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Arab SpringRussian Annexation of CrimeaWar against the Islamic StateBrexitParis AgreementIPhoneObergefell v. HodgesEvent Horizon Telescope
From top left, clockwise: Anti-government protests called the Arab Spring arose in 2010–2011, and as a result, many governments were overthrown, including when Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi was killed; Crimea is annexed by Russia in 2014; ISIS/ISIL perpetrates terrorist attacks and captures territory in Syria and Iraq; climate change awareness and the Paris Agreement; the Event Horizon Telescope captures the first image of a black hole in 2019; Obergefell v. Hodges legalizes same-sex marriage in the United States in 2015, marking continuing progress for LGBT rights in developed countries; increasing use of digital media and rise of mobile devices; the UK votes to leave the EU in 2016 on a rising tide of populism throughout the decade.

The 2010s (pronounced "twenty-tens" or "two thousand [and] tens"), variously nicknamed "the '10s" ("the Tens"), "the Tenties", or more rarely "the Teens", was a decade that began on January 1, 2010, and ended on December 31, 2019.

The decade began with an economic recovery from the late 2000s financial crisis. Inflation and interest rates stayed low and steady throughout the decade, gross world product grew from 2010 to 2019. Global economic recovery accelerated during the latter half of the decade, fueled by strong economic growth in many countries, robust consumer spending, increased investment in infrastructure, and the emergence of new technologies.[which?] However, the recovery developed unevenly. Socioeconomic crises in some countries—particularly in the Arab world—triggered political revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, and Bahrain as well as civil wars in Libya, Syria, and Yemen in a regional phenomenon that was commonly referred to as the Arab Spring. Meanwhile, Europe had to grapple with a debt crisis that was pronounced early in the decade. Shifting social attitudes saw LGBT rights make substantial progress throughout the decade, particularly in developed countries.

The decade saw the musical and cultural dominance of dance-pop, electronic dance music, hipster culture and electropop. Globalization and an increased demand for variety and personalisation in the face of music streaming services such as Spotify, SoundCloud and Apple Music created many musical subgenres. As the decade progressed, diversity was also seen with the mainstream success of K-pop, Latin music and trap. Superhero films became box office leaders, with Avengers: Endgame becoming the highest-grossing film of all time.[note 1] Cable providers saw a decline in subscribers as cord cutters switched to lower cost online streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and Disney+. The video game industry continued to be dominated by Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft; while indie games became more popular, with Minecraft becoming the best-selling game of all time. Handheld console gaming revenue was overtaken by mobile gaming revenue in 2011. The best-selling book of this decade was Fifty Shades of Grey. Drake was named the top music artist of the decade in the U.S. by Billboard.[note 2]

The United States continued to retain its superpower status while China sought to expand its influence in the South China Sea and in Africa through its economic initiatives and military reforms. It solidified its position as an emerging superpower, despite causing a series of conflicts around its frontiers. Within its border, China enhanced its suppression and control of Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and Tibet. These developments led the United States to implement a containment policy and initiate a trade war against China. Elsewhere in Asia, the Koreas improved their relations after a prolonged crisis between the two countries, and the War on Terror continued as a part of the U.S.'s continued military involvement in many parts of the world. The rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant extremist organization in 2014 erased the Syria-Iraq border, resulting in a multinational intervention against it. In Africa, South Sudan broke away from Sudan, and mass protests and various coups d'état saw longtime strongmen deposed. In the U.S., celebrity businessman Donald Trump was elected president amid an international wave of populism and neo-nationalism. The European Union experienced a migrant crisis in the middle of the decade and withdrawal of the United Kingdom as a member state following the historic United Kingdom EU membership referendum. Russia attempted to assert itself in international affairs, annexing Crimea in 2014.

