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][2] Stephen Jay Gould argued that it is not possible to decide if the millennium began January 1, 2000, or January 1, 2001.[2][3] The Associated Press reported that the third millennium began January 1, 2001, and also reported that celebrations in the US were generally more subdued at the beginning of 2001, compared to the beginning of 2000.[4] 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.


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

Civilizations of the 3rd millennium AD
Africa America Asia Europe Oceania


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

Events of the 3rd millennium AD
  Africa America Asia Europe Oceania
21st century 2010 Arab Spring[5] 2001 September 11 attacks[6]
2013 Boston Marathon bombings[7][8]
2001 Beginning of War on Terror[9] 2013 Ukraine crisis[10][11]

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
Muammar Gaddafi
Hosni Mubarak
George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Bill Gates
Narendra Modi
Hu Jintao
Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Elizabeth II
Vladimir Putin
Mario Draghi
Kevin Rudd
Julia Gillard

Inventions, discoveries, introductions[edit]

Inventions, discoveries and introductions
Communication and Technology Math and Science Manufacturing Transportation and
Space exploration
  1. iPad
  2. Android
  1. Poincaré conjecture[12]
  2. Higgs boson[13]
  1. Graphene
  1. Mangalyaan[14]

Centuries and decades[edit]

21st century 2000s[b][c] 2010s 2020s 2030s 2040s 2050s 2060s 2070s 2080s 2090s
22nd century 2100s 2110s 2120s 2130s 2140s 2150s 2160s 2170s 2180s 2190s
23rd century 2200s 2210s 2220s 2230s 2240s 2250s 2260s 2270s 2280s 2290s
24th century 2300s 2310s 2320s 2330s 2340s 2350s 2360s 2370s 2380s 2390s
25th century 2400s 2410s 2420s 2430s 2440s 2450s 2460s 2470s 2480s 2490s
26th century 2500s 2510s 2520s 2530s 2540s 2550s 2560s 2570s 2580s 2590s
27th century 2600s 2610s 2620s 2630s 2640s 2650s 2660s 2670s 2680s 2690s
28th century 2700s 2710s 2720s 2730s 2740s 2750s 2760s 2770s 2780s 2790s
29th century 2800s 2810s 2820s 2830s 2840s 2850s 2860s 2870s 2880s 2890s
30th century 2900s 2910s 2920s 2930s 2940s 2950s 2960s 2970s 2980s 2990s


  1. ^ a b Partially recognised state
  2. ^ 2000 is generally considered the last year of the 2nd millennium, but there is some dispute.
  3. ^ 9 of the 10 years of the decade are in this millennium.


  1. ^ United States Naval Observatory, "The 21st Century and the 3rd Millennium:When Did They Begin?" (Washington, DC, June 14, 2011).
  2. ^ a b "When and where did the new Millennium officially start, and why?". Royal Observatory Greenwich
  3. ^ Stephen Jay Gould, Questioning the Millennium: A Rationalist's Guide to a Precisely Arbitrary Countdown (New York: Harmony Books, 1999), ch 2.
  4. ^ Associated Press, "Y2K It Wasn't, but It Was a Party", Los Angeles Times, January 1, 2001.
  5. ^ *The Arab Spring—One Year Later: The CenSEI Report analyzes how 2011's clamor for democratic reform met 2012's need to sustain its momentum. The CenSEI Report, 13 February 2012
  6. ^ "How much did the September 11 terrorist attack cost America?". 2004. Institute for the Analysis of Global Security. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  7. ^ CNN Staff (18 April 2013). "What we know about the Boston bombing and its aftermath". CNN. Retrieved 2013-04-18. 
  8. ^ Deborah Kotz (24 April 2013). "Injury toll from Marathon bombs reduced to 264". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2013-04-24. 
  9. ^ Steve Schiffres (18 March 2003). "U S Names Coalition of the Willing". BBC News. Retrieved 2015-01-11. 
  10. ^ "Ukraine Opposition Vows To Continue Struggle After Yanukovych Offer". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 25 January 2014. Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  11. ^ "Ukraine crisis fuels secession calls in pro-Russian south". The Guardian. 24 February 2014. Archived from the original on 24 February 2014. 
  12. ^ Mackenzie, Dana (2006-12-22). "The Poincaré Conjecture--Proved". Science (American Association for the Advancement of Science) 314 (5807): 1848–1849. doi:10.1126/science.314.5807.1848. PMID 17185565. ISSN: 0036-8075. 
  13. ^ "Higgs boson-like particle discovery claimed at LHC". BBC News. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  14. ^ "India's Mars satellite successfully enters orbit, bringing country into space elite". The Guardian. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2014. India has become the first nation to send a satellite into orbit around Mars on its first attempt, and the first Asian nation to do so.