||This article may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may only interest a specific audience. (January 2012)|
|Centuries:||20th century – 21st century – 22nd century|
|Decades:||1980s 1990s 2000s – 2010s – 2020s 2030s 2040s|
|Years:||2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019|
Mixed pronunciation 
Among experts and the general public, there is some disagreement as to how specific years of the 21st century should be pronounced in English. While most people pronounced the years 2000 to 2009 as "two thousand (and) _", the pronunciation in the 2010s has been mixed. The year 2013, for example, is referred to by some as "twenty-thirteen" and by others as "two thousand (and) thirteen" and this mixed pronunciation continues as of today.[not in citation given]
Global financial crisis 
The 2010s began amidst a global financial crisis that started in the late 2000s. In particular, the ongoing Eurozone debt crisis, which stemmed from these economic problems, first became pronounced in May 2010 and continues to a global recovery picking up steam by early 2013. Along with the global recovery in 2013 DOW Jones Industrial hit a 5 year high on Friday, January 18, 2013. Many expert think this 5 year bull market will continue due to the dropping of unemployment and housing of America rebounding. Also, DOW had its longest days of gaining since tech boom of the late 1990s breaking the record high price of the DOW Jones Industrial. But, economic issues such as inflation, and an increase in commodity prices, sparked immense unrest in many lower-income countries. Some believe that the current rise in the DOW and other markets are a result of inflation and not true economic growth as it was in previous decades such as the 1950s and 1990s. In some countries, particularly Arab ones, this unrest eventually evolved into socio-economic crises which set off numerous revolutions, such as in Kyrgyzstan and Tunisia in 2010, and Libya, Syria, Yemen and Egypt in 2011 and 2012. This widespread recent phenomenon is now known as the Arab Spring, and it still continues, as of May 2013.
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 US and its allies as "terrorist" (largely 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, Australia and Canada intervened into Afghanistan seeking to oust the Taliban and destroy Al-Qaeda and find Osama bin Laden.
- Iraq War (2003–2011) – On August 19, 2010, the last American combat brigade was moved out of Iraq after more than 7 years of warfare. About 50,000 troops remained there through 2011, being designated as "advise and assist brigades" assigned to non-combat operations while retaining the ability to revert to combat operations as necessary. The war was declared formally over on December 15, 2011.
- Arab–Israeli conflict (Early 20th century–present)
- Israeli–Palestinian conflict (Early 20th century–present) – an ongoing armed conflict in Israel and the Palestinian territories. The conflict is centred between the State of Israel and the Palestinians. One side is composed mainly of Israeli security forces and the other side is composed mostly of Palestinian militant or paramilitary forces such as Hamas, the Islamic Jihad Movement, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Popular Resistance Committees (which have all been designated by the United States and European Union, Israel and many other western countries as terrorist organizations). The conflict has escalated since the Second Intifada (September 2000) broke out, a period of intensified Palestinian-Israeli violence which has been taking place until the present day. The Second Intifada has caused thousands of victims on both sides, both among combatants and among civilians.
Civil wars, guerrilla wars and political revolutions 
- Arab Spring (December 17, 2010 – present) – a revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests occurring in the Arab world that began on Friday, December 17, 2010. In December 2010, protests first 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. Protests against Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year-rule then began in Libya, which later developed into a nationwide uprising, and, eventually, a civil war. At the same time, protests started in numerous other Arab countries, including Yemen, Jordan, Sudan, and Saudi Arabia. On January 26, 2011, protests against President Bashar al-Assad's rule began in Syria. In March 2011, the uprising intensified, and the Syrian Army was deployed by the government, to quell the popular uprising. In 2012, the Syrian conflict became a civil war, and fighting between the regime forces and the opposition intensified. The Syrian civil war still continues, to the present-day.
- 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. The civil war came to an end when Gaddafi was killed during the liberation in Sirte, Libya on October 20, 2011.
- Syrian civil war (January 26, 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 started to become more and 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 existed for quite some time, 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. Arrests of key cartel leaders, particularly in the Tijuana and Gulf cartels, have led to increasing drug violence as cartels fight for control of the trafficking routes into the United States. Roughly more than 28,299 people in total were killed between December 2006 until November 2010.
- 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). It 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 and to more than 7,000 civilians being killed.
- Sa'dah insurgency (2004–2010) – a civil war in the Sa'dah Governorate of Yemen. It began after the Shī‘a Zaidiyyah sect launched an uprising against the Yemeni government. The Yemeni government has accused Iran of directing and financing the insurgency. Thousands of rebels and civilians have been killed during the conflict.
- War in Somalia (1991–present) – involved largely the forces of the Somali 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.
- Conflict in the Niger Delta (2004–present) – an ongoing conflict in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The conflict was caused due to the 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. The fighting still 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 like Chocó and Antioquia.
- Northern Mali conflict (2012–present) - a rebellion by Tuaregs in Northern Mali began 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.
