||This article may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone, or spelling. (October 2014)|
|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|
The 2010s (pronounced "twenty-tens" or "two thousand (and) tens" or "tens") is the current decade in the Gregorian calendar. It began on January 1, 2010 and will end on December 31, 2019.
- 1 Mixed pronunciation
- 2 Global financial crisis
- 3 Politics and wars
- 4 Assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts
- 5 Disasters
- 6 Economics
- 7 Society and trends
- 8 Science and technology
- 9 Additional notable world-wide events
- 10 Popular culture
- 11 See also
- 12 References
There is some disagreement among experts and the general public on how to pronounce specific years of the 21st century in English. 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. It is possible that the pronunciation "two thousand (and) _" will eventually fall into disuse by the 2020s.
Global financial crisis
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 American Dow Jones Industrial Average had its longest stretch of gains since the late 1990s tech boom. 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 Arabian region, political unrest evolved into socioeconomic crises. This set off numerous revolutions, including 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:
- The 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 social science academics, the governments of numerous countries, and by the United Nations (as well as other international organizations) as terrorists, organized groups of non-state actors who use violence to achieve political objectives. (This often visibly includes politically violent Islamist groups such as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas). In the case of the US, this campaign has been intended to prevent these groups from posing a threat to the US and its allies (or, in the case of Russia's and China's wars on terror, a threat to internal targets), and to put an end to state sponsorship of terrorism. Some of the major campaigns that fall under this term 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 (primarily in western Europe and North America) become associated with US/UK-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. However, anti-terror campaigns are not specific to the United States and its close allies. China has also been engaged in an internally focused war on terror (largely in response to attacks launched by Uighur separatists), and Russia, as well as several countries in Central Asia, have also made counterterrorism a major policy focus. As such, variants of the term War on Terrorism are used internationally and are not specific to a US/UK-led campaign.
- War in Afghanistan (2001–2014) – 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.
- 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.
- 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 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 groups). The conflict has escalated since the Second Intifada (September 2000) broke out, a period of intensified Palestinian-Israeli violence which continues today. The Second Intifada has caused thousands of victims on both sides, both among combatants and among civilians.
- Cold War II (February 2014 – present) – what some perceive as an ongoing conflict (its existence is hotly debated, as is the use of the term "Cold War") between the United States and the European Union against the Russian Federation led by Vladimir Putin. The conflict, according to those who believe it is emerging, comes 23 years after the end of the Cold War.
Civil wars, guerrilla wars and political revolutions
- 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. 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. Mexican drug cartels have become more powerful since the demise of Colombia's Cali and Medellín cartels in the 1990s. They now dominate the wholesale illicit drug market in the United States. 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. More than 28,299 people were killed between December 2006 and 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). 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 and more than 7,000 civilians have been killed.
- 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. Thousands of rebels and civilians have been killed during the conflict.
- War in Somalia (1992 –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.
- 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 a cycle of violence between the local 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 continues despite several attempts to reach agreements.
- Insurgency in the Maghreb (2002–present) – Algeria has been the subject of an Islamic insurgency 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:
- 2010 Nigerien coup d'état (February 18, 2010)
- 2011 Egyptian coup d'état (February 11, 2011)
- 2012 Malian coup d'état (March 22, 2012)
- 2012 Guinea-Bissau coup d'état (April 12, 2012)
- 2013 Egyptian coup d'état (July 3, 2013)
- 2014 Thai coup d'état (May 22, 2014)
The most prominent terrorist attacks committed against civilian populations 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)
- Murder of Lee Rigby (first fatal al-Qaeda inspired attack in Britain since 2005)
- 2013 Boston Marathon bombings (3 killed and 264 injured)
- 2013 Cotabato City bombing (8 killed and 40 injured)
- Zamboanga City siege (200 killed and 70 injured)
- Westgate shopping mall attack (67 dead and 175 injured)
- December 2013 Volgograd bombings (34 killed and 85 injured)
- Islamic State of Iraq and Syria attacks (5 June – present, 555 members killed)
- Bukidnon Bus Bombing (11 killed and 43 injured)
- 2014 Peshawar school massacre (145 killed and 114 injured)
- 2015 Charlie Hebdo shooting in France (17 killed)
- 2015 Baga massacre (2,000 killed)
- Mamasapano clash (67 killed)
- Bardo National Museum attack (23 killed and 50 injured)
- 2015 Sana'a mosque bombings (137 killed and 351 injured)
- Makka al-Mukarama hotel attack (20 killed and 28 injured)
- Garissa University College attack (152 killed and 79 injured)
- ISIL Ramadan attacks (403 killed)
- 2015 Bangkok bombing (20 killed and 125 injured)
- November 2015 Paris attacks (~128 killed and 180+ injured)
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.
