[2] It is believed that the pronunciation "two thousand (and) _" will eventually fall into disuse by the 2020s.[citation needed]

Global financial crisis

See also: § Economics

The 2010s began amidst a global financial crisis that started in the late 2000s. In particular, the Eurozone debt crisis, which began during 2009, continued into the 2010s. Despite the crisis, the Dow had its longest stretch of gains since the late 1990s tech boom.[7] However, economic issues, including inflation and an increase in commodity prices, sparked immense unrest in many lower-income countries. In some countries, particularly those in the Arab world, political unrest evolved into socioeconomic crises, which set off numerous revolutions, including those in Kyrgyzstan and Tunisia in 2010, and Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Egypt in 2011 and 2012. This trend is commonly known as the Arab Spring.

Politics and wars


The prominent wars of the decade so far include:

International wars

  • War on Terrorism (2001–present) – refers to several ideological, military, and diplomatic campaigns ostensibly aimed at putting an end to international terrorism by preventing groups defined by the U.S. and its allies as "terrorists" (mainly Islamist groups such as al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas) from posing a threat to the US and its allies, and by putting an end to state sponsorship of terrorism. The campaigns were launched by the United States, with support from NATO and other allies, immediately following the 11 September 2001 attacks which were carried out by al-Qaeda. Today the term has become mostly associated with US/UK-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
    • War in Afghanistan (2001–present) – on October 7, 2001, the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Australia and Canada intervened in Afghanistan seeking to oust the Taliban, destroy Al-Qaeda and find Osama bin Laden. Combat operations were declared over on December 28, 2014, though several thousand international troops remain in the country to provide support to Afghanistan's military.[8]
    • Iraq War (2003–2011) – on August 19, 2010, the last American combat brigade was moved out of Iraq after more than seven years of warfare. About 50,000 troops remained there through 2011, designated as "advise and assist brigades" assigned to non-combat operations but retaining the ability to revert to combat operations as necessary. The war was declared formally over on December 15, 2011.
  • Military Intervention against ISIL (2014–present) - In response to rapid gains made in Iraq and Syria by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS, also known as ISIL), a coalition including the United States, France, Turkey, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Australia, Canada, Netherlands and others have launched airstrikes in support of the Iraqi Armed Forces and Kurdish fighters. Most Western coalition members are engaged only in Iraq, while most Middle Eastern members are engaged only in Syria. The United States, United Kingdom and Morocco are engaged in both. Also waging a campaign against ISIS, is the Islamic Republic of Iran and its ally, the Lebanese Shia militant militia, Hezbollah. Iranian forces have been involved in both Iraq and Syria aiding Iraqi and Syrian government forces along with Kurdish fighters.
  • Military Intervention in Yemen (2015) - The intervention began in response to requests for assistance from the internationally recognized but domestically contested Yemeni government, due to a Houthi offensive aimed at its provisional capital of Aden. Yemeni President Hadi fled Aden, left the country and went to Saudi Arabia as Saudi Arabia and its allies launched airstrikes in Yemen against the Houthis and loyalists forces.

