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Millennium: 3rd millennium
Centuries: 20th century21st century22nd century
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Years: 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

The 2010s (pronounced "twenty-tens" or "two thousand (and) tens") is a decade in the Gregorian calendar. It began on January 1, 2010 and will end on December 31, 2019.


Two pronunciations are used to mention specific years of the 21st century in English.[1][2][3][4][5] For example, 2016 is either pronounced "twenty-sixteen" or "two thousand (and) sixteen".[2]

Global financial crisis[edit]

See also: § Economics

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.[6] However, economic issues, including inflation and an increase in commodity prices, sparked unrest in many lower-income countries. In some countries, particularly those in the Arab world, political unrest evolved into socioeconomic crises. This set off numerous revolutions, including those 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.[citation needed]


The prominent wars of the decade include:

International wars[edit]

Civil wars, guerrilla wars and political revolutions[edit]

Arab Spring[edit]

  • Arab Spring (December 17, 2010-) – a revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests in the Arab world that began Friday, December 17, 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 the 2012 Egyptian presidential election. 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 continued.
    • Libyan Civil War (February 15-) – a series of demonstrations and riots held against Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule. 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.[23] Gaddafi was killed during the Battle of Sirte on October 20, 2011.
    • Protests started in other Arab countries, including Yemen, Jordan, Sudan and Saudi Arabia.
    • Syrian Civil War (March 15, 2011-) – 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. a series of demonstrations and riots held against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. 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 the uprising to be a civil war.

Political events[edit]


The most prominent coups d'état committed against the ruling governments during the decade include:

Terrorist attacks[edit]

The most prominent terrorist attacks committed against civilian populations during the decade include:

Nuclear weapons[edit]

  • In 2005, Iran's nuclear program became a source of tension due to fears that Iran could possibly divert civilian nuclear technology into a nuclear weapons program. This led the UN Security Council to impose sanctions against Iran on select companies linked to Iran's nuclear program, causing further economic isolation of Iran. In 2015, the US and Iran agreed to trade sanctions relief for explicit constraints on Iran's nuclear program, including permanently closing their plutonium reactor, shipping enriched uranium to Russia, reducing the number of uranium-enriching centrifuges by two-thirds and allowing some inspections of nuclear facilities. In January 2016 the US certified that Iran had complied with the agreement. Iranians convicted of sanctions violations were traded for imprisoned Americans as part of the certification.
  • 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 access to weapons of mass destruction.
  • During the 2013 Korean crisis, North Korea's actions suggested that North Korea might launch a nuclear attack against the United States, Japan or South Korea. In 2016, North Korea claimed to have tested a hydrogen bomb, although the US disputed this claim.

Cyber security and hacking[edit]

  • Cyber security incidents (such as incidents of hacking, leaks or theft of sensitive information) gained increased attention of governments, corporations and individuals.
  • WikiLeaks published three massive sets of documents pertaining to the Iraq War, the Afghanistan War and US diplomacy, among others. This affected legislation and regulations in multiple countries.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Prominent political events[edit]

The prominent political events include:

Obama and Medvedev signing the New START treaty in Prague.
Benigno S. Aquino III taking his oath of office as the 15th President of the Philippines.
Benedict XVI in popemobile at his final Wednesday General Audience in St. Peter's Square on 27 February 2013.
2011 Egyptian revolution: Demonstrators in Cairo's Tahrir Square on February 8, 2011

Gallery of notable world leaders[edit]

Note: State leaders in bold have led their respective states throughout this decades' entirety, without interruption, as of February 2016.

Assassinations, targeted killings and assassination attempts[edit]

Prominent assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts include:


The most prominent disasters include:

Non-natural disasters[edit]



  • 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.
  • 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.
  • June 1, 2015 – The river cruise ship Dong Fang Zhi Xing capsized in the Yangtze River after being hit by a waterspout. Out of the 454 people on board there were only 12 survivors, making it the deadliest maritime disaster in China's peacetime and the worst since the sinking of the Taiping in 1949.
  • July 2, 2015 – MB Kim Nirvana, a motorized jukung bound for Camotes Islands from Ormoc, Leyte which carried 173 passengers, capsized off the coast of Ormoc killing 62 of its passengers.