- 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.
Cyber security and Hacking incidents
- Cyber security incidents (such as incidents of hacking, leaks or theft of sensitive information) have long been a concern of governments, corporations, and personal computer users. Such incidents have been addressed by the media since the 1980s, but the 2010s saw an increased visibility and intensity of incidents. Many were related to cyber security involving governments, activist movements, corporations, hackers and hacker groups. As a result, cyber security became an increased focus of governments, corporations, and non-governmental organizations.
- 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.
Prominent political events
The prominent political events of the decade so far include:
- January 2010 – A trial to determine the constitutionality of same-sex marriage in the United States was held in California.
- March 2010 – The Obama administration's efforts to implement health care reform in the United States eventually led to the House of Representatives voting in favour of enacting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
- October 2010 – Dilma Rousseff is elected as the first female President of Brazil.
- November 2010 – The Republican Party won control of the U.S. House of Representatives and a majority of the nation's governorships.
- September 17, 2011 – Hundreds of protesters marched into the financial district of Wall Street in New York City beginning the Occupy Wall Street movement. The movement started a series of demonstrations and hundreds of encampments in cities across the nation, forming the Occupy movement.
- July 1, 2012 - The Institutional Revolutionary Party won the Mexican general election and return after 12 years of governments of the National Action Party with Enrique Peña Nieto as its candidate, who will serve as President of Mexico for the 2012-2018 period.
- The New START, a nuclear arms reduction treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation, was entered into force.
- November 6, 2012 – President Barack Obama won reelection by defeating Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
- March 5, 2013 – President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela died at 58 after governing the country for 14 years.
- March 13, 2013 – Pope Francis of Argentina was elected as the first Pope from the Americas.
- June 2013 – Edward Snowden leaked files through the Guardian newspaper detailing NSA privacy policies, including PRISM, the NSA call database, and Boundless Informant. These leaks raised serious questions for civilians on whether their privacy should be breached in the name of public safety and whether that had already happened. Leaks also revealed covert actions against German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and have damaged diplomatic relations in Europe and Brazil.
- March 5, 2014 – Nicolás Maduro, the President of Venezuela, severed diplomatic and political ties with Panama, accusing Panama of being involved in a conspiracy against the Venezuelan government.
- April 28, 2014 – United States President Barack Obama's new economic sanctions against Russia go into effect, targeting companies and individuals close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- November 2014 – The Republican Party gained control of the U.S. Senate, giving the Republican Party control of both houses of Congress.
- December 17, 2014 – U.S. President Barack Obama announces the resumption of normal relations between the US and Cuba, and an end to the United States embargo against Cuba, for the first time since January 1961.
- June 4, 2015 – The Office of Personnel Management of the U.S. government was hacked, resulting in a massive data breach. The incident is currently under investigation by U.S. authorities.
- June 26, 2015 – Same sex marriage becomes legalized in all 50 U.S. states due to a landmark decision by the Supreme Court of the United States.
- July 20, 2015 – Cuba and the United States of America reestablish full diplomatic relations, ending a 54-year stretch of hostility between the nations.
- October 19, 2015 – Justin Trudeau was elected Prime Minister of Canada by defeating incumbent Stephen Harper.
- April 7, 2010 – Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev flees Bishkek amid fierce rioting, sparking a sociopolitical crisis. Former foreign minister Roza Otunbayeva is placed at the head of an interim government as the opposition seizes control.
- June 30, 2010 – Benigno S. Aquino III was inaugurated as the 15th President of the Philippines at the Quirino Grandstand.
- November 13, 2010 – Burmese opposition politician Aung San Suu Kyi is released from her house arrest after being incarcerated since 1989.
- December 17, 2011 – Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il of North Korea died after governing the country for 17 years. His death stirred insecurity and fear for the stability of the Asian region; the son of the deceased leader, Kim Jong-un, succeeded his father.
- November 8–14, 2012 – The 18th National Congress of Chinese Communist Party was held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. On November 15, Xi Jinping was chosen as the new General Secretary of the Communist Party of China. He now also leads the Central Military Commission after Hu Jintao handed over the chairmanship to Xi.
- December 26, 2012 – Shinzō Abe was re-elected Prime Minister of Japan.
- February 25, 2013 – Park Geun-hye is elected President of South Korea, the first woman to hold the position.
- March 2013 – The Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un of North Korea broke all peace pacts with South Korea and started a new nuclear weapons plan. Tension rose in the peninsula as new nuclear tests began. Kim Jong-un made threats against South Korea, Japan and the U.S..
- May 23, 2014 – Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was arrested in the wake of a military coup.
