3rd millennium

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In contemporary history, the third millennium is a period of time that according to official sources, such as the United States Naval Observatory, began on January 1, 2001, and will end on December 31, 3000, of the Gregorian calendar.[1] Stephen Jay Gould argued that it is not possible to decide if the millennium began January 1, 2000, or January 1, 2001.[2] The Associated Press reported that the third millennium began January 1, 2001, but also reported that celebrations in the US were generally more subdued at the beginning of 2001, compared to the beginning of 2000.[3] This is the third period of one thousand years in the Anno Domini or Common Era.

As this millennium is currently in progress, its first two decades, the past 2000s and the current 2010s, are the subject of the historian's attention. The remaining part of the 21st century and longer-term trends are researched in futures studies.

Centuries and decades[edit]

21st century 2000s[4] 2010s 2020s 2030s 2040s 2050s 2060s 2070s 2080s 2090s
22nd century
23rd century
24th century
25th century
26th century
27th century
28th century
29th century
30th century

Significant people[edit]

The people in this section are organized according to the UN geoscheme.

Significant people of the 3rd millennium AD
  Africa America Asia Europe Oceania
21st Century Nelson Mandela George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Bill Gates
Narendra Modi
Hu Jintao
Xi Jinping
Elizabeth II
Vladimir Putin
Tony Blair


  1. ^ United States Naval Observatory, "The 21st Century and the 3rd Millennium:When Did They Begin?" (Washington, DC, June 14, 2011).
  2. ^ Stephen Jay Gould, Questioning the Millennium: A Rationalist's Guide to a Precisely Arbitrary Countdown (New York: Harmony Books, 1999), ch 2.
  3. ^ Associated Press, "Y2K It Wasn't, but It Was a Party", Los Angeles Times, January 1, 2001.
  4. ^ 2000 is generally considered the last year of the 2nd millennium, but there is some dispute.