The Deepwater Horizon oil spill as seen from space by NASA's Terra satellite on May 24, 2010

Natural disasters[edit]

Damage in downtown Port-au-Prince, 13 January 2010
Chileans look at tsunami-provoked damage in the city of Pichilemu, following the 2010 Chile earthquake.
2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami: An aerial view of tsunami damage in Tōhoku
The eye of Irene as viewed from the International Space Station
Animated enhanced infrared satellite loop of Typhoon Haiyan from peak intensity to landfall in the Philippines



In the United States, a Gallup poll in 2011 found that more than half of Americans believed the country was still in a recession.[64] Global oil production in 2014 reached an historic peak, reaching 93 million barrels/day.[65]

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. In the summer and fall of 2011 bond yields for Italy and Spain spiked above 6 percent.[66] By 2015 bond rates had returned to normal ranges across Europe, save for Greece, which accepted another, even more stringent bailout package. The size of the European Financial Stability Facility was increased from €440 billion to €2 trillion.[67]

China became the second largest global economy, surpassing Japan.[68]

In August 2011, the S&P downgraded the United States' credit rating from triple AAA to AA-plus.[69]

Japan also saw a rating downgrade due to debt burden.[70]

Society and trends[edit]

Many countries reported declining fertility rates in their 2010 censuses.[71] Young people now spent their entire lives in the context of online interactive technology.[72]


The 2010s are the decade in which most baby boomers in developed nations are to retire, putting pressure on pension programs and other safety net programs. The consequences of an aging society were felt hardest in Europe, Russia and Japan, which were the first to experience substantial population decline.[73][74][75] Over 20% of Japan's population is over the age of 65, making it the most elderly nation.[76] As a result, Japan examined alternative solutions for elder care, including robots.[77][78] In the United States, proposals for revising Medicare and Social Security proliferated, including raising the age of retirement or adjusting benefit amounts. Opponents instead wanted to increase benefit levels.[79][80][81][82][83]

In 2010, France debated and raised the retirement age to 60 from 62, despite widespread demonstrations in opposition.[84] A few years later the threshold was lowered back to 60.[85]

Political polarization[edit]

Political polarization increased as conservatives and progressives clashed over the role of government and other social, economic and environmental issues. US polls showed a divided electorate regarding job creation, debt reduction and taxation.[86][87][88][89][90][91] Street movements protesting the increasing numbers of refugees from Islamic nations have developed, such as the English Defence League and Pegida.[92][93]

LGBT rights[edit]

Acceptance of LGBT people slowly increased.[94][95][96] In June 2011 the United Nations passed its first motion in support of LGBT rights.[97][98] Although many nations allowed gays to serve in their militaries, a major milestone came in September 2011 when the US abolished its "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.[99][100] Marriage for same-sex couples was an ongoing debate in many nations, while over eighteen nations legalized same-sex marriage.[101][102][103][104][105] Ireland, in 2015, became the first nation to legalize same-sex marriage via referendum.[106]

In 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law that criminalized expression of homosexuality.[107] Prior to its passage, St. Petersburg drafted its own ban on homosexual expression, and banned pride events as well.[108]

Youth culture[edit]

In 2013, Baauer's "Harlem Shake" was the first Internet meme song to reach the #1 spot on the Billboard Top 100, reflecting a shift in popular culture as Internet memes became mainstream.

The youth of the 2010s were called the "best-behaved generation on record." In May 2014, the US Centers for Disease Control released a report stating that teenage pregnancies and their uses of drugs and alcohol reached record lows.[109] A 2013 survey showed that the rate of teen smoking dropped to 15.7%, the rate of teenagers having underage sex dropped to 34% and the rate of teenagers participating in a physical fight dropped to 25%, much lower than their counterparts 22 years earlier.[110] E-cigarette and other smokeless tobacco product use among teenagers rose.[111]

One controversial trend was the rise of Social Justice culture among millennials and post-millennials. This culture drew 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 denigrated as "Social Justice Warriors" who take political correctness to extremes. This controversy manifested itself on college campuses, such as the University of Missouri protests in late 2015.

Other social trends[edit]

New urbanism and urban revival influenced urban planning in the United States and other developed countries.[112] However, growth of American suburbs still outpaces urban growth.[113]

Environmentalism gained, though action on curbing fossil fuels has been limited.[114]

China was increasingly called a superpower in the early 2010s, including at the 2011 meeting between Hu Jintao and Barack Obama. China overtook the US as the world's largest trading nation, filing the most patents, expanding its military, 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 was projected to have the world's largest economy by 2018 with an estimated GDP per capita equal to the US by the late 2050s.[115]

In America, migration declined to its lowest level since tracking began in 1948.[116]

AIDS, a pandemic responsible for killing over 30 million people since its discovery in the early 1980s, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, became a treatable condition, though only one case had been cured.[117] With good treatment patients can generally expect normal lives and lifespans. However, as of 2011 only some 5 million of the 12 million afflicted have access to such treatment.[117]

Science and technology[edit]

List of years in science (table)
Image from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter showing photographic evidence of possible liquid water on Mars.
NASA announced that its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured photographic evidence of possible liquid water on Mars on 5 August 2011.
Image of the CERN Large Hadron Collider featuring the main pipe and tracks for transports.
The first collisions of CERN's Large Hadron Collider took place on 31 March 2010.