- October 20, 2014 – Joko Widodo was inaugurated as the 7th President of Indonesia.
- January 23, 2015 – Abdullah, the King of Saudi Arabia from 2005 to 2015, died.
- March 23, 2015 – Lee Kuan Yew, Prime Minister of Singapore from 1959 to 1990, died.
- November 22, 2015 – Kim Young-sam, President of South Korea from 1993 to 1998, died.
- 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 more than a week between the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats. Cameron became Prime Minister upon Brown's resignation on 11 May 2010. Clegg became deputy prime minister.
- The Scottish National Party won 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 allowed them to pledge to have a referendum on Scottish independence from the United Kingdom.
- November 2011 – Italian long-time prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, was indicted for allegedly paying for sex with an underage nightclub dancer, and ordered to stand trial. Mario Monti was appointed prime minister and held the office until 2013.
- May 2012 – Francois Hollande was elected as the new President of France, defeating incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy.
- February 28, 2013 – Benedict XVI resigns as pope, becoming the first to do so since Gregory XII in 1415, and the first to do so voluntarily since Celestine V in 1294.
- April 8, 2013 – Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990, died.
- April 30, 2013 – Beatrix abdicated in favour of her son Willem-Alexander
- April 2013 – Amid growing financial tensions, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano won re-election, the first ever president to do so. The centre-left leader Enrico Letta formed a new government to face the crisis.
- July 22, 2013 – Prince George of Cambridge, the son and first child of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge was born.
- November 2013 – present – Euromaidan protests began in Ukraine, followed by the parliament's removal of President Viktor Yanukovych who escaped to Russia. In response, Russian troops were sent to occupy the Crimean Peninsula, Ukraine, in February 2014. Russia annexed Crimea in March 2014, following a referendum widely regarded by Western nations as fraudulent. Tensions continued in the region as of December 2014 as conflict escalated between the government of Ukraine, which was headed by newly elected president Petro Poroshenko and separatist groups in the east of the country supported by Russia.
- February 2014 – Matteo Renzi, after becoming the new leader of the Italian Democratic Party, forced Enrico Letta to resign and was elected Prime Minister, starting a program of radical constitutional reforms.
- May 2014 – The UK Independence Party and the French National Front won the most votes in the European Elections in their respective countries, 'shaking up' the European political landscape.
- June 19, 2014 – King Juan Carlos I of Spain abdicated in favor of his son, Felipe VI, who ascended the Spanish throne as king.
- September 18, 2014 – Scottish independence referendum, Scotland votes to remain in the United Kingdom, with 55.3% of votes against independence while 44.7% voted in favour.
- January 26, 2015 – Alexis Tsipras, of the anti-austerity Syriza party was elected Prime Minister of Greece.
- February 12, 2015 – Leaders from Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France reach an agreement on the conflict in eastern Ukraine that includes a ceasefire and withdrawal of heavy weapons. However, several days later, the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian rebels claim that, within its first day, the ceasefire was broken 139 times, as both sides failed to withdraw their heavy weapons and fighting had continued.
- May 2, 2015 – Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, the daughter and second child of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge was born.
- May 7, 2015 – The 2015 United Kingdom election resulted in a Conservative majority government, led by Prime Minister David Cameron. Despite the election being widely considered too close to call, the Conservatives gained seats in the House of Commons, the Scottish National Party took control of all but three seats in Scotland and there were significant losses for the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats.
- May 23, 2015 – The Republic of Ireland votes to legalize same-sex marriage, becoming the first country to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote.
- July 1, 2015 – Greek government-debt crisis: Greece becomes the first advanced economy to miss a payment to the International Monetary Fund in the 71-year history of the IMF.
- November 10, 2015 – Helmut Schmidt, Chancellor of West Germany from 1974 to 1982, died.
- November 13, 2015 - A deadly attack occurs in Paris, France, killing hundreds, followed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claiming responsibility.
- 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 percent 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, dissolved the government, declared a state of emergency, and resigned from office.
- January 25 – February 11, 2011 – Inspired by the Tunisian demonstrators, thousands of protesters in Egypt called for a resignation or ousting of Hosni Mubarak, longtime president of the nation, who many felt had been in power far too long and was not serving the interests of the public. Mubarak resigned on 11 February 2011.
- February 15 – October 23, 2011 – A popular revolt against Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule over Libya led to thousands of deaths and UN sanctions against the nation's government following a brutal crackdown against protestors.
- March 15, 2011 – Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain declared a three-month state of emergency as troops from the Gulf Co-operation Council were sent to quell the civil unrest.