Terrorist attacks 
The most prominent terrorist attacks committed against civilian population during the decade include:
- 2010 Moscow Metro bombings (40 killed)
- 10 May 2010 Iraq attacks (100+ killed)
- May 2010 attacks on Ahmadi mosques in Lahore (86 killed)
- Mohmand Agency attack (105 killed)
- September 2010 Quetta bombing (73+ killed)
- 2011 Domodedovo International Airport bombing (at least 35 people killed and 180 injured)
- 2011 Norway attacks (two separate attacks; 77 deaths)
- 2011 Monterrey casino attack (52 killed)
- 2012 Midi-Pyrénées shootings (8 killed)
- 2013 Boston Marathon bombings (3 killed)
Nuclear weapons controversies 
- Since 2005, Iran's nuclear program has become the subject of contention with the Western world due to suspicions that Iran could divert the civilian nuclear technology to a weapons program. This has led the UN Security Council to impose sanctions against Iran on select companies linked to this program, thus furthering its economic isolation on the international scene. The U.S. Director of National Intelligence said in February 2009 that Iran would not realistically be able to a get a nuclear weapon until 2013, if it chose to develop one.
- The United States and Russia sign a treaty to cut nuclear weapons in either nation in Prague in April 2010, a week later U.S. President Barack Obama hosts a Nuclear Security Summit where the attending nations decides to lock onto their nuclear arms, to make sure no terrorists get hands on these weapons of mass destruction, also South Korea was selected to hold the second Nuclear Security Summit in 2012.
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 of these releases was accompanied by heavy and extensive weeks-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.
- January 2010 – A trial determining the constitutionality of same-sex marriage in the United States is held in California.
- The Obama administration's efforts to implement health care reform in the United States lead eventually to the House of Representatives voting in favour of enacting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in March 2010.
- In November 2010, the Republican Party won control of the U.S. House of Representatives and a majority of the nation's governorships.
- On September 17, 2011, hundreds of protesters marched into the financial district of Wall Street in New York City beginning the Occupy Wall Street. It started series of demonstrations and hundreds of encampments around cities nationally forming the Occupy movement.
- The New START, a nuclear arms reduction treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation entered into force.
- On November 6, 2012, President Barack Obama won reelection by defeating Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
- On March 5, 2013, President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela dies at 58 after governing the country for 14 years.
- On March 13, 2013, Pope Francis of Argentina is elected as the first pope from the Americas.
- December 17, 2011 – President Kim Jong-il of North Korea dies at 69 after governing the country for 17 years. His death diffuses insecurity and fear for stability of the Asian region, although initially the son of the deceased leader, Kim Jong-un, succeeded to his father.
- March 2013 – President Kim Jong-un of North Korea breaks all peace pacts with South Korea and starts a new nuclear weapons plan. Tension rises in the peninsula, as new nuclear tests are carried on. South Korea, Japan and U.S. are threatened.
- The 2010 United Kingdom election resulted in the first "hung parliament" since 1974. Labour, under Prime Minister Gordon Brown lost its overall majority in the House of Commons. The Conservatives led by David Cameron became the largest party. For five days, both major parties held negotiations with Nick Clegg's Liberal Democrats, resulting in the first peace-time coalition government since the 1930s. leading to talks for over a week between the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats. Cameron became Prime Minister upon Brown's resignation on 11 May. Clegg also became Deputy Prime Minister.
- The Scottish National Party win an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament at the 2011 Scottish Parliament election under Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond. The SNP's transition from a minority government to a majority government has allowed them to pledge to have a referendum on Scottish Independence from the United Kingdom.
- November 2011 – Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is indicted for allegedly paying for sex with an underage nightclub dancer, and ordered to stand trial. Mario Monti is appointed Prime Minister and holds the office until 2013.
- April 2013 – Amid growing financial tensions, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano is re-elected, the first ever president to do so, Enrico Letta will form a new government to face the crisis.
- Between January 9–15, 2011 a referendum was held in Southern Sudan on whether the region should remain a part of Sudan or become independent. In the referendum a majority of 98.83% voted in favour of separation from Sudan and the creation of an independent state.
- January 14, 2011 – Amidst anti-government demonstrations, Tunisia's President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali dissolves the government, declares a state of emergency, and resigns from office.
- January 25 – February 11, 2011 – Inspired by the Tunisian demonstrators, thousands of protesters in Egypt call for a resignation or ousting of Hosni Mubarak, longtime president of the nation, who many feel has been in power far too long and has no interests of the public. Mubarak resigns on 11 February.
- February 15 – October 23, 2011: A popular revolt against Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule over Libya leads to thousands of deaths and UN sanctions against the nation's government following a brutal crackdown against protestors.
- January 16, 2012 – February 8, 2013 – An Islamist revolt in Mali threatens to control the whole country and forces a coalition, led by France, to take military actions and restore peace.