Civil wars, guerrilla wars and political revolutions

File:Info box collage for mena Arabic protests.png
Since December 17, 2010, a revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests, dubbed Arab Spring, have continued throughout the Arab world
  • Arab Spring (December 17, 2010 – present) – a revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests in the Arab world that began Friday, December 17, 2010. In December 2010, protests began in Tunisia and Algeria. On January 14, 2011, the President of Tunisia, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, resigned after 23 years as President. On January 25, 2011, protests against President Hosni Mubarak began in Egypt. Mubarak resigned on February 11, 2011. Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood won an Egyptian presidential election in 2012. In November 2012, protests against Morsi began, intensifying in June 2013. On July 3, 2013, the Egyptian military ousted Morsi in a coup d'état. Post-coup violence in Egypt continues until today. Protests against Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year-rule then began in Libya, later developing into a nationwide uprising, and, eventually, a civil war. Gaddafi was ousted from power on August 23, 2011, and was killed on October 20, 2011. At the same time, protests started across numerous other Arab countries, including Yemen, Jordan, Sudan, and Saudi Arabia. On March 15, 2011, protests against President Bashar al-Assad's rule began in Syria. In April 2011, the uprising intensified, and the Syrian Army was deployed by the government to quell the popular uprising. In 2012, the International Committee of the Red Cross declared that the Syrian conflict had become a civil war, and fighting between the regime forces and the opposition intensified. The Syrian civil war continues today.
    • Libyan Civil War (February 15 – October 23, 2011) – a series of demonstrations and riots held against Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule. The widespread demonstrations, which erupted in response to the high unemployment rate in Libya and the lack of development in the country, rapidly escalated into a civil war as Gaddafi used his military force against the Libyan rebels. As a result, fifty thousand Libyans have died.[13] The civil war came to an end when Gaddafi was killed during the Battle of Sirte on October 20, 2011.
    • Syrian Civil War (March 15, 2011 – present) – a series of demonstrations and riots held against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In April 2011, the Syrian Army deployed tanks, and other weapons, in an attempt to quell the protests. However, the opposition forces soon became more organized, eventually resulting in the formation of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). On July 15, 2012, the International Committee of the Red Cross declared that the 18-month uprising was a civil war.
  • Mexican Drug War (2006–present) – an armed conflict fought between rival drug cartels and government forces in Mexico. Although Mexican drug cartels, or drug trafficking organizations, have long-existed, they have become more powerful since the demise of Colombia's Cali and Medellín cartels in the 1990s. Mexican drug cartels now dominate the wholesale illicit drug market in the United States.[14] Arrests of key cartel leaders, particularly in the Tijuana and Gulf cartels, has led to increasing drug violence as cartels fight for control of the trafficking routes into the United States.[15][16][17] Roughly more than 28,299 people in total were killed between December 2006 and November 2010.[18]
  • War in North-West Pakistan (2004–present) – an armed conflict between the Pakistani Armed Forces and Islamic militants made up of local tribesmen, the Taliban, and foreign Mujahideen (Holy Warriors). The conflict began in 2004 when tensions rooted in the Pakistani Army's search for al-Qaeda members in Pakistan's mountainous Waziristan area (in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas) escalated into armed resistance by local tribesmen. The violence has displaced 3.44 million civilians[19] and more than 7,000 civilians have been killed.[20]
  • Shia insurgency in Yemen (2004–2010) – a civil war in the Sadaa Governorate of Yemen. It began after the Shia Zaidiyyah sect launched an uprising against the Yemeni government. The Yemeni government has accused Iran of directing and financing the insurgency.[21] Thousands of rebels and civilians have been killed during the conflict.[22][23]
  • War in Somalia (1991–present) – involved largely the forces of the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) assisted by African Union peacekeeping troops, who fought against various militant Islamist factions for control of the country. The violence has displaced thousands of people residing in Mogadishu, the nation's capital. 1,739 people in total were killed between January 1, 2009 until January 1, 2010.[24]
  • Conflict in the Niger Delta (2004–present) – an ongoing conflict in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The conflict arose from tensions between the foreign oil corporations and a number of the Niger Delta's minority ethnic groups who felt they were being exploited, particularly the Ogoni and the Ijaw. The competition for oil wealth has led to an endless violence cycle between innumerable ethnic groups, causing the militarization of nearly the entire region which was occupied by militia groups as well as Nigerian military and the forces of the Nigerian Police.
  • Civil war in Chad (2005–2010) – involved Chadian government forces and several Chadian rebel groups. The government of Chad estimated in January 2006 that 614 Chadian citizens had been killed in cross-border raids.[25] The fighting continues despite several attempts to reach agreements.
  • Insurgency in the Maghreb (2002–present)Algeria has been the subject of an Islamic insurgency since 2002 waged by the Sunni Islamic Jihadist militant group Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC). GSPC allied itself with the Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb against the Algerian government. The conflict has since spread to other neighbouring countries.
  • Colombian Armed Conflict (1964–present) – has changed substantially after the government of Alvaro Uribe. President Juan Manuel Santos took office in 2010 and seeks to continue Uribe's policy about terrorism. The FARC and ELN guerrillas are weaker than ever and divided, with the latter calling for peace talks with the government. Meanwhile, paramilitary forces have demobilized, but irregular drug-trafficking forces called "Bacrim" have gained control over much of the areas that the AUC paramilitaries previously held. The "Bacrim" gangs have allied with guerrillas in some regions of the country such as Chocó and Antioquia.
  • Northern Mali conflict (2012-2013) – a rebellion by Tuaregs in Northern Mali begun in January 2012. After Malian president Amadou Toumani Touré was ousted in a coup d'état, Tuaregs captured all of Northern Mali. In April 2012, the "Independent State of Azawad" was declared by the MLNA, a Tuareg organization. Islamist groups Ansar Dine, AQIM and MOJWA seized Northern Mali from the MLNA and imposed sharia law in the region. France and various African states are helping the Malian military to recapture most of Northern Mali.


The most prominent coups d'état committed against the ruling governments during the decade include:

Terrorist attacks

The most prominent terrorist attacks committed against civilian populations during the decade include:

Nuclear weapons controversies

  • Since 2005, Iran's nuclear program has become a source of tension due to fears that Iran could divert civilian nuclear technology to a weapons program. This has led the UN Security Council to impose sanctions against Iran on select companies linked to Iran's nuclear program, thus furthering Iran's economic isolation. In February 2009, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence said that Iran would be unable to create a nuclear weapon prior to 2013.[26]
  • In April 2010, the United States and Russia signed a treaty in Prague to reduce the stockpiles of nuclear weapons in both nations. A week later, U.S. President Barack Obama hosted a Nuclear Security Summit where the attending nations decided to secure their nuclear arms to make sure no terrorists could gain access to these weapons of mass destruction. South Korea was selected to hold the second Nuclear Security Summit in 2012.
  • During the 2013 Korean crisis, North Korea's actions suggested a risk that North Korea might launch a nuclear attack against the United States, Japan or South Korea.

Political events

The prominent political events of the decade so far include:


  • The international new-media non-profit organization WikiLeaks published three massive sets of documents pertaining to the Iraq War, the Afghanistan War, and US diplomacy, which, respectively, were released in April, July, and November 2010. Each was accompanied by heavy and extensive week-long coverage in news media all over the world, and had a strong impact on the global political landscape, with strong reactions from leaders within many major countries.


File:Obama and Medvedev sign Prague Treaty 2010.jpeg
Obama and Medvedev signing the New START treaty in Prague.