- January 16, 2012 – February 8, 2013 – An Islamist revolt in Mali threatened to control the entire country and forced a coalition, led by France, to take military actions and restore peace.
- March 25, 2013 – Rebel forces conquered the capital of the Central African Republic, Bangui, and forced President Francois Bozize to flee and form a new government.
- July 3, 2013 – Amid mass protests across Egypt, President Mohamed Morsi is deposed in a military coup d'état, leading to widespread violence.
- December 5, 2013 – Nelson Mandela, President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, died.
- October 31, 2014 – President Blaise Compaoré resigns and flees to Ivory Coast.
- November 29, 2014 – Former Egypt President Hosni Mubarak was found not guilty for charges of killing protesters in the 2011 Egyptian protests and was also cleared from corruption charges.
- January 22, 2015 – After Houthi forces seize the presidential palace, Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi resigns after months of unrest.
- March 12, 2015 – The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant accepts Boko Haram's allegiance, effectively annexing the group.
- June 2010 – Julia Gillard succeeded Kevin Rudd as the Prime Minister of Australia, becoming Australia's 27th and first female prime minister.
- August 2013 – Same-sex marriage was legalized in New Zealand, making it the first country in Oceania and the fifteenth overall to allow same-sex couples to marry.
- October 21, 2014 – Gough Whitlam, Prime Minister of the Australia from 1972 to 1975, died.
- March 20, 2015 – Malcolm Fraser, Prime Minister of the Australia from 1975 to 1983, died.
Gallery of notable world leaders
Note: State leaders in bold have led their respective states throughout this decades' entirety, without interruption, as of November 2015.
Assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts
Prominent assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts of the decade so far include:
- January 1, 2011 – Reynaldo Dagsa, Philippine Barangay official from Caloocan, was assassinated by two men while taking pictures of his family during New Year's Eve.
- January 8, 2011 – Gabrielle Giffords, U.S. Representative from Arizona, was a victim of a shooting near Tucson at a supermarket where she was meeting publicly with constituents. The shooting was reported to be an assassination attempt. 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. Giffords was later brought to a rehabilitation facility in Houston, Texas, where she recovered some of her ability to walk, speak, read and write.
- May 2, 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.
- August 15, 2011 – Esmael Mangudadatu, Governor of Maguindanao was a victim of by a car bomb that exploded along a highway in Tacurong city, Sultan Kudarat. Two people were killed, including a Maguindanao board member, while six others were wounded.
- 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 U.S. 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, was rushed offstage during her victory speech after Richard Henry Bain opened fire at the Metropolis in Montreal, killing one person and critically injuring another.
- October 9, 2012 – Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani Women's rights activist was the victim of assassination attempt by the rebel group Taliban in Pakistan.
- January 25, 2015 – Zulkifli Abdhir, suspected member of Jemaah Islamiyah, was killed in a police operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
- February 27, 2015 – Boris Nemtsov, Russian physicist, statesman and politician, was assassinated by Anzor Gubashev and Zaur Dadaev in Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge, Central Moscow, Russia.
- March 5, 2015 – Mark Lippert, United States Ambassador to South Korea, was rushed into hospital after he was attacked by a knife-wielding man identified as Kim Ki-jong at a restaurant attached to Sejong Center in downtown Seoul, where Lippert was scheduled to give a speech at a meeting of the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation.
- June 29, 2015 – Hisham Barakat, Prosecutor General of Egypt, was killed in a car bombing incident in Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.
- August 26, 2015 – Alison Parker and Adam Ward, news reporter and camera operator of CBS affiliate WDBJ of Roanoke, Virginia, United States are shot and killed on live television during an interview in Moneta, Virginia.
The most prominent disasters of the decade so far include:
- 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.
- May 13, 2015 – At least 72 were killed in a fire inside the Kentex Manufacturing slippers factory in Brgy. Ugong, Valenzuela City. The incident was the third worst fire in Philippine history.
- August 12, 2015 – Two explosions within 30 seconds at a container storage station at the Port of Tianjin in the Binhai New Area of Tianjin, China, result in at least 173 deaths.
- April 10, 2010 – Polish President Lech Kaczyński, his wife, and 94 other people, including dozens of government officials, were killed in a plane crash.
- January 25, 2010 – Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 crashed into the Mediterranean Sea shortly after take-off from Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport, killing all 90 people on board.
- May 12, 2010 – Afriqiyah Airways Flight 771 crashed on a runway at Tripoli International Airport in Libya, killing all but one of the 104 passengers and crew.
- May 22, 2010 – Air India Express Flight 812 overshot the runway at Mangalore International Airport in India, killing 158 and leaving 8 survivors.