- March 25, 2013 – Rebel forces conquest the Capital of the Central African Republic, Bangui, force the President Francois Bozize to flee and form a new government.
- June 2010 – Julia Gillard succeeds Kevin Rudd as the Prime Minister of Australia, thus becoming Australia's 27th and first female Prime Minister.
Assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts 
Prominent assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts of the decade so far include:
- January 8, 2011 – Gabrielle Giffords, U.S. Representative from Arizona, was a victim of a shooting near Tucson which was reported to be an assassination attempt on her, at a supermarket where she was meeting publicly with constituents. Giffords was critically injured by a gunshot wound to the head; 13 people were injured and 6 others were killed in the shooting, among them conservative federal judge John Roll.
- May 1, 2011 – Osama bin Laden, the founder and leader of the militant Islamist group Al-Qaeda, was killed in a targeted killing in Abbottabad, Pakistan in an operation conducted by a team of United States Navy SEAL commandos from the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU), under the command of the Joint Special Operations Command, in conjunction with U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operatives.
- September 30, 2011 – Anwar al-Awlaki, a senior talent recruiter, planner, and spiritual leader of al-Qaeda, was killed in a targeted killing in the northern al-Jawf province of Yemen, in an operation carried out by the US military in which two Predator drones fired Hellfire missiles at a vehicle in which he and other suspected al-Qaeda members were driving, killing them. The strike was carried out by Joint Special Operations Command, under the direction of the CIA.
- October 20, 2011 – Muammar Gaddafi, Libya's ousted leader, was shot to death in Sirte, with National Transitional Council forces taking control of the city.
- September 4, 2012 - Pauline Marois, Premier-designate of Quebec, is rushed offstage during her victory speech after Richard Henry Bain opens fire at the Metropolis in Montreal, killing one person and critically injuring another.
The most prominent disasters of the decade so far include:
Non-natural disasters 
- On April 10, 2010, Polish President Lech Kaczyński, his wife, and 94 other people, including dozens of government officials, are killed in a plane crash.
- On January 25, 2010, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 crashes into the Mediterranean Sea shortly after take-off from Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport, killing all 90 people on board.
- On May 12, 2010 Afriqiyah Airways Flight 771 crashes on a runway at Tripoli International Airport in Libya, killing 103 of 104 on board.
- On May 22, 2010 Air India Express Flight 812 overshoots the runway at Mangalore International Airport in India, killing 158 and leaving 8 survivors.
- On July 28, 2010 a Pakistan Airblue Flight 202 en route from Karachi to Islamabad crashes in the Margalla Hills near Islamabad, killing all 152 aboard.
- On July 26, 2011 a Royal Moroccan Air Force Lockheed C-130 Hercules crashed into Sayyert Mountain while en route to Kenitra Air Base from Dakhla Airport with a scheduled stop-over in Guelmim, killing all 80 on board.
- On January 13, 2012 the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia hit a reef and partially capsized off the cost of Isola del Giglio in Italy, about 100 miles north of Rome. 30 people died, 2 are missing, and 64 people were injured out of the 4232 people aboard.
- On June 3, 2012, Dana Air Flight 992 crashes in the Nigerian city of Lagos, killing all 153 people aboard. 10 people on the ground also perish.
Pollution disasters 
- On 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 that became the worst environmental disaster in United States history. 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. On June 20, an internal BP document was released by Congress revealing that BP estimated the flow could be as much as 100,000 barrels (4,200,000 US gallons; 16,000 cubic metres) per day under the circumstances that existed since the April 20 blowout. On July 15, 2010, The BP Oil Spill was stopped for the first time, 86 days after oil started leaking into the Gulf of Mexico.
- On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 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 
- On January 12, 2010 a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hits Haiti, causing widespread destruction in Port-au-Prince. Haitian authorities currently believe that the disaster killed between 200,000 and 250,000 people. Over 2 million people were affected and over 3 million in need of emergency aid.
- On February 27, 2010 an 8.8 magnitude earthquake occurs in Chile, triggering a tsunami over the Pacific and killing 497. One of the largest earthquakes in recorded history, this rare megathrust earthquake probably shifts Earth's axis and slightly shortens its days. 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.
- In early 2010, eruptions of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano of Iceland caused unprecedented disruption to international air travel, rendering transatlantic flight impossible and closing the airways over much of Europe.
- On 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.
- On April 13, 2010 a 6.9 magnitude earthquake occurs in western China, killing at least 2,200 and injuring more than 12,000.
- Early November 2010 – Mount Merapi erupts in Indonesia, killing hundreds and grounding flights to Singapore, Jakarta and other Southeast Asian cities.
- 2010 Pakistan floods – Began in July 2010 after record heavy monsoon rains. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan was worst affected. At least 1,600 people were killed, thousands were rendered homeless, and more than thirteen million people were affected. Estimates from rescue service officials suggest the death toll may reach 3,000 victims.