Information technology progressed, with smartphones becoming widespread. Internet coverage grew from 29% to 54% of the world population, and also saw advancements in wireless networking devices, mobile telephony, and cloud computing. Advancements in data processing and the rollout of 4G broadband allowed data, metadata, and information to be collected and dispersed among domains at paces never before seen while online resources such as social media facilitated phenomena such as the Me Too movement, the rise of slacktivism, and online cancel culture. WikiLeaks gained international attention for publishing classified information on topics related to Guantánamo Bay, Syria, the Afghan and Iraq wars, and United States diplomacy. Edward Snowden blew the whistle on global surveillance, raising awareness on the role governments and private entities play in global surveillance and information privacy. Baidu (4th), Twitter (6th) and Instagram (8th) emerged to become among the top 10 most visited websites, while Wikipedia went from the 9th to the 5th most popular website, almost sextupling its monthly visits. Yahoo significantly declined in popularity, descending from being the 1st to the 9th most popular site, with monthly visits declining by two-thirds. Google, Facebook, YouTube and Yandex maintained relatively consistent popularity and remained within the top 10 throughout the decade.

Global warming became increasingly noticeable through new record temperatures in different occurrences and extreme weather events on all continents. The CO2 concentration rose from 390 to 410 PPM over the decade. At the same time, combating pollution and climate change continued to be areas of major concern, as protests, initiatives, and legislation garnered substantial media attention. The Paris Agreement was adopted in 2015, and the global climate youth movement was formed. Major natural disasters included the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, the Nepal earthquake of 2015, the 2018 Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami, the devastating tropical cyclones Bopha (Pablo), Haiyan (Yolanda), and Maria, as well as the 2019 European heat waves.

During the decade, the world population grew from 6.9 to 7.7 billion people. There were approximately 1.4 billion births during the decade (140 million per year), and about 560 million deaths (56 million per year).[3]


The decade has been variously termed "the '10s" ("The Tens"), occasionally "The Teens",[citation needed] and (especially in the UK) "the Tenties".[4][5][6]

Politics and wars[edit]

Flag map of the world from 2015

Major conflicts[edit]

The prominent wars of the decade include:

International wars[edit]

Name Start date End date Description
Israeli–Palestinian conflict 14 May 1948
  • 8 July 2014
  • 26 August 2014
Conflict between Jewish and Arab communities in Israel and the West Bank has been ongoing since 1948.[7] After Israel occupied the West Bank, it began making settlements there, which has been an obstacle to the peace process.[8] Tensions also remained high as Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, has been launching rockets and cross-border raids into Israeli territory, which Israel has responded with force.[9]
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict February 1988
  • 1 April 2016
  • 20 May 2018
  • 5 April 2016
  • 27 May 2018
The region of Karabakh has been disputed over the Republic of Artsakh, which is supported by the Armenian government. A ceasefire was held in 1994. From April 1–5, 2016, clashes began along the Nagorno-Karabakh line of contact with the Artsakh Defence Army, backed by the Armenian Armed Forces on one side and the Azerbaijani Armed Forces on the other. A ceasefire was reached on 5 April between Azerbaijan and Armenia in Moscow. From May 20–27, 2018, clashes in former no man's land[10] in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, an exclave of Azerbaijan, led to Azerbaijan reoccupying Günnüt and several other strategic villages and positions.[11][12]
War on terror 11 September 2001
  • 7 October 2001
  • 20 March 2003
  • 18 June 2004
  • 7 January 2007
  • 13 November 2015
  • 15 August 2021
  • Ongoing
  • 4 July 2018
  • Ongoing
  • 30 October 2019
Motivated by the September 11 attacks, the United States and other governments started a large scale effort to eliminate terrorism.[13] With support from NATO, the United States invaded Taliban-controlled Afghanistan and overthrew the government.[14] Two years later, on the pretext that the government of Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,[15] the United States and a coalition of partners invaded Iraq and overthrew Hussein,[16] after which the U.S. occupied the country.[17] However, insurgencies remained active in both countries, long after the invasions.[18]
2011 military intervention in Libya 19 March 2011 31 October 2011 Following United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, a NATO-led coalition launched an air campaign backing anti-Gaddafi rebels against Muammar Gaddafi's government in the Libyan Civil War.
Russo-Ukrainian War 20 February 2014
  • 20 February 2014
  • 6 April 2014
  • 26 March 2014
  • 24 February 2022
After the fall of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, Russian soldiers took control of strategic positions in the Ukrainian territory of Crimea and subsequently annexed the region after a controversial referendum.[19] In the months that followed, demonstrations in Donbas escalated into an armed conflict between the government of Ukraine and Russian-backed separatist forces. On 24 February 2022, it concluded with the Russian invasion of Ukraine
War against the Islamic State 13 June 2014 Ongoing In late 2013, a terrorist organisation called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant began making rapid advances and territorial gains in Iraq and Syria. It captured Mosul in June[20] and made Raqqa its capital.[21] Various international coalitions led by the United States, France, Russia, and Muslim states and with aid from dozens of countries were formed to help fight the militants.[22][23] By December 2017, ISIL had lost all of its territory in Iraq and 95% of its territory in Syria,[24] and was militarily and territorially defeated on 23 March 2019.[25]
Saudi-led intervention in the Yemeni civil war 26 March 2015 During the Yemeni Civil War, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and other countries invaded parts of Yemen in order to depose the Houthi-controlled government.
Turkish involvement in the Syrian Civil War 5 December 2011
  • 24 August 2016
  • 7 October 2017
  • 20 January 2018
  • 9 October 2019
  • 29 March 2017
  • Ongoing
  • 9 August 2019
  • 25 November 2019
During the Syrian Civil War, Turkey invaded parts of northern Syria in order to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and the Syrian Democratic Forces, fostering and funding the Syrian National Army of the Syrian Interim Government, culminating in its 2019 offensive into northeastern Syria in which over 300,000 civilians were displaced[26] and dozens more killed,[27][28][29] prompting a controversial reaction worldwide in response to reported human rights violations[30][31][32] and resettlement of Kurds which has been viewed as possible ethnic cleansing.[33][34][35]
2019 India–Pakistan border skirmishes 14 February 2019 22 March 2019 After a suicide car bombing on 14 February 2019 where 40 Indian security personnel are killed,[36] the Indian Air Force launches airstrikes on purported terrorist camps in Muzaffarabad and Chakothi areas of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, and Balakot in mainland Pakistan, leading to said standoff.[37] Also involved was Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistani militant group that took responsibility for the bombing and the purported target of Indian attacks.
The war-torn ruins of Donetsk International Airport in late December 2014
In red: the area controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) proto-state in December 2014
Devastation in Mosul's old city after recapture from ISIL in 2017