- July 28, 2010 – Airblue Flight 202 en route from Karachi to Islamabad crashed in the Margalla Hills near Islamabad, killing all 152 aboard.
- 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. 32 people died and 64 people were injured out of the 4232 people aboard.
- June 3, 2012 – Dana Air Flight 992 crashed in the Nigerian city of Lagos, killing all 153 people aboard. 10 people on the ground also perished.
- August 18, 2012 – A plane carrying four people – two pilots, the Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government Jesse Robredo and his aide, crashed off the shore of Masbate Island en route to Robredo's hometown of Naga City from Cebu City. His aide survived the crash, however the Secretary and the two pilots did not survive.
- July 6, 2013 – Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed at San Francisco airport killing 3 and injuring 181 people.
- March 8, 2014 – Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The bulk of the plane is still missing, with all 239 people on board presumed dead. The first remains of the aircraft were found on July 29, 2015, after they washed ashore on Réunion Island,
- April 16, 2014 – South Korean ferry MV Sewol capsized while carrying 476 people on board, mostly secondary school students from Danwon High School (Ansan City). Over 290 people were confirmed dead with 8 people missing, while 172 people survived the disaster; the school principal who organized the trip later committed suicide, bringing the number of survivors down to 171.
- July 17, 2014 – Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine and crashed near the Ukrainian-Russian border, killing all 298 people on board.
- July 24, 2014 – Air Algérie Flight 5017 crashed in southern Mali, killing all 118 passengers and crew.
- December 28, 2014 – Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 crashed in the Java sea after an attempt to avoid heavy thunderstorms, leaving all 162 people dead.
- February 4, 2015 – TransAsia Airways Flight 235 crashed in the Keelung River in Taiwan, 38 people were killed.
- March 9, 2015 – Two helicopters collide in mid-air in a remote area of northwestern Argentina leaving at least ten dead. Among the dead are a group of French sports stars participating in a reality-television show called Dropped.
- March 24, 2015 – Germanwings Flight 9525 crashed in the French Alps, killing all 150 on board.
- May 8, 2015 – Ambassadors Leif Larsen of Norway, Domingo Lucenario of the Philippines, Burhan Muhammad of Indonesia and other diplomats and the two helicopter pilots were killed in a helicopter crash in Pakistan.
- June 30, 2015 – A Lockheed C-130 Hercules operated by the Indonesian Air Force crashed into a crowded residential neighborhood in Medan shortly after take-off from Soewondo Air Force Base, killing 143 people including 22 others on the ground, marking the second-deadliest air disaster to ever occur in Medan and the deadliest crash in Indonesian Air Force peacetime history.
- July 2, 2015 – MB Kim Nirvana, a motorized banca bound for Camotes Islands from Ormoc, Leyte which carried 173 passengers, capsized off the coast of Ormoc killing 62 of its passengers.
- August 22, 2015 – A Hawker Hunter T7 crashes into vehicles on the A27 trunk road during a failed barrel roll attempt at the Shoreham Airshow in Shoreham-by-Sea, England, killing 11 people on the ground, making it the deadliest air show disaster since the 1952 Farnborough air show crash, which killed 31 people.
- 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 finally stopped, 86 days after oil started leaking into the Gulf of Mexico.
- 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.
- 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. 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. 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.
- 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. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimated that the airline industry worldwide would lose €148 million or £130 million a day during the disruption.
- 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.
- 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. Estimates from rescue service officials suggest the death toll may reach 3,000 victims.
- 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. 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.
- June 29, 2012 – A historic derecho caused over a billion dollars in damages over a swath extending from just west of Chicago to over a hundred miles east of the New Jersey coastline. Power outages lasted for days, and over a week in some areas, while a historic heat wave and extremely extensive drought persisted.
- Late October 2012 – Hurricane Sandy caused immense destruction in Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and definitely the east coast of the United States causing a New York shutdown. 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.
- February 24–28, 2015 – A avalanche killed 310 people and wounded over 129 in Panjshir Province, Afghanistan.
- April 25, 2015 – A major earthquake in Nepal, measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, results in more than 7,000 deaths.
- May 12, 2015 – A second major earthquake in Nepal, measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale, results in more than 100 deaths in Nepal.
- May 24, 2015 – ongoing – A heatwave in Southern India resulted in over 800 deaths in areas such as Chennai.
- June 20, 2015 – ongoing – A heatwave in Pakistan resulted in over 1,400 deaths in areas such as Karachi.
- The 2014 West Africa Ebola virus outbreak became the most lethal outbreak of the virus in history, sickening and killing thousands. In August 2014, the World Health Organization declared it a public health emergency of international concern. By early 2015, the epidemic was largely considered to be contained.