- On January 11 & 12, 2011, Brazil's worst natural disaster ever occurred. The January 2011 Rio de Janeiro 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.
- On February 22, 2011, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 185 and leaving 200 more missing.
- On 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. 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.
- The 2011 Super Outbreak happened from 25–28 April 2011, killing 340+ people, injuring thousands and caused billion of damage from the 332 confirmed tornadoes. 27 April was the worst tornado day since the "Tri-State" outbreak in 1925. It is now the deadliest tornado outbreak in the history of the United States of America. Before the disaster occurred, merely two weeks prior, the states affected in the outbreak had also been damaged from the April 14–16, 2011 tornado outbreak, leaving 43 people dead.
- The May 21–26, 2011 tornado outbreak was over a span of seven days in which 183 people were confirmed dead from 180 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. More than a third of the deaths is contributed from the EF5 Joplin tornado on 22 May, which killed 162, injured 900+ and ranks as the both the costliest and seventh-deadliest single tornado in US history. Damages for the whole outbreak is between –7 billion.
- In late August 2011, Hurricane Irene wreaks havoc across the Caribbean, then makes several landfalls as a major Category 3 in the Bahamas and threatened over 65 million people in the US East Coast during late August. Irene made three US landfalls in the states of North Carolina, New Jersey and New York over a two-day span. Overall, 55 fatalities and over billion in damages were contributed.
- The 2011 Van earthquake strikes the Turkish city of Van, leaving over 610 dead and thousands injured.
- A rare October snow storm hits the northeastern United States and Mid-Atlantic United States just days before Halloween in 2011, leaving millions without power and killing 15.
- Tropical Storm Washi causes catastrophic damage in the Philippine island of Mindanao on the night of December 16, 2011. More than 1,000 are reported to be dead and thousands injured or missing. President Benigno Aquino III declared a state of calamity.
- In late October 2012, Hurricane Sandy causes immense destruction in Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, the United States, and even Canada. Also known as "Superstorm Sandy", the storm ultimately becomes the largest and second-costliest Atlantic tropical cyclone ever.
- In November and December 2012, Typhoon Bopha, a Category 5 Super-Typhoon, strikes the southern Philippines (including areas already affected by Tropical Storm Washi in 2011), killing over 1,000 and leaving hundreds more missing.
- In early February 2013, a massive blizzard - dubbed "Winter Storm Nemo" by some media outlets - hits the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada, killing 18 and dropping a near-record amount of snowfall.
The Great Recession, which began in the year 2007, officially ended in mid-2009, though unemployment has failed to recover. In the United States, a Gallup poll found that more than half of Americans believe the country is still in a recession. 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. There is an energy crisis in the world due to the protests and riots in the Middle East and North Africa. Production of conventional crude oil plateaued in 2004 at 74 million barrels per day. 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. 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. Another school of opinion attributes the high energy prices in the western world to government regulation.
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. However, by the following year, the country's fiscal condition had not improved. In the summer and fall of 2011 bond yields for Italy and Spain spike above 6 percent. China becomes the second largest global economy, surpassing Japan. 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.
Debt struggles plague advanced countries. The crisis in Greece fuels growing fears of contagion. Beyond Greece, European countries such as Ireland, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Austria, Slovakia and Slovenia see their credit rating downgraded. In August 2011, the S&P downgrades the United States' credit rating from triple AAA to AA-plus. In September 2011 Italy is downgraded by S&P from A+. Japan also sees a rating downgrade due to debt burden. 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. The size of the European Financial Stability Facility was increased from €440 billion to €2 trillion.
Society and trends 
The 2010s are notable for being the first decade in which the population of Earth has been more urban than rural; back in 2007, the portion of the human population living in cities and urban areas reached the 50% mark.
The world population is projected to peak at 9 billion by 2050, and many countries reported declining fertility rates in the 2010 census. Society by the 2010s is still being accustomed to the huge changes the Internet, globalization and digital technology make in everyday life, with many young people growing up spending their entire lives exposed to microchip technology. At the same time, the world is grappling with the Great Recession that began in 2007 and continues into the 2010s.
Political polarization and pension reform 
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.
As of 2013[update] the average age of a human being on Earth is about 30 years old (28.4 in 2009); hence the average birth date is around the year 1983. This ranges locally from as low as the teenage years in the developing world to as high as the mid-40s in several countries including Japan. In 1950 the average global age was only about 24 years. The aging of populations in the developed countries, most prominently Europe and Japan, continues as the Baby boomers generation reaches the age of retirement. This has caused a large debate over the Medicare and Social Security programs in the United States. Many popular opinions among Americans are that either the retirement age should be raised, the Social Security and Medicare programs be replaced with another type of pension, or that Medicare and Social Security should be abolished in its entirety.