File:Inauguration of Benigno Aquino III.jpg
Benigno S. Aquino III taking his oath of office as the 15th President of the Philippines.


File:Benedict XVI's Last Audience.jpg
Benedict XVI in popemobile at final Wednesday General Audience in St. Peter's Square on 27 February 2013.



Assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts

Prominent assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts of the decade so far include:


The most prominent disasters of the decade so far include:

Non-natural disasters

  • January 27, 2013 - 242 people were killed in a fire structed near Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
  • April 23, 2013 - Rana Plaza, An eight story factory building collapsed on the outskirts of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, and killed 1,129 people. The building contained five garment factories that were manufacturing clothing for the western market.

Aviation & naval disasters

Pollution disasters

  • April 20, 2010 – An explosion on BP's Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig, operating in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, left eleven crewmen dead and resulted in a fire that sank the rig and caused a massive-scale oil spill[42] that became the worst environmental disaster in United States history.[43] On June 18, 2010, oceanographer John Kessler said that the crude gushing from the well contains 40 percent methane, compared to about 5 percent found in typical oil deposits. Methane is a natural gas that could potentially suffocate marine life and create "dead zones" where oxygen is so depleted that nothing lives. "This is the most vigorous methane eruption in modern human history," Kessler said.[44] On June 20, an internal BP document was released by Congress revealing that BP estimated the flow could be as much as Script error: No such module "convert". per day under the circumstances that existed since the April 20 blowout.[45][46] On July 15, 2010, the BP oil spill was finally stopped, 86 days after oil started leaking into the Gulf of Mexico.
  • March 11, 2011 – A magnitude 9.0[47] earthquake off the coast of Sendai caused a tsunami that severely damaged the Fukushima Daiichi and Fukushima Daini nuclear power plants. The damage resulted in the worst nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl disaster, contaminating water, soil and crops in the area with iodine-131 and caesium-137.