Civil wars[edit]

Name Start date End date Description
Colombian Armed Conflict 27 May 1964 Ongoing Low-intensity conflict between the Colombian government, left-wing guerrillas, and paramilitary factions has been ongoing since 1964. However, at the start of the decade, only two major groups remained, FARC and ELN.[38] Since 2012, both have been in peace talks with the government, with FARC and the government signing a historic ceasefire in June 2016.[39] Though the deal was initially rejected by voters in October,[40] a revised deal was unanimously passed by the Congress in November 2016, bringing an end to much of the fighting.[41][42]
Insurgency in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 16 March 2004 Since 2004, Pakistan has been fighting an insurgency by armed militant groups aligned with the Taliban or Islamic State along its border with Afghanistan.[43] The violence has killed at least 60,000 since[44] and over 6 million displaced.[45][46][47] By 2014, however, casualties from terrorist and militant attacks had dropped by around 40%.[48][49]
Insurgency in Paraguay 27 August 2005 Since 2005, Paraguay has been fighting a low-level insurgency by Marxist–Leninist[50] armed militant groups.[51] The conflict is estimated to have caused a cumulative 111 deaths by 2020, most of which have been insurgents, local ranchers, and police officers.[51]
Mexican drug war 11 December 2006 Following a rise in criminal violence as a result of influential drug trafficking in the country, President Felipe Calderón declared a war on drugs in 2006.[52] Since then, violence has sharply increased,[53] with a death toll of nearly 300,000[54] over 60,000 missing, and 39,000 unidentified bodies in morgues.[55] Arrests of cartel leaders led to increasing violence as cartels,[56][57] fought for control of trafficking routes into the United States.[58][59][60] The conflict has emphasised corruption and human rights abuses, with bribery, drug smuggling, kidnapping, and protection of cartels being widely reported among government officials.[56][61]
Somali civil war 31 January 2009 In 2009, Al-Shabaab, an Islamist militant group, began waging an insurgency against the newly formed Transitional Federal Government. In 2011, the federal government captured Mogadishu[62] and subsequently retook towns across the country.[63] Since then, the government has attempted to clean out the remaining Al-Shabaab strongholds with help from AMISOM soldiers[64] and military intervention on the part of the United States. Al-Shabaab made a resurgence in 2016, when AMISOM and Kenyan forces were subject to attacks and raids,[65] to which American and Somali forces responded with airstrikes,[66][67] weakening Al Shabaab's territorial prominence. The conflict has cost 300,000 to 500,000 lives and devastated Somalia's infrastructure and humanitarian resources.[68][69]
Boko Haram insurgency 26 July 2009 Sparked by long-standing conflict between Nigeria's Christian and Muslim communities, the Boko Haram insurgency began when the jihadist rebel group started a rebellion against the government.[70] In 2015, the group pledged alliance to ISIL,[71] becoming the world's deadliest terrorist group by 2015.[72][73] The conflict has killed over 37,500 people and displaced 2.5 million, driving 244,000 Nigerian refugees into neighbouring states.[74] Insurgents were weakened in 2015 when Nigerian forces drove them into Sambisa Forest,[75] causing bitter infighting.[76] However, they made a resurgence in 2018-19, with human rights violations; massacres; and mass child kidnappings, exploitation, and torture posing a threat to civilians.[77][78][79][80]
Mali War 16 January 2012 In 2012, a rebellion by Tuaregs in Northern Mali began. After Malian president Amadou Toumani Touré was ousted in a coup, Tuaregs captured Northern Mali,[81] and declared it to be the independent state of Azawad.[82] However, Islamists groups took over Northern Mali from the Tuaregs and imposed sharia law.[83]