Growing acceptance of the LGBT community 
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. 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. 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. The issue of marriage for same-sex couples is an ongoing debate in many nations, but over fourteen nations and twelve states in the United States have legalized same-sex marriage (as of May 2013). 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. In May 2012, President Barack Obama became the first sitting United States president to support same-sex marriage. 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.
Youth culture 
Youth culture such as skateboarding continues to spread to countries such as Afghanistan. Internet memes grew in popularity across the Internet since around late 2009, although internet memes 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 
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. This is 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, such as at the 2011 meeting between Hu Jintao and Barack Obama.
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.
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, reaching their lowest levels since information began being kept in 1948.
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, 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.
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.
Science and technology 
- At CERN, the Large Hadron Collider's first high power collisions took place in March 2010. On July 4, 2012, scientist announced they had detected the Higgs Boson.
- Scientists announced in May 2010 that they had developed a form of synthetic life.
- Solar aircraft became increasingly popular during the decade spearheaded by the Solar Impulse Project and QinetiQ Zephyr in 2010.
- NASA will launch the James Webb Space Telescope as early as 2014 and replace the Hubble Space Telescope.
- NASA's New Horizons probe will reach Pluto in 2015, completing its main mission, and continuing into the Kuiper Belt.
- Both the International Linear Collider and ITER may be completed during the latter half of the decade.
- The IPCC Fifth Assessment Report is scheduled to appear in 2014.
- On August 5, 2011 NASA announced that its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured photographic evidence of possible liquid water on Mars during warm seasons.
- By February 2011, the IPv4 internet addresses officially ran out. An early period of transition to IPv6 continued during 2011.
- Supercomputers are projected to reach exaflop scale in 2019.
- By March 2011, more than 2 billion people used the Internet.
- One billion mobile broadband users predicted by sometime in 2011, and 4.6 billion people worldwide were subscribed to mobile phones.
- On April 3, 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. Multiple competing tablet computers are now on the market.
- Mobile phone apps, introduced in the later 2000s, explode in popularity; In June 2011, Americans spent more time using apps than using the World Wide Web.
- On May 25, 2012, SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft becomes the first private commercial spacecraft to successfully attach to the International Space Station, thus ushering in a new era for commercial spaceflights.
- Tablet sales now overtook netbooks for the first time, and in 2012 netbook sales fell by 25 percent, year-on-year.
- By 2012, Samsung overtook Nokia for the first time as the largest mobile phone maker in the world.
- By 2013, the people living in developed countries uses more smartphones than feature phones as the sales and users declined steadily for the first time.
- Sales for PCs steadily decline as more and more consumers purchase Tablets.
Additional notable world-wide events 
- A series of major volcanic events occur at Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland in April 2010. The eruptions led to widespread disruption of air travel across Europe grounding planes and affecting the travel plans of millions of passengers worldwide. This caused a knock-on effect to many 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. It is considered the largest air traffic shut-down since World War II. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimated that the airline industry worldwide would lose €148 million or GB£130 million a day during the disruption.
- September 15–16, 2010 – Mexican Bicentennial/Centennial was a celebration of Mexico's 200th year anniversary of its Independence and 100th anniversary of its Revolution. President Felipe Calderón declared it as "Año de la Patria" or "Year of the Nation."
- October 13, 2010 – 2010 Copiapó mining accident: Thirty-three miners near Copiapó, Chile, trapped 700 metres (2,300 feet) underground in a mining accident in San José Mine, are brought back to the surface after surviving for a record 69 days.
- April 29, 2011 – A television audience of an estimated two billion people watch the wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey in London.
- March 13, 2013 – Pope Francis was elected becoming the first Pope to come from a part of the world other than Europe in over 500 years.
Popular culture 
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. 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. In 2008, the industry launched the joint venture video site Hulu to combat numerous piracy concerns from other video-sharing sites. As of 2010, Hulu was contemplating a US$2 billion IPO. As of 2012, Viacom is pursuing a US$1 billion lawsuit against YouTube for copyright infringement. 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. Despite government efforts to debate the issue, internet piracy is still expected to be a major concern throughout the decade.
Cable providers saw a decline in their membership in favor of online streaming services such as Hulu, Netflix and Amazon.com's Prime service due to cheaper cost to consumers. These non-cable, internet-based media streaming services even began producing their own programming.
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. In 2010, Avatar became the first film to gross more than US$2 billion. The box office success of other 3D releases that year insured the industry that 3D movies were not a fad. 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. Japanese anime still remain to be fairly popular 2D mediums globally and may be the exception to this trend. In 2010, Toy Story 3 became the first animated film to gross more than US$1 billion worldwide. Established long-running 2D animated sitcoms are still widely popular as well.
The American Soap opera format slides in popularity as reality television and daytime talk shows continue to move in on their time slots. All My Children and One Life to Live, both globally broadcast series that have been on the air for decades are cancelled, but will return in 2013 as an online broadcast through join arrangement of Hulu and Prospect Park Productions. Prime-time television serials and Spanish-language telenovelas remain popular globally.