Natural disasters

File:Tsunami damage in Pichilemu, Chile (27 Feb. 2010).jpg
Chileans look at tsunami-provoked damage in the city of Pichilemu, following the 2010 Chile earthquake.
File:Typhoon Haiyan 2013 making landfall.gif
Animated enhanced infrared satellite loop of Typhoon Haiyan from peak intensity to landfall in the Philippines
  • January 12, 2010 – A 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti, causing widespread destruction in Port-au-Prince. Haitian authorities believe that the disaster killed between 200,000 and 250,000 people.[48] Over 2 million people were affected and over 3 million were in need of emergency aid.
  • February 27, 2010 – An 8.8 magnitude earthquake occurred in Chile, triggering a tsunami over the Pacific and killing 497.[49] One of the largest earthquakes in recorded history, this rare megathrust earthquake probably shifts Earth's axis and slightly shortens its days.[50][51] Another earthquake, of magnitude 6.9, occurred on 11 March of the same year, minutes before President Sebastián Piñera was sworn in; it was centred in Pichilemu, Cardenal Caro Province.[52]
  • Early 2010 – Eruptions of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano of Iceland in April caused unprecedented disruption to international air travel, rendering transatlantic flight impossible and closing the airways over much of Europe, affecting the travel plans of millions of passengers worldwide. This caused a knock-on effect to many other events around the world. Scientists began recording volcanic activity there in 2009 which increased through March 2010 culminating in the second phase eruption in April 2010. The event is considered the largest air traffic shut-down since World War II.[53] The International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimated that the airline industry worldwide would lose €148 million or £130 million a day during the disruption.[54]
  • April 4, 2010 (Easter Sunday) – A 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico killing four and injuring a hundred. The neighbouring United States border towns in Imperial Valley, California were also affected.
  • April 13, 2010 – A 6.9 magnitude earthquake occurred in western China, killing at least 2,200 and injuring more than 12,000.[55][56]
  • Early November 2010 – Mount Merapi erupted in Indonesia, killing hundreds and grounding flights to Singapore, Jakarta and other Southeast Asian cities.
  • July 2010 – Flooding occurred in Pakistan after record heavy monsoon rains. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan was the worst affected. At least 1,600 people were killed, thousands were rendered homeless, and more than thirteen million people were affected.[57][58][59][60][61] Estimates from rescue service officials suggest the death toll may reach 3,000 victims.[62]
  • October 18, 2010 - Typhoon Megi hit the Philippines killing at least 69 people and causing $709 million in damage, proving to be the deadliest tropical cyclone to ever hit the Philippines.
  • January 11–12, 2011 – Floods and mudslides killed more than 900 people in 7 cities in the state of Rio de Janeiro and left damage that cost more than a billion dollars. This was Brazil's worst natural disaster.
  • February 22, 2011, – A 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 185 and leaving 200 more missing.
  • March 11, 2011 – A 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit near Sendai, Japan, creating a 10-meter (33 foot) tsunami, leaving over 15,000 now confirmed dead, possibly over 10,000 missing and over 150,000 people displaced into emergency shelters.[63] The earthquake and tsunami also damaged several nuclear reactors in the region, leaving at least one in danger of melting down. This was recorded as the worst earthquake in Japan. Damages could exceed over billion, making it the costliest natural disaster.
  • April 25–28, 2011 – A tornado outbreak in the United States killed 348 people (324 of which were directly related to tornadoes), injured thousands, and caused billions of dollars of damage from the 355 confirmed tornadoes. It was the largest and one of the deadliest tornado outbreaks in the history of the United States. Before the disaster occurred, merely two weeks prior, the states affected in the outbreak had also been damaged from another tornado outbreak, leaving 43 people dead.
  • May 21–26, 2011 – Another large tornado outbreak took place over a span of six days. 178 people were killed from 242 confirmed tornadoes. After a record active April, May was relatively quiet during the first three weeks until that pattern changed abruptly as a strong low-pressure area and associated dry line and cold front tracked eastward towards the Midwest of the United States in late May. Almost all of the outbreak's 178 deaths were contributed to the EF5 Joplin, Missouri tornado on May 22, which killed 158 (plus four more not directly contributed to the tornado) and injured 1,150, and ranks as the both the costliest and seventh-deadliest single tornado in U.S. history. The damage total for the whole outbreak was about $7 billion.
  • Late August 2011 – Hurricane Irene wreaked havoc across the Caribbean, then made several landfalls as a Category 3 in the Bahamas and threatened over 65 million people in the U.S. East Coast during late August. Irene made three U.S. landfalls in the states of North Carolina, New Jersey and New York over a two-day span. Overall, 55 fatalities and over 1 billion in damages were attributed to the hurricane.
  • October 23, 2011 – A 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck the Turkish city of Van, leaving over 610 dead and thousands injured.
  • October 2011 – A rare October snow storm hit the northeastern United States and Mid-Atlantic United States just days before Halloween, leaving millions without power and killing 15.
  • December 16, 2011 – Tropical Storm Washi caused catastrophic damage in the Philippine island of Mindanao. More than 1,000 were reported to be dead and thousands injured or missing. President Benigno Aquino III declared a state of calamity.
  • Late October 2012 – Hurricane Sandy caused immense destruction in Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, the United States, and Canada. Also known as "Superstorm Sandy", the storm ultimately became the largest and second-costliest Atlantic tropical cyclone ever.
  • November and December 2012 – Typhoon Bopha, a Category 5 Super-Typhoon, struck the southern Philippines (including areas already affected by Tropical Storm Washi in 2011), killing over 1,000 and leaving hundreds more missing.
  • Early February 2013 – A massive blizzard hit the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada, killing 18 and dropping a near-record amount of snowfall.
  • May 20, 2013 – A tornado killed 24 people and wounded over 300 in Moore, Oklahoma.
  • June 2013 – The Massive flooding occurred in Alberta, causing historic flooding in downtown Calgary.
  • October 15, 2013 – A 7.2 magnitude earthquake jolted the Visayas region in the Philippines, killing over 200 people.
  • November 7, 2013 – Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines killing at least 6,000 people and causing billions of dollars in damage, proving to be the deadliest typhoon to ever hit the Philippines.
  • December 6, 2014 - Typhoon Hagupit hit the Philippines killing at least 18 people and causing $114 million in damage, proving to be the deadliest tropical cyclone to ever hit the Philippines.
  • January 26–30, 2015 - A massive blizzard hit the Central and Eastern United States killing 3 and dropping a near-record amount of snowfall.
  • February 24–28, 2015 - A avalanche killed 310 people and wounded over 129 in Panjshir Province, Afghanistan.
  • March 12, 2015 - Cyclone Pam hits Vanuatu killing at least 8 people and causing damage, proving to be the deadliest tropical cyclone to ever hit the Vanuatu.
  • April 25, 2015 - A major earthquake in Nepal, measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, results in more than 7,000 deaths
  • May 24, 2015 - ongoing - A heatwave in Southern India resulted in over 800 deaths in areas such as Chennai.



The Great Recession, which began in the year 2007, ended in mid-2009. In the United States, a Gallup poll in 2011 found that more than half of Americans believe the country is still in a recession.[64] Some economists believe that the 'recession' has not only continued, but is actually a mild economic depression much like the Great Depression of the 1930s.[65] There is an energy crisis in the world due to the protests and riots in the Middle East and North Africa.[66][67] Production of conventional crude oil plateaued in 2004 at 74 million barrels per day.[68] Because new sources of energy are still being developed, industrialized nations are still vulnerable to loss of supply, such as the relatively small output that was shut off during the Libya civil war, and the failure of releases from strategic reserves to stem high prices.[69][70] The International Energy Agency has found that global crude oil production reached its apex in 2006, meaning production from currently producing oil fields is forecast to drop and future oil supply projections represent unconventional sources of crude, a prediction it admits is less than certain.[71][72][73] Another school of opinion attributes the high energy prices in the western world to government regulation.[74]

A sovereign-debt crisis in Europe began in early 2010, and the Greek government admitted that it was having difficulties servicing its large sovereign debt. Speculation abounded that it would be unable to make required bond payments due in 2010, causing the Euro to drop in value versus the US dollar and pushing the Greek/German yield spread to almost 4%. In May 2010, Eurozone leaders agreed to a billion euro three-year rescue package.[75] However, by the following year, the country's fiscal condition had not improved.[76] In the summer and fall of 2011 bond yields for Italy and Spain spike above 6 percent.[77]