These are the 10 most significant scientific researchs by year based on the annual award Breakthrough of the Year made by the AAAS journal, Science.

  • 2010: The first quantum machine[118]
    • Synthetic biology
    • Neandertal genome
    • HIV prophylaxis
    • Exome Sequencing/Rare disease genes
    • Molecular dynamics simulations
    • Quantum simulator
    • Next-generation genomics
    • RNA reprogramming
    • The return of the rat
  • 2011: HIV treatmente as prevention (HPTN 052)[119]
    • Hayabusa satellite
    • Ancient interbreeding
    • Photosystem II
    • Pristine gas
    • Microbiome
    • Malaria vaccine
    • Exoplanets
    • Designer Zeolites
    • Senescent cells
  • 2012: Discovery of the Higgs boson[120]
    • Denisovan genome
    • Genome engineering
    • Neutrino mixing angle
    • ENCODE research project
    • Curiosity landing
    • X-ray laser advances
    • Controlling bionics
    • Majorana fermions
    • Eggs from stem cells
  • 2013: Cancer immunotherapy[121]
    • Genetic microsurgery for the masses
    • CLARITY makes it perfectly clear
    • Human Cloning at last
    • Dishing up mini-organs
    • Cosmic particle accelerators identified
    • Newcomer juices up the race to harness sunlight
    • To sleep, perchance to clean
    • Your microbes, your health
    • In vaccine design, looks do matter
  • 2014: Rosetta comet mission[122]
    • The birth of birds
    • Using young blood to fight old age
    • Robots that cooperate
    • Chips that mimic the brain
    • The world’s oldest cave art
    • Cells that might cure diabetes
    • Manipulating memories
    • Rise of the CubeSat
    • Giving life a bigger genetic alphabet
  • 2015: CRISPR genome-editing method [123]
    • Homo naledi
    • Ebola vaccine
    • Psychology replication
    • Pluto (New Horizons spacecraft)
    • Paleoindian DNA
    • Mantle plumes
    • Opiate pathway in yeast
    • Lymphatic system in the central nervous system
    • Bell's theorem


Technological Trends of the Decade[edit]

Technological Marks by Field[edit]

Information and communications[edit]
  • 2010 - Sales for PCs decline in favor of tablet computers and laptop convertibles.[125]
  • 2010 - Apple Inc. launches the iPad, its first tablet computer, which offers multi-touch interaction. The iPad became an immediate bestseller and only months after its release became the best selling tech gadget in history.[126]
  • 2011 - The supply of IPv4 internet addresses was exhausted. An early period of transition to IPv6 continued during 2011.[127]
  • 2011 - More than 2 billion people used the Internet.[128]
  • 2011 - One billion mobile broadband users predicted and 4.6 billion people worldwide were subscribed to mobile phones.[129]
  • 2011 - Americans spent more time using mobile apps than using the World Wide Web.[130]
  • 2012 - Tablet and smartphone sales overtook netbooks.[131]
  • 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 Internet Explorer.[132]
  • 2012 - The Wikimedia Foundation, starts developing Wikidata, its first new project in six years.
  • 2013 - In developed countries smartphones sales surpassed feature phones.
  • 2013 - Streaming media and rental kiosk services such as Netflix and Redbox forced video rental chains such as Blockbusters to close.[133]
  • 2014 - Transparent display screens, 3D glass pyramid holograms and curved touchscreen displays entered the market.
Medicine and biotechnology[edit]
Software and legal issues[edit]

Notable events[edit]

Popular culture[edit]


The Burj Khalifa became the world's tallest building when completed in 2010.

Postmodernism and green design[146][147] were common architectural themes. "Sustainable design " emphasized natural lighting, green/white roofs, better insulation and other cost-saving features.[148] China and the Middle East led in large-scale development.[149][150][151][152]

In 2010, Dubai's Burj Khalifa became the tallest man-made structure ever built, standing at 828 m (2,717 ft).

One World Trade Center, completed in 2014, is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere at 1,776 feet.