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.
Academy Award Best Pictures 
Broadway begins to slowly shift away from musical adaptations of films and towards original musicals, such as Tony Winners Memphis and The Book of Mormon. 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.
Popular music in the early stages of the decade has witnessed a revival of that of the 1980s, with the growing popularity of Synthpop after 2009. While stylistically music has seen the creation of only a few genres since about 1992, the musical paradigm shifts in the previous decade regarding how people obtain and listen to music including the rise of the MP3 format,. televised national musical contests, and the declining influence of the recording industry have had major effects on the state of music globally in a relatively short time. According to a Nielsen and Billboard report, digital music sales in 2012 topped the physical sale of music.
In terms of popular music, the heavy use of Auto-Tune and Talk box has dramatically changed the landscape of the Top-40 charts. At the same time, electronic dance music and electropop have gained significant popularity; autotune became widespread during the late 2000s and early-2010s, making a sound that differentiates 2010s music from the popular music styles of the early 2000s. Another noticeable trend that began late in the 2000s and is continuing into this decade is the prevalence of dance and pop music. Dubstep and Drumstep, originating in the United Kingdom, is rising in popularity globally, and is a style that mirrors the electronic-leaning musical trends elsewhere. Q-dance created a new unique outdoor event in Australia called "IQON" at Sydney international Dragway 
Record of the Year Grammy Winners 
- Use Somebody - Kings of Leon (2010)
- Need You Now - Lady Antebellum (2011)
- Rolling in the Deep - Adele (2012)
- Somebody That I Used to Know - Gotye feat. Kimbra (2013)
Postmodernism and green designs 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. 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.
China and Dubai have been regarded as the "architect playgrounds" of this decade. 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, but China continues to flourish in its development towards a modern nation. In fact, China is pushing Shanghai to become a global financial center by 2015. 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.
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 828 m (2,717 ft). The title is not expected to last too long as other projects proposed or approved such as the Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia hopes to rise even higher.
The Gotthard Base Tunnel, the world's longest railway tunnel, is scheduled to be completed in 2017 or 2018. The One World Trade Center is sign end 2013, the One World Trade is the highest Building in the USA.
- Usain Bolt retained fame as one of the best athletes during the 2010s.
- Spain became the first International football team to win three consecutive major tournaments in 2012.
- IRB Sevens World Series expand from 8 to 10 legs, and rugby seven is part of the Olympic program in 2016.
- Jason Collins became the first active male professional athlete in a major American professional team sport to publicly come out as gay.
Events held 
- 2010 European Men's Handball Championship was held in Austria.
- 2010 Super Bowl was held at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
- 2010 UEFA Champions League Final was held at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid, Spain.
- 2010 FIFA World Cup was held in South Africa.
- 2010 Commonwealth Games was held in New Delhi, India.
- 2010 Summer Youth Olympics held in Singapore.
- 2010 Asian Games held in Guangzhou, China.
- 2010 Winter Olympics were held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
- 2010 Winter Paralympics were held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
- 2011 World Men's Handball Championship was held in Sweden.
- 2011 Super Bowl was held at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
- 2011 Cricket World Cup was held in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
- 2011 UEFA Champions League Final was held at Wembley Stadium in London, England.
- 2011 Copa América was held at Argentina
- 2011 SEA Games was held in Jakarta and Palembang.
- 2011 FIBA EuroBasket was held in Lithuania.
- 2011 Rugby World Cup was held in New Zealand.
- 2011 Pan American Games was held in Guadalajara, Mexico.
- 2012 European Men's Handball Championship was held in Serbia.
- 2012 Winter Youth Olympics was held in Innsbruck, Austria.
- 2012 Super Bowl was held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.
- 2012 UEFA Champions League Final was held at Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany.
- 2012 UEFA European Football Championship was held in Poland, and Ukraine.
- 2012 Summer Olympics was held in London, England, United Kingdom.
- 2013 World Men's Handball Championship was held in the Madrid Arena at Madrid, Spain.
- 2013 Super Bowl was held at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.
- 2013 Rugby League World Cup to be held in England and Wales, United Kingdom.
- 2013 UEFA Champions League Final to be held at Wembley Stadium in London, England.
- 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup to be held in Brazil.
- 2014 European Men's Handball Championship to be held in Denmark.
- 2014 Super Bowl to be held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
- 2014 UEFA Champions League Final to be held at Estádio da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal.
- 2014 FIFA World Cup to be held in Brazil.
- 2014 Winter Olympics to be held in Sochi, Russia.
- 2014 Winter Paralympics to be held in Sochi, Russia.
- 2014 Summer Youth Olympics to be held in Nanjing, China.
- 2014 Commonwealth Games to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom.
- 2015 World Men's Handball Championship to be held in Qatar.