China becomes the second largest global economy, surpassing Japan.[78] China currently faces out-of-control inflation, a real estate bubble, and troubling demographics that will lead to a shrinking labour force, all of which could lead to a collapse of the Chinese economy.[79][80][81]

Debt struggles plague advanced countries. The crisis in Greece fuels growing fears of contagion.[82] Beyond Greece, European countries such as Ireland, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Austria, Slovakia and Slovenia see their credit rating downgraded.[83][84][85][86][87] In August 2011, the S&P downgrades the United States' credit rating from triple AAA to AA-plus.[88] In September 2011 Italy is downgraded by S&P from A+.[89] Japan also sees a rating downgrade due to debt burden.[90] In October 2011 European leaders devised another Greek debt agreement in which private banks that loaned Greece money agreed to voluntarily write down or revalue Greek debt by 53.5%. Overall losses for private bondholders would be above 70 percent when accounting for the new bonds' longer repayment period and lower interest rate.[91] The size of the European Financial Stability Facility was increased from €440 billion to €2 trillion.[92]

Society and trends

The 2010s are notable for being the first full decade in which the population of Earth has been more urban than rural; the portion of the human population living in cities and urban areas reached 50% in 2007.[93]

The world population is projected to peak at 9 billion by 2050, and many countries reported declining fertility rates in the 2010 census.[94] Society by the 2010s is still being accustomed to the huge changes globalization and digital technology make in everyday life, with many young people growing up spending their entire lives exposed to microchip technology.[95] At the same time, the world is grappling with the Great Recession that began in 2007 and continues into the 2010s.

An aging population

The 2010s have been a period of concern for some time to governments and economists due to the fact that it is the decade in which most of the baby boomers in developed nations will retire, putting pressure on their pension programs. An aging society and its consequences have been felt hardest in Europe, Russia, and Japan, which have been experiencing a trend of dramatic population decline over the past few decades.[96][97][98] Over 20% of Japan's population is over the age of 65, making it the most elderly nation.[99] As a result, the nation is looking into numerous societal solutions to caring for the elderly, including providing robots able to aid in daily tasks and nursing.[100][101] In the United States, proposals have been made to reforming Medicare and Social Security, including raising the age of retirement or abolishing certain programs entirely.[102][103][104][105][106]

Reforms to pensions are a volatile subject politically, and lead to major protests from the public. In 2010, France debated and raised the retirement age to 60 from 62, despite widespread demonstrations against the change.[107] A few years later, during the Hollande administration, the retirement age was lowered back to 60.[108]

Political polarization

In the United States and, to a lesser degree, elsewhere, political polarization continues and/or increases as conservatives and progressives clash over the role of government and other social, economic, and environmental issues. Polls in the US continue to show a divided electorate regarding job creation, debt reduction, and taxation.[109][110][111][112][113][114] Several street protest movements that have been described as "Islamophobic" have developed, especially in western Europe with groups such as the English Defence League and Pegida.[115][116]


Acceptance of LGBT people slowly increases across the world, with significantly higher levels of support among younger generations than among older generations—though a growth in all age groups has occurred.[117][118][119] For the first time, in June 2011, the United Nations passed a motion in support of LGBT rights across the world, 21 years after the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of diseases.[120][121] Although many nations already allowed for gays to serve openly in the military, a major milestone in LGBT history was made in September 2011 when the United States joined that list by abolishing its Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.[122][123] The issue of marriage for same-sex couples is an ongoing debate in many nations, but over sixteen nations and thirty-seven states in the United States have legalized same-sex marriage (as of March 4, 2015). In most cases, votes to legalize same-sex marriage fall along a strict-party line vote with leftist parties favoring legalization and more conservative ones favoring no recognition at all. However, as the culture continues to shift more supportive, conservatives are growing more comfortable with marriage equality as was the case for New York's effort to legalize same-sex marriage and the ongoing debate in the United Kingdom, where legalization of same-sex marriage has been seen as a priority by the Conservative Party.[124][125][126][127][128] In May 2012, President Barack Obama became the first sitting United States president to support same-sex marriage.[129] Polls found that by 2012, 53% of Americans supported gay marriage, up dramatically from six years prior when just over one-third of respondents believed it should be legal. In addition, less than four out of ten Americans believed that marriage for gay and lesbian couples should be illegal.[130]

While many western countries are becoming more accepting and tolerant towards gays and lesbians, some nations such as Russia, are becoming more distant. In 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law that criminalized free expression.[131] Prior to its passage, St. Petersburg drafted its own ban on free expression and banned pride events as well.[132] Russia's actions brought concern to many human rights organizations and free speech proponents, even pushing for a boycott of Russian products and the 2014 Winter Olympics, which were held in Sochi.[133][134]

Youth culture

Youth culture such as skateboarding continues to spread to countries such as Afghanistan.[135] Internet memes grew in popularity across the Internet since around late 2009, although they existed as far back as the web's infancy in the 1990s. Current trends set Internet memes to grow hugely and enter the mainstream of TV and general entertainment in the coming years. In 2013, Baauer's "Harlem Shake" is the first Internet meme song to reach the #1 spot on the Billboard Top 100, reflecting a shift in popular culture as Internet memes become mainstream and not a "geek" counterculture.