Main article: 2010s in fashion

The 2010s have been defined by a revival of interwar, austerity era, 1980s (2010–13), early 1990s and skater fashions.[153] In the early 2010s, many late 2000s fashion trends remained popular, 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 in the mid-1990s, proved to be more conservative

Hipster subculture and the "Thrift Shop" look had a considerable impact upon mainstream fashion. Full-printed T-shirts with diverse patterns (cosmic, clouds, historic architecture, and tribal) trended.

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.[154][155]


In 2015 Excessivism emerged. Other "schools" with strange names included:: Altermodern, Cynical realism, Post-contemporary, Metamodernism, Pseudorealism, Remodernism, Stuckism, SuperflatSanduperstroke.

Film and television[edit]

Movies and television struggled to maintain their position, as online viewing grew rapidly.[156] Piracy was a major concern for the industry.[157][158][159] In 2012 Viacom launched a US$1 billion lawsuit against YouTube for copyright infringement.[160] In early 2012, the United States Congress began debating the SOPA and PIPA bills that were heavily lobbied by the entertainment industry.[161]

Cable providers saw a decline in subscriber numbers as cord cutters switched to lower cost online streaming services such as Hulu, Netflix and Amazon.com's Prime service.[162][163] These non-cable, internet-based media streaming services even began producing their own programming.[164]

TV sets, such as the Samsung SmartTV, started offering online streaming via television.

3D films gained popularity, led by Avatar in late-2009.[165][166][167] In 2010, Avatar became the first film to gross more than US$2 billion.[168] Other 3D releases were also successful.[169][170] The video game and television industries also released 3D content.

Animated films in the 2010s remained predominately computer-generated. Older styles lost favor,[171][172] although (2D) Anime remained popular.[173] Traditionally animated television shows for children remained popular.[174] In 2010, Toy Story 3 became the first animated film to gross more than US$1 billion worldwide.[175]

The American soap opera format lost popularity in favor of reality television and daytime talk shows.[176][177] Long-lived but canceled shows All My Children and One Life to Live return in 2013 as online content.[178] Prime-time television serials and Spanish-language telenovelas remain popular globally.[179]

In 2010, Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to receive the Academy Award for Best Director for the 2009 movie The Hurt Locker.[180]

Superhero and science fiction films became box office leaders.[181] In 2015, Star Wars: The Force Awakens became the highest grossing film of all time.

Academy Award for Best Picture winners

Palme d'Or winners at the Cannes Film Festival

César Award for Best Film winners

Best films of the Sight & Sound annual poll


Main article: 2010s in music

EDM, synthpop, indie, and trap see mainstream success throughout the early to mid 2010s. R&B and hip-hop grew again around 2013.[204][205] Digital music sales in 2012 topped CD sales.[206]

The use of Auto-Tune and talk box declined in the decade. Dance and pop music surged into the 2010s,[207][208][209] with EDM achieving mass commercial success.[210] In the early 2010s, dubstep and drumstep, originating in the United Kingdom, rose in popularity globally.[211][212][213] Drumstep is continuing to grow in popularity along with drum and bass. 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.[214][215][216][217]

Streaming services such as Pandora Radio and Spotify became the preferred music delivery systems.[218]

Record of the Year Grammy Winners



In 2013 for the first time, the four nominees for the Best Musical Tony Award were all based on movies.

Video gaming[edit]

The Nintendo 3DS is the first gaming device released to feature 3D gaming without the need for stereoscopic glasses.

cloud gaming, stereoscopic 3D gaming, and ongoing improvements in graphics were some of the biggest trends. Video game sales declined in the early-2010s, most likely due to the effects of the Great Recession.[220] Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, released in late-2011, made over US$775 million in one-week, matching the highest grossing films.[221] According to the Entertainment Software Association, the average age of a person who plays video games is 30.[222]

The decade began dominated primarily by seventh generation consoles, such as Xbox 360, the PlayStation 3 and Wii.[223] Games such as the Sims franchise and many of Blizzard's popular titles remained popular on PCs and expanded to other devices.[224][225] The OnLive console was released in 2010 becoming the first massively produced cloud gaming-based gaming device.[226] 2012 introduced the first console regarded to be in the eighth generation, the Wii U, followed in late 2013, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. They faced stiff competition from tablet and smartphones.[227][228]

The Nintendo 3DS, released in early 2011 introduced a glasses-free interface for 3D.[229] The 2D PlayStation Vita was released in 2012. The Wii introduced the sensor bar with compatible sensitive controllers, followed by the PlayStation Move and Kinect. This expanded the video game market to the elderly and those interested in physical therapy.[230][231][232][233]

See also[edit]


The following articles contain brief timelines of each year:


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