- 2015 Super Bowl to be held at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
- 2015 Cricket World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand.
- 2015 Pan American Games to be held in Toronto, Canada.
- 2015 FIBA EuroBasket to be held in Ukraine.
- 2015 Rugby World Cup to be held in England, United Kingdom
- 2016 Super Bowl which as of December 18, 2010 is not yet final who will host the event.
- 2016 UEFA European Football Championship to be held in France.
- 2016 Summer Olympics to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
- 2016 Summer Paralympics to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
- 2016 Winter Youth Olympics scheduled, location to be held in Lillehammer, Norway.
- 2017 World Men's Handball Championship to be held in France.
- 2017 Super Bowl which as of December 18, 2010 is not yet final who will host the event.
- 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup to be held in Russia.
- 2018 Super Bowl which as of December 18, 2010 is not yet final who will host the event.
- 2018 FIFA World Cup to be held in Russia
- 2018 Winter Olympics to be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea
- 2018 Winter Paralympics to be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea
- 2018 Commonwealth Games to be held in Gold Coast City, Australia
- 2018 Summer Youth Olympics scheduled, location to be announced.
- 2019 Super Bowl which as of December 18, 2010 is not yet final who will host the event.
- 2019 Cricket World Cup to be held in England and Wales, United Kingdom
- 2019 Rugby World Cup to be held in Japan.
Video gaming 
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.
Some of the new and innovative trends to gaming culture in this decade include cloud gaming, the rise of 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, 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.
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. The lack of many wide release titles on the PC lead some industry critics to question whether PC gaming is dead entirely. 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. 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, but the Wii U's announcement has prompted the other two industry giants to make swifter timetables of release. The successor to the Xbox 360 is expected to be released in 2013 and feature 3D gaming and touchscreen controllers. 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.
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. Sony also releases a handheld console, the PlayStation Vita in 2012, but does not feature 3D gaming. The OnLive console is released in 2010 becoming the first massively produced cloud gaming-based gaming device. 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.
The early 2010s (2010–present) have thus far been defined by a revival of interwar, Austerity era, 1980s, and (from late 2012 onwards) early 1990s fashions. In the early 2010s, many mid and late 2000s fashions remain popular in Europe, the US, Latin America, Australasia and Asia, especially the indie pop look which largely drew upon 1960s Mod clothing combined with elements of 1970s garage rock and contemporary alternative fashion.
World leaders 
- Elizabeth II (Commonwealth realms)
- President Fernando Lugo – Federico Franco – Horacio Cartes (Paraguay)
- President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (Argentina)
- King Albert II (Belgium)
- President Luiz Lula da Silva – Dilma Rousseff (Brazil)
- President Rosen Plevneliev (Bulgaria)
- President Raúl Castro (Cuba)
- President Hu Jintao – Xi Jinping (China)
- President Ivan Gašparovič (Slovakia)
- President Ivo Josipović (Croatia)
- President Václav Klaus – Miloš Zeman (Czech Republic)
- President Juan Manuel Santos (Colombia)
- Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Denmark)
- President Toomas Hendrik Ilves (Estonia)
- Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen – Mari Kiviniemi – Jyrki Katainen (Finland)
- President Nicolas Sarkozy – François Hollande (France)
- Chancellor Angela Merkel (Germany)
- President Karolos Papoulias (Greece)
- President Pratibha Patil – Pranab Mukherjee (India)
- Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei (Iran)
- President Jalal Talabani (Iraq)
- President Shimon Peres (Israel)
- President Giorgio Napolitano (Italy)
- Emperor Akihito (Japan)
- President Andris Bērziņš (Latvia)
- President Felipe Calderón – Enrique Peña Nieto (Mexico)
- President Mahmoud Abbas (Palestinian Authority)
- Pope Benedict XVI – Pope Francis (Vatican City)
- President Alan García – Ollanta Humala (Peru)
- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo – Benigno Aquino III (Philippines)
- President Lech Kaczyński – Bronisław Komorowski (Poland)
- Prime Minister Donald Tusk (Poland)
- President Aníbal Cavaco Silva (Portugal)
- Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho (Portugal)
- Queen Beatrix – King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands (Netherlands)
- Prime Minister Iveta Radičová – Robert Fico (Slovakia)
- President Traian Băsescu (Romania)
- Taoiseach Enda Kenny (Republic of Ireland)
- Uachtarán Michael D. Higgins (Republic of Ireland)
- President Dmitrij Medvedev – Vladimir Putin (Russia)
- President Boris Tadić – Tomislav Nikolić (Serbia)
- President Hosni Mubarak – Mohamed Hussein Tantawi – Mohammed Morsi (Egypt)
- President Tony Tan Keng Yam (Singapore)
- President Jacob Zuma (South Africa)
- President Lee Myung-bak – Park Geun-hye (South Korea)
- King Juan Carlos I (Spain)
- Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt (Sweden)
- President Bashar al-Assad (Syria)
- President Abdullah Gül (Turkey)
- Muammar Gaddafi – NTC (Libya)
- President Ali Abdullah Saleh – Abd Rabbuh Mansur Al-Hadi (Yemen)
- Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il – Kim Jong-un (North Korea)
- Yang di-Pertuan Agong Abdul Halim (Malaysia)
- King Abdullah (Saudi Arabia)
- President Barack Obama (United States)
- President Hugo Chávez – Nicolas Maduro (Venezuela)
- King Harald V (Norway)
- Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai – Viktor Orban (Hungary)
Sports figures 
Association Football 
- Didier Drogba
- Andres Iniesta
- Lionel Messi
- Mesut Özil
- Robin van Persie
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Wayne Rooney
- Fernando Torres
- Iker Casillas
- Gianluigi Buffon
- Manuel Neuer
- Mario Balotelli
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic
- Edin Džeko
- Gareth Bale
- Gary Hooper
- Radamel Falcao
- Mario Gomez
- Eden Hazard
- Santi Cazorla
- Adele; British soul/R&B singer.