Other societal trends

New urbanism and urban revival continue to be forces in urban planning in the United States and other developed countries.[136] However, evidence shows that growth of American suburbs still outpaces urban growth.[137]

Environmentalism slowly continues to become mainstream, though action on curbing fossil fuels has been limited in its success.[138]

The world's major civilizations are now interacting more than ever in history, creating tensions but also bringing new ideas to cultures that previously did not have them. This occurs more often not only physically but in cyberspace, radically changing the economic and social fabric in virtually every part of the world. China, considered an emerging power in the 1990s and 2000s, has increasingly been called a superpower in the early 2010s, including at the 2011 meeting between Hu Jintao and Barack Obama. This is confirmed by China overtaking the U.S. as the world's largest trading nation, filing the most patents, increasing its military buildup, landing its lunar rover Yutu on the moon, ending the nearly four-decade malaise of moon exploration, and creating China's Oriental Movie Metropolis as a major film and cultural center. China is projected to have the world's largest economy by 2018 with an estimated GDP per capita equal to the US by the late 2050s.[139] However, this could all change dramatically in the coming years as China's economy is very unpredictable and may falter.[140]

Individuality and uniqueness continues to be increasingly valued as opposed to conformism. A well noted example of this are baby names, which have become far more individualized since the 1960s, but especially since the 1990s and the introduction of the Internet.[141]

In America, migration to the Sun Belt, large during the last decades of the 20th century and the 2000s decade, declines; migration in general around the US has been in decline since the beginning of the 1980s,[142] reaching their lowest levels since information began being kept in 1948.[143]

AIDS, a pandemic responsible for killing over 30 million people since its discovery in the early 1980s, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, becomes a treatable condition; though only one case has been cured,[144] the disease is no longer a death sentence and with good treatment victims can generally expect to live normal lives and lifespans. However, as of 2011 only a bit more than 5 million of the 12 million people who need drugs for AIDS get them and hence many people still die from the disease.[144]

Ufology has seen a decline in popularity compared to its heyday in the 1980s and 1990s. In the 1990s, there were well over 100 groups involved in UFO research in the UK; in 2013 this number declined to about 30.[145]

Science and Technology

            List of years in science       (table)
... 2000 . 2001 . 2002 . 2003 . 2004 . 2005 . 2006 ...
2007 2008 2009 -2010- 2011 2012 2013
... 2014 . 2015 . 2016 . 2017 . 2018 . 2019 . 2020 ...
Art . Archaeology . Architecture . Literature . Music . Philosophy . Science +...


File:CERN LHC Tunnel1.jpg
The first collisions of CERN's Large Hadron Collider took place on 31 March 2010.


Information and communications

  • 2010 - Sales for PCs steadily decline as more and more people purchase tablet computers and laptop convertibles.[155]
  • April 2010 - Apple Inc. launches its first tablet computer called the iPad which offers multi-touch interaction with multimedia formats including newspapers, magazines, ebooks, textbooks, photos, movies, TV shows, videos, music, word processing documents, spreadsheets, video games. The iPad soon became an immediate bestseller and only months after its release became the best selling tech gadget in history.[156] Multiple competing tablet computers are now on the market.
  • February 2011 - The IPv4 internet addresses officially ran out. An early period of transition to IPv6 continued during 2011.[157]
  • March 2011 - More than 2 billion people used the Internet.[158]
  • Sometime in 2011 - One billion mobile broadband users predicted and 4.6 billion people worldwide were subscribed to mobile phones.[159]
  • June 2011 - Mobile phone apps, introduced in the later 2000s, explode in popularity; Americans spent more time using apps than using the World Wide Web.[160]
  • 2012 - Tablet sales now overtook netbooks for the first time, and netbook sales fell by 25 percent, year-on-year.
  • 2012 - Samsung overtook Nokia for the first time as the largest mobile phone maker in the world.
  • 2012 - Google Chrome became the world's most used web browser, displacing former long-time frontrunner Internet Explorer.[161]
  • 2012 - The Wikimedia Foundation, through its German chapter Wikimedia Deustschland starts developing Wikidata, its first new project in six years. The initial software development is sponsored by the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Google.
  • 2013 - The people living in developed countries uses more smartphones than feature phones as the sales and users declined steadily for the first time.
  • 2013 - Streaming media and rental kiosk services such as Netflix and Redbox overwhelm the movie rental market and force national chains like Blockbusters to close.[162]
  • 2019 - Supercomputers are projected to reach exaflop scale.[163]


  • 2011 July - The United States' Space Shuttle program draws to a close with the successful landing of its last mission, STS-135, flown by Space Shuttle Atlantis.
  • 2012 May - SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft becomes the first private commercial spacecraft to successfully attach to the International Space Station, marking a major achievement for the commercial spaceflight industry as the first commercial spacecraft to rendezvous with another spacecraft.
  • 2012 - Planetary Resources became the first asteroid mining company to announce publicly its intention to mine valuable resources from asteroids - a goal that, if achieved, would provide enormous economic value to the world.
  • 2012 August - The United States lands the Curiosity Rover in Gale Crater on Mars.
  • 2013 December - The Chinese Chang'e 3 lands on the Lunar surface marking the first Lunar landing in 37 years. Chang'e 3's landing site is located in Mare Imbrium. The landing makes China the third nation in history to land on the Moon, along with the United States and the Soviet Union.
  • 2014 December - The Orion spacecraft completes its first test, an unmanned orbital and reentry flight.