South Sudanese Civil War 15 December 2013 22 February 2020 A multi-sided civil war between government and opposition forces including SPLM-IO and other groups. Ugandan troops were deployed to fight alongside the South Sudanese government.[84] The UN deployed peacekeepers as part of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.[85]
War in Iraq 1 January 2014 9 December 2017 The civil war began with the conquest of Fallujah, Mosul, Tikrit and areas of northern Iraq by Islamic State. Nations provided aid in the form of airstrikes, troops and intelligence.[86][87] In December 2017, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced victory over ISIL,[88] though others warned to expect ISIL to continue the fight by other means.[89]
Libyan civil war 16 May 2014 24 October 2020 Following the factional violence that engulfed Libya after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, a second civil war broke out among factions seeking control of the territory and oil of Libya. The conflict was mostly between the House of Representatives (HoR) government that was controversially elected in 2014, also known as the "Tobruk government"; and the rival General National Congress (GNC) government, also called the "National Salvation Government". A permanent ceasefire agreement in all areas became effective from October 2020, ending the war.[90][91]
Yemeni Civil War 16 September 2014 Ongoing Preceded by a decade-long Houthi insurgency,[92] the Yemeni Civil War began between two factions: the then-incumbent Yemeni government and the Houthi militia, along with their supporters and allies. Both claim to constitute the Yemeni government.[93]
Philippine drug war 30 June 2016 There was a rise in criminal violence as a result of drug trafficking, after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was inaugurated in 2016.[94] As of 2020, it has caused about 6000 deaths.[95]
Siege of Marawi 23 May 2017 23 October 2017 The battle of Marawi was a five-month-long armed conflict in Marawi, Philippines, that started on May 23, 2017, between Philippine government security forces against militants affiliated with the Islamic State, including the Maute and Abu Sayyaf Salafi jihadist groups. The battle became the longest urban battle in the modern history of the Philippines.
Anglophone Crisis 9 September 2017 Ongoing Following the suppression of 2016–17 protests by Cameroonian authorities, Ambazonian separatists in the Anglophone regions launched a guerrilla campaign against the Cameroon Armed Forces, and unilaterally proclaimed independence. In November 2017, the government of Cameroon declared war on the separatists and sent its army into the Anglophone regions.
Insurgency in Cabo Delgado 5 October 2017 The insurgency in Cabo Delgado is an ongoing Islamist insurgency in Cabo Delgado Province, Mozambique, fought between militant Islamists and jihadists attempting to establish an Islamic state, and Mozambican security forces. Civilians have been the main targets of terrorist attacks by Islamist militants. The main insurgent faction is Ansar al-Sunna, a native extremist faction with connections to ISIS.
Islamic State insurgency in Iraq 9 December 2017 The insurgency in Iraq is an ongoing low-intensity insurgency that began in 2017 after ISIS lost its territorial control in the War in Iraq, during which ISIS and allied White Flags fought the Iraqi military (largely backed by the United States, United Kingdom and other countries conducting airstrikes against ISIS) and allied paramilitary forces (largely backed by Iran).
Catatumbo campaign January 2018 The Catatumbo campaign has been an ongoing period of violence between militia faction groups in the Catatumbo region of Colombia and Venezuela since January 2018. It is an extension of the War on drugs and developed after the Colombian peace process of 2016.