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. 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 examples and perspective in this section deal primarily with Western culture and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (February 2014)|
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.
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 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 was still grappling with the Great Recession that began in 2007 and continued into the first half of 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. Over 20% of Japan's population is over the age of 65, making it the most elderly nation. 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. 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.
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. A few years later, during the Hollande administration, the retirement age was lowered back to 60.
|This section requires expansion. (February 2014)|
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. 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.
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. 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 eighteen nations and all fifty states in the United States have legalized same-sex marriage (as of June 27, 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. 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. Ireland, in 2015, became the first nation to legalize same-sex marriage via referendum.
While many western countries are becoming more accepting and tolerant towards gays and lesbians, some nations, such as Russia, have not seen attitudes shift in the same fashion. In 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law that criminalized expression of homosexuality. Prior to its passage, St. Petersburg drafted its own ban on homosexual expression, and banned pride events as well. 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.
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 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.
The youth of the 2010s have also been considered to be the "best-behaved generation on record." In May 2014, the Centers for Disease Control released a report stating that teenage pregnancies and their uses of drugs and alcohol have continued a downward trend to reach record lows since the centers first began collecting data in the 1950s. A similar survey conducted in 2013 showed that the rate of teenagers smoking dropped to 15.7%, the rate of teenagers having underage sex dropped to 34%, and the rate of teenagers getting in a physical fight dropped to 25%, everything much lower compared to their teen counterparts 22 years earlier. Some theories for explaining this drop in rebelliousness among teens include easier access to the Internet that provides more awareness while taking away shock value, and stronger child-parent relationships. However, the popularity of e-cigarettes and other smokeless tobacco products among teenagers has continued to rise.
One controversial Youth Culture trend has been the rise of Social Justice culture among millennials and post-millennials, particularly within the context of internet culture. This culture has drawn media attention due to controversies such as GamerGate, in which Social Justice-focused internet communities and bloggers reacted to perceived misogyny on behalf of video gamers and gamer culture. These bloggers and movements have at times been derogatorily referred to as "Social Justice Warriors", under the assumption by their critics that they take political correctness to extremes. This controversy and aspect of 2010s youth culture also manifested itself in several events on college campuses, such as the University of Missouri protests in late 2015 and the protesters' interactions with the media.
Other societal trends
New urbanism and urban revival continue to be forces in urban planning in the United States and other developed countries. However, evidence shows that growth of American suburbs still outpaces urban growth.
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. However, this could all change dramatically in the coming years as China's economy is very unpredictable and may falter.
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. However, in spite of this focus on individuality, subcultures such as goth, grunge, emo, and punk are no longer as ubiquitous as they have been in the past, though hipster culture has been a major individualistic, subcultural identity in the 2010s - distinguished in large part by its focus on individuality, combination of ironic fascination with pop culture nostalgia and critical stances on current events combined with idealistic aspirations. Hipster culture is also distinctive in its relatively understated and socially accepted appearance in contrast to other/previous major subcultures.
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[update] 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, and New Age thought in general, 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
- 2010 March – At CERN, the Large Hadron Collider's first high-power collisions took place.
- 2010 May – Scientists announced that they had developed a form of synthetic life.
- 2010 May – Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology published a draft sequence of the Neanderthal (Homo neanderthalensis) genome. Subsequent analysis discovered the first strong evidence of widespread interbreeding between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens (modern humans).
- 2010 – Solar aircraft became increasingly popular during the decade spearheaded by the Solar Impulse Project and QinetiQ Zephyr.
- 2011 August – NASA announced that its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured photographic evidence of possible liquid water on Mars during warm seasons.
- 2012 July – CERN scientists announced they had detected the Higgs boson.
- 2014 June – Scientists discover a water reservoir beneath the Earth's crust possibly three times the capacity of the world's oceans.
- 2014 – The Philae probe from the Rosetta spacecraft lands successfully on the surface (at a site named Agilkia) of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
- 2014 – The IPCC Fifth Assessment Report is scheduled to appear.
- 2015 March – NASA's Dawn probe enters orbit around Ceres, becoming the first spacecraft to visit a dwarf planet.
- 2015 July – NASA's New Horizons probe became the first spacecraft to reach Pluto, completing its main mission, and is continuing on into the Kuiper belt.
- 2018 October – NASA plans to launch the James Webb Space Telescope and replace the Hubble Space Telescope.
- 2019 – The European Spallation Source is expected to go in to operation in Lund, Sweden 
- 201x – Both the International Linear Collider and ITER may be completed during the latter half of the decade.
Information and communications
- 2010 – Sales for PCs steadily decline as more and more people purchase tablet computers and laptop convertibles.