Software & Legal issues

Medicine & Biotechnologies

  • The ethics and consequences of indefinite life extension begin to be considered as the technology becomes more feasible, with scientific research into aging expanding.[167] In 2013, Google creates Calico in order to research ways to combat aging.

Additional notable world-wide events

Popular culture


File:Burj Khalifa building.jpg
The Burj Khalifa became the world's tallest building when completed in 2010.

Postmodernism and green designs[175][176] are common themes seen throughout the architecture of the decade. The aftermath of the energy crisis and the threat of peak oil have pushed developers to creating structures that are as sustainable as possible whether that is through the use of natural lighting, green/white roofs, better insulation, and other cost-saving means.[177] Architect Bjarke Ingels, known for designing the Danish pavilion at Expo 2010, has proposed a type of "hedonistic sustainability" to create a balance between playful art and sustainability.[178] China and the Middle East have been regarded as the "architect playgrounds" of this decade.[179][180][181][182] Many iconic structures, including the current world's tallest building Burj Khalifa and the Shanghai Tower, are placed in these regions of the world. Dubai's development has been slowed by the global recession,[183] but China continues to flourish in its development towards a modern nation.[184] In fact, China is pushing Shanghai to become a global financial center by 2015.[185][186] As China continues to develop, it will continue to struggle to provide energy for its 1 billion strong population. China's Three Gorges Dam became fully operational in 2011 and is one of the world's largest gravity dams.[187]

A supertall skyscraper race began in the late-2000s and in 2010, Dubai's Burj Khalifa became the tallest man-made structure ever built, standing at Script error: No such module "convert".. The title is not expected to last too long as other projects proposed or approved such as the Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia[188] hopes to rise even higher.

The Gotthard Base Tunnel, the world's longest railway tunnel, is scheduled to be completed in 2017 or 2018. One World Trade Center was completed in early 2014, the highest building in the United States and Western Hemisphere.


Main article: 2010s in fashion

The 2010s (2010–present) have thus far been defined by a revival of interwar, austerity era, 1980s (2013–15), early 1990s and skater fashions.[189] In the early 2010s, many late 2000s fashion trends remain popular in Europe, the US, Latin America, Australasia and Asia, especially the indie pop and grunge look which largely drew upon 1960s Mod clothing combined with elements of 1970s garage rock, contemporary alternative fashion. Latin American teens and young adults, who started to keep up with general Western fashion more closely since the mid-1990s, proved to be more conservative upon maintaining or abandoning 2000s trends than their European and North American peers until about 2013. The Hipster subculture, as well as the "Thrift Shop" look, have also had considerable impact upon mainstream fashion throughout the decade thus far. Full-printed T-shirts with diverse patterns (like cosmic, clouds, historic architecture, and tribal) are a noticeable fashion trend.

In many western countries, the growing of a full beard became a popular trend amongst young males in the early-to-mid 2010s, with some suggesting this was due to the influence of the hipster subculture and the Movember campaign.[190][191]

Film and television

Film and television, two industries that have dominated pop culture for a large part of the last century, found themselves struggling to maintain their predominant influence throughout this decade.[192] The struggles plaguing the music industry in the previous decade had begun to catch up to other mediums, as well as the consequences of ever-increasing online usage by consumers. Internet piracy was a major concern for the industry as well and a reluctance to adapt to consumer demand through online venues even further harmed the industry's image.[193] In 2008, the industry launched the joint venture video site Hulu to combat numerous piracy concerns from other video-sharing sites.[194] As of 2010, Hulu was contemplating a US$2 billion IPO.[195] As of 2012, Viacom is pursuing a US$1 billion lawsuit against YouTube for copyright infringement.[196] Furthermore, governments began looking at ways to combat internet piracy. In early 2012, the United States Congress began debating the infamous SOPA and PIPA bills that were heavily lobbied by the entertainment industry and widely unpopular among the population.[197] Despite government efforts to debate the issue, internet piracy is still expected to be a major concern throughout the decade.[198][199]

Cable providers saw a decline in subscriber numbers as cord cutters unsubscribed in favour of online streaming services such as Hulu, Netflix and's Prime service, which offer lower cost to consumers.[200][201] These non-cable, internet-based media streaming services even began producing their own programming.[202]

TV sets, such as the SmartTV by Samsung, start to integrate the internet to traditional television, giving more choices that are more traditional and high quality than cable, along with more family friendly middle class entertainment.

3D films, although not a new technology, saw a resurgence in popularity after the long-awaited release of James Cameron's Avatar in late-2009.[203][204][205] In 2010, Avatar became the first film to gross more than US$2 billion.[206] The box office success of other 3D releases that year insured the industry that 3D movies were not a fad.[207][208] In fact, the video game and television industries began to look into utilizing the 3D trend by releasing their own 3D products and services.