- Beyoncé; American pop singer.
- Justin Bieber; Canadian singer
- Chris Brown; American urban pop singer
- Armin van Buuren; Dutch trance producer and DJ
- Green Day; American punk rock band
- Drake; Canadian rapper
- Leslie Feist; Canadian alternative rock singer.
- Lady Gaga; American pop singer.
- David Guetta; French house music producer and DJ
- Death Cab for Cutie; American Alternative Rock Band
- Ellie Goulding; British pop singer.
- Eminem; American rapper
- Far East Movement; Asian-American hip-hop band
- Fun.; American Alternative Rock Band
- Rihanna; Barbadian pop singer.
- Jennifer Lopez; American pop singer.
- Jessie J; British pop singer.
- Kendrick Lamar; American rapper
- Lana Del Rey; American pop/alternative rock singer.
- LMFAO (group); American electropop Duo
- Nelly Furtado; Canadian pop singer
- Nicki Minaj; Trinidadian-Born American Rapper/Urban Pop Singer
- Mumford and Sons; British Folk Rock Band
- Muse; British Alternative Rock Band
- Frank Ocean; American R&B singer
- One Direction; British pop group.
- Katy Perry; American singer.
- Pitbull; American rapper
- Psy; South Korean Singer
- Radiohead; British Alternative Rock/Electronic Music Band
- Shakira; Colombian singer
- Britney Spears; American singer
- Skrillex; American electronic music DJ and producer
- St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark); American alternative rock singer
- Taylor Swift; American Pop and Country & Western Singer.
- Tiesto; Dutch trance producer and DJ
- Swedish House Mafia; Swedish House group.
- Snoop Dogg; American rapper
- 50 Cent; American rapper
- Jay-Z; American rapper
- Kanye West; American rapper
- Ben Affleck; American Film Director and Actor
- Benedict Cumberbatch; English Actor
- Jessica Chastain; American Actress
- Daniel Craig; English Actor
- Lily Collins; English Actress
- Michael Fassbender; Irish-German Actor
- Martin Freeman; English Actor
- Selena Gomez; American Actress
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt; American Actor
- Ryan Gosling; Canadian Actor
- Rupert Grint; English Actor
- Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla; American Comedians
- Chris Hemsworth; Australian Actor
- Tom Hiddleston; English Actor
- Tom Hooper; English Film Director
- Josh Hutcherson; American Actor
- Jennifer Lawrence; American Actress
- Dwayne Johnson; American Actor
- Melissa McCarthy; American Comedienne/Actress
- Lea Michele; American Actress
- Chloë Grace Moretz; American Actress
- Jenna Mourey; American Comedienne
- Elizabeth Olsen; American Actress
- Jim Parsons; American Actor
- Robert Pattinson; English Actor
- Chris Pine; American Actor
- Daniel Radcliffe; English Actor
- Noomi Rapace; Swedish Actress
- Eddie Redmayne; English Actor
- Jeremy Renner; American Actor
- AnnaSophia Robb; American Actress
- Rico Rodriguez; American Actor
- Kristen Stewart; American Actress
- Emma Stone; American Actress
- Channing Tatum; American Actor
- Juno Temple; English Actress
- Sofía Vergara; Colombian Actress
- Mia Wasikowska; Australian Actress
- Emma Watson; English Actress
- Kristen Wiig; American Comedienne/Actress
- Ray William Johnson; American Comedian
- Rebel Wilson; Australian Comedienne/Actress
- Julian Assange; Australian Activist and founder of Wikileaks
- Brian Cox; British particle physicist and Science Broadcaster
- Kim Kardashian; American Model.
- Mark Zuckerberg; Co-founder of Facebook.
See also 
The following articles contain brief timelines which list the most prominent events and predicted prominent events of the decade:
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