- April 2010 – Apple Inc. launches the iPad, its first tablet computer, which offers multi-touch interaction with multimedia formats including newspapers, magazines, ebooks, textbooks, photos, movies, TV shows, videos, music, word processing documents, spreadsheets, and 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.
- February 2011 – The IPv4 internet addresses officially ran out. An early period of transition to IPv6 continued during 2011.
- March 2011 – More than 2 billion people used the Internet.
- Sometime in 2011 – One billion mobile broadband users predicted and 4.6 billion people worldwide were subscribed to mobile phones.
- June 2011 – Mobile phone apps, introduced in the late-2000s, explode in popularity; Americans spent more time using apps than using the World Wide Web.
- 2012 – Tablet and smartphone sales 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.
- 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 used 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.
- 2019 – Supercomputers are projected to reach exaflop scale.
- 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.
- 2011 – Google develops the world's first self-driving car to be licensed for use on public roads. On May 28, 2014, Google presented a new prototype of their driverless car that had neither steering wheel nor pedals.
- 2013 – Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk proposes the Hyperloop, although is too busy leading both SpaceX and Tesla Motors to implement the plan, so decides to release his Hyperloop plans for free to the world, and allow others to profit from his innovation.
Software and legal issues
- Collaborative source code sharing website GitHub becomes in 2011 the world's most popular open source hosting site, after in the previous decade attaining the title of the world's most popular Git hosting site.
- Oracle sued Google over the use of Java-related technology in Google's popular Android operating system for smartphones and tablet computers.
- Following an unprecedented internet protest and blackout campaign in 2012 in which many popular websites such as Wikipedia took part, the widely-criticised Stop Online Piracy Act bill was temporarily withdrawn in the US Congress, pending resolution of the issues identified.
- Hotline is revolutionized by Pitbull Pro 3 (A Remake of the Original Pitbull Pro 2 for Mac) made by UberFoX.
- The Republic Act No. 10175 or the The Cybercrime Prevention Act in the Philippines was officially signed into law by President Benigno Aquino III on September 12, 2012.
Medicine and 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. In 2013, Google creates Calico in order to research ways to combat aging.
Additional notable world-wide events
- 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.
- February 6, 2012 – The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II marks the 60th anniversary of her accession to the thrones of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and the 60th anniversary of her becoming Head of the Commonwealth.
- 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.
- April 27, 2014 – The Catholic Church canonizes Popes John XXIII and John Paul II on Divine Mercy Sunday.
- June 19, 2014 – King Juan Carlos I of Spain abdicates in favor of his son, who ascends the Spanish throne as King Felipe VI.
- July 27, 2014 – Approximately 2 million members of the Iglesia ni Cristo joined the worship rites held at the Philippine Arena for the centennial celebration of the religious sect. INC also grabs 2 additional Guinness world records for the "World's Largest Mixed-Use Theater" and "World's Largest Gospel Choir."
- January 18, 2015 – An estimated 6 to 7 million attended the Concluding Eucharistic Celebration in Manila on the Feast Day of Santo Niño de Cebú, ending the 5-day apostolic and state visit of Pope Francis in the Philippines, making it as the largest papal crowd in history, surpassing the previous record
Republican demonstration in the Puerta del Sol on the day that Juan Carlos announced his decision to abdicate
Postmodernism and green design are common themes present in architecture of the decade. The aftermath of the energy crisis and the threat of peak oil have pushed developers to create structures that are as sustainable as possible, whether through the use of natural lighting, green/white roofs, better insulation, or 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 the Middle East have been regarded as the "architect playgrounds" of this decade. Many iconic structures, including the world's tallest building Burj Khalifa and the Shanghai Tower, are located 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 struggling 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 long because other projects, expected to rise even higher, have been proposed or approved. One example is the Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia.
The Gotthard Base Tunnel, the world's longest railway tunnel, is scheduled for completion in 2017 or 2018. One World Trade Center, completed in 2014, is the tallest building in the United States and the Western Hemisphere.
The 2010s (2010–present) have, thus far, been defined by a revival of interwar, austerity era, 1980s (2010–13), early 1990s and skater fashions. In the early 2010s, many late 2000s fashion trends have remained popular in Europe, the US, Latin America, Australasia and Asia, especially the indie pop and grunge look which largely draws upon 1960s Mod clothing combined with elements of 1970s garage rock and contemporary alternative fashion.
Latin American teens and young adults, who began keeping 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 "Thrift Shop" look, have also, thus far, had a considerable impact upon mainstream fashion throughout the decade. Full-printed T-shirts with diverse patterns (cosmic, clouds, historic architecture, and tribal) have been a noticeable fashion trend.
In many Western countries, the growing of a full beard became a popular trend among 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.