Animated films in the 2010s remain predominately computer-generated. Traditional 2D animation has struggled in recent years and is seen by some industry giants like Michael Eisner to be an outdated artform or casualty to the rise of CGI-based films.[209][210] Japanese anime still remain to be fairly popular 2D mediums globally and may be the exception to this trend.[211] Traditionally animated television shows for children also remain popular with audiences of all ages including Adventure Time, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Phineas and Ferb, and SpongeBob SquarePants. In 2010, Toy Story 3 became the first animated film to gross more than US$1 billion worldwide.[212] Established long-running 2D animated sitcoms are still widely popular as well.[213]

The American soap opera format slides in popularity as reality television and daytime talk shows continue to move in on their time slots.[214][215] All My Children and One Life to Live, both globally broadcast series that have been on the air for decades are cancelled, but return in 2013 as an online broadcast through joint arrangement of Hulu and Prospect Park Productions.[216] Prime-time television serials and Spanish-language telenovelas remain popular globally.[217]

In 2010, Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to receive the Academy Award for Best Director for the 2009 movie The Hurt Locker.[218]

The highly-controversial, globally-acclaimed 2000 Japanese film Battle Royale was officially released to theaters and home media in the United States after more than eleven years of quiet corporate wrangling by both American and Japanese distributors; the first planned Los Angeles public theatrical run in December 2011 was extended by six days due to popular demand.[219][220]

Academy Award Best Pictures


Main article: 2010s in music

EDM, synthpop, indie, and trap see mainstream success throughout the early to mid 2010s, making a sound that differentiates 2010s music from the popular music styles of the early 2000s. R&B and hip-hop, which was popular in the 1990s and 2000s declines in popularity circa 2009-2011 with more electropop and indie infuenced sounds. Hip-hop makes a slight comeback around 2013 but is not as mainstream as in the 1990s and 2000s.[221][222] There were musical paradigm shifts in the previous decade regarding how people obtain and listen to music including the rise of the MP3 format,[223][224] televised national musical contests,[225] and the declining influence of the recording industry have had major effects on the state of music globally in a relatively short time.[226][227][228] According to a Nielsen and Billboard report, digital music sales in 2012 topped the physical sale of music.[229]

In terms of popular music, the heavy use of Auto-Tune and talk box has declined in the landscape of the Top-40 charts since the end of the 2000s. A noticeable trend that began late in the 2000s and is continuing into this decade is the prevalence of dance and pop music,[230][231][232] with EDM achieving mass commercial success as popular music moves away from the hip-hop orientated sound that dominated the previous decade.[233] In the early 2010s, dubstep and drumstep, originating in the United Kingdom, rose in popularity globally.[234][235][236] Drumstep is continuing to grow in popularity along with the drum and bass scene. It mirrors the electronic-leaning musical trends elsewhere, while hardstyle is becoming increasingly popular in Australia and America, with music festivals such as Defqon 1, IQON and The sound of Q-dance.[237][238][239][240]

Record of the Year Grammy Winners



The trend of musicals based on movies reaches a peak in 2013 when for the first time, the four nominees for the Best Musical Tony Award are all based on movies.

Rights for many shows from the 2000s, including The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Spring Awakening, and Hairspray, were released for amateur production.

Locally, many theaters begin to perform smaller productions with less actor and set requirements as a way of coping with the Great Recession. This made shows like the aforementioned Spelling Bee into standards.

Video gaming

The Nintendo 3DS is the first gaming device released to feature 3D gaming without the need for stereoscopic glasses.

Coming into the 2010s, video games and their associated culture matures into an established element of pop culture. According to the Entertainment Software Association, the average age of a person who plays games is 30.[241]

Some of the new and innovative trends to gaming culture in this decade include cloud gaming, the rise of stereoscopic 3D gaming, and the ever-increasing advancements in graphic card technologies leading to more photo-realistic graphics. Video game sales declined in the early-2010s, most likely due to the effects of the Great Recession,[242] but the industry still continued to make millions of dollars in profits from wide-releases of popular franchises. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, released in late-2011, made over US$775 million in one-week which put that particular first-person shooter video game on par or even surpassing records of the film industry's opening numbers that week.[243]

The first few years of the decade was dominated primarily with seventh generation consoles. This includes Microsoft's Xbox 360, the Sony PlayStation 3, and Nintendo's Wii.[244] The PC, however still remains the preferred choice medium by the Sims franchise and many of Blizzard's popular titles despite they themselves expanding onto other devices.[245][246] 2012 introduced the first console regarded to be in the eighth generation, the Wii U. Sony and Microsoft have initially stated that their PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles were to be on a ten-year lifespan which wouldn't place a release of one of their consoles until 2014 or 2016,[247][248][249] but the Wii U's announcement had prompted the other two industry giants to make swifter timetables of release. In late 2013, two consoles were added to the eighth generation with Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4. The eighth generation consoles are expected to face stiff competition from tablet and smartphone gaming markets, as well as an increased interest in independent games promoted by popular social networking sites.[250][251]

Following in the 3D craze, Nintendo released the Nintendo 3DS in early 2011. It introduced a new interface that does not require special glasses to observe stereoscopic 3D visual during gameplay.[252] Sony also released's a handheld console, the PlayStation Vita in 2012, but does not feature 3D gaming. The OnLive console was released in 2010 becoming the first massively produced cloud gaming-based gaming device.[253] Mobility and interaction become a common trend to see in video games. The original Wii revolutionized the industry with the introduction of the sensor bar with compatible sensitive controllers, and Sony and Microsoft reacted by releasing the PlayStation Move and Kinect respectively. This new and innovative direction expanded the video game market to those interested in physical therapy and to the elderly.[254][255][256][257]

See also

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The following articles contain brief timelines which list the most prominent events and predicted prominent events of the decade:


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