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.[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
George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Bill Gates
Narendra Modi
Hu Jintao
Xi Jinping
Elizabeth II
Vladimir Putin
Tony Blair
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[note 3] 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


  1. ^ Partially recognised state
  2. ^ Partially recognised state
  3. ^ 2000 is generally considered the last year of the 2nd millennium, but there is some dispute.


  1. ^ United States Naval Observatory, "The 21st Century and the 3rd Millennium:When Did They Begin?" (Washington, DC, June 14, 2011).
  2. ^ "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.