Notably, in North America in particular, fashions have not only become more minimalistic but also become much less colorful than they have been in the past, with earth tones becoming considered the most acceptable color palette for fashionable clothing. A result of this is that statedly dark or monochrome clothing has been viewed as unfashionable in North America during the 2010s, with pinstripes and dark suits or shirts considered a fashion faux-pas. Additionally, bright pastels and neon colors are also considered highly unfashionable.
Film and television
Film and television, two industries that have dominated pop culture for a large part of the last century, are now finding themselves struggling to maintain their influence. The struggles plaguing the music industry in the previous decade have begun to catch up to other mediums, for example 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 is even further harming the industry's image. In 2008, the industry launched the joint venture video site Hulu to combat numerous concerns about piracy from other video-sharing sites. As of 2010[update], Hulu was contemplating a US$2 billion IPO. As of 2012[update], 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 which were heavily lobbied by the entertainment industry but widely unpopular among the general 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 subscriber numbers as cord cutters unsubscribed in favour of online streaming services such as Hulu, Netflix and Amazon.com's Prime service, which offer lower costs to consumers. These non-cable, internet-based media streaming services even began producing their own programming.
TV sets, such as the Samsung SmartTV, start integrating the internet into traditional television. This gives more traditional and higher quality choices than cable, along with more family friendly middle class entertainment.
Although not a new technology, 3D films 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 assured the film industry that 3D movies were not a fad. In addition, 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 art form or a casualty to the rise of CGI-based films. Japanese anime still remain fairly popular 2D mediums globally, and may be the exception to this trend. 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. 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 return in 2013 as online broadcasts through a joint 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 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
- The King's Speech (2010)
- The Artist (2011)
- Argo (2012)
- 12 Years a Slave (2013)
- Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)
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 were popular in the 1990s and 2000s decline in popularity c. 2009 – c. 2011 with more electropop and indie influenced sounds. Hip-hop makes a slight comeback around 2013 but is not as mainstream as in the 1990s and 2000s. There were musical paradigm shifts in the previous decade with regard to 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, all of which have had major effects on the state of music globally in a relatively short period of time. According to a Nielsen and Billboard report, digital music sales in 2012 topped the physical sale of music.
With regard to popular music, the heavy use of Auto-Tune and talk box has been declining 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, with EDM achieving mass commercial success as popular music moves away from the hip-hop orientated sound that dominated the previous decade. In the early 2010s, dubstep and drumstep, originating in the United Kingdom, rose in popularity globally. 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 North America, with music festivals such as Defqon 1, IQON and The sound of Q-dance.
Record of the Year Grammy Winners
- Usain Bolt retained fame as one of the best athletes during the 2010s.
- Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time after winning his 22nd medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
- 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.
- LeBron James leaves the Cleveland Cavaliers as a free agent, and signs with the Miami Heat, to play alongside Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh who would later lead them to two NBA championships. On July 11, 2014, James announced he would be returning to Cleveland.
- Manchester City became only the fifth team to win the Barclays Premier League, doing so in 2012 and 2014.
- Atletico Madrid became the first team other than FC Barcelona and Real Madrid to win La Liga since Valencia CF in 2004, doing so in 2014.
- Individual transfer fees in association football reaching and exceeding £50m became more common, with Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea, Manchester Utd, AS Monaco and Manchester City all making at least one signing worth £50m or more. Real Madrid would break the world record for the highest fee paid for a single player for the fifth consecutive occasion as a result of their £85.6m signing of Gareth Bale from Tottenham Hotspur in September 2013.
- In May 2014, Real Madrid became the first team to have won ten European Cups as a result of their 4-1 victory in extra-time over rivals Atletico Madrid in the 2014 UEFA Champions League Final.
- On May 27, 2015, Football's world governing body FIFA is accused by U.S. law enforcement officials of bribery totalling hundreds of millions of dollars over more than 20 years, including a scheme involving the 2010 World Cup. Fourteen people are under indictment.
The trend of musicals being based on movies reaches a peak in 2013 when for the first time, when the four nominees for the Best Musical Tony Award are all based on movies.
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.
Entering the 2010s, video games (and their associated culture) mature 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 in 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, 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 with or even surpassing records of the film industry's opening numbers that week.
The first few years of the decade was dominated primarily by seventh generation consoles. This includes Microsoft's Xbox 360, the Sony PlayStation 3, and Nintendo's Wii. The PC, however still remains the preferred medium of the Sims franchise and many of Blizzard's popular titles despite the fact that they themselves are expanding to 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 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.
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 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. 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 following articles contain brief timelines which list the most prominent events and predicted prominent events of the decade:
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- News Headlines
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