Revolutions and major protests[edit]

Successful revolutions and otherwise major protests of the decade include, but are not limited to:

Event Date Country Events Ref.
2010 Kyrgyz Revolution 6 April – 14 December 2010  Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev fled Bishkek amid fierce anti-government riots as the opposition seized control. [96]
Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy movement 17 September 2011 – c. 2013  United States Hundreds of protesters marched into the financial district of Wall Street in New York City, beginning the Occupy Wall Street movement. [97]
Rojava revolution 19 July 2012 – present  Rojava A sub-conflict of the Syrian Civil War.
Gezi Park protests 28 May 2013 – 30 August 2013  Turkey A wave of demonstrations and civil unrest in Turkey began on 28 May 2013, initially to contest the urban development plan for Istanbul's Taksim Gezi Park.
Euromaidan and the Revolution of Dignity 21 November 2013 – 23 February 2014  Ukraine Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych fled the country following violent protests in the capital, Kyiv. The opposition-controlled Verkhovna Rada voted to remove Yanukovych as president. [98]
Abkhazian Revolution 27 May – 1 June 2014  Abkhazia In a quick turn of events, the president of the breakway republic, Alexander Ankvab, was ousted from power after the government building was stormed.[99]
2014 Burkina Faso uprising 28 October – 3 November 2014  Burkina Faso A series of demonstrations and riots in Burkina Faso in October 2014. Demonstrations began in response to controversial attempts to introduce a constitutional amendment that would lift term limits and allow President Blaise Compaoré to run for additional terms as president and extend his years in office. On October 30, Compaoré dissolved the government and fled to Côte d'Ivoire and was succeeded by Yacouba Isaac Zida.
2015–2016 protests in Brazil 15 March 2015 – 31 July 2016  Brazil In 2015 and 2016, a series of protests in Brazil denounced government corruption and the presidency of Dilma Rousseff, being the largest popular mobilisations in the country since the beginning of the "New Republic". [100]
Burundian unrest 26 April 2015 – 17 May 2018  Burundi Burundi faces unrest as President Pierre Nkurunziza seeks a third term in office, resulting in hundreds killed and thousands more fleeing the country. [101]
2018–2019 Gaza border protests 30 March 2018 – 27 December 2019  Israel Palestine Protests against the Blockade of the Gaza Strip, with 183 protesters killed.[102]
2018 Armenian Revolution 31 March – 8 May 2018  Armenia Various political and civil groups led by member of parliament Nikol Pashinyan staged anti-government protests in Armenia. Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan resigned on 23 April 2018. Nikol Pashinyan was elected Prime Minister on 8 May 2018. [103][104]
2018 Bangladesh road-safety protests 29 July – 1 September 2018  Bangladesh Nation-wide protests mainly by students after reckless driving caused deaths of two high school students. [105][106]
Yellow vests protests 17 November 2018 – present  France France experiences its worst civil unrest since the protests of 1968 due to the yellow vests movement. Protests in Paris morph into riots, with hundreds of people injured and thousands arrested. Over 100 cars are burned and numerous tourist sites are closed. [107]
Sudanese revolution 19 December 2018 – 12 September 2019  Sudan Amid mass protests, Omar al-Bashir is deposed as President of Sudan in a coup d'état, after nearly 30 years in office. [108]
2019–2020 Hong Kong protests 9 June 2019 – 2020  Hong Kong Mass protests take place in Hong Kong against an extradition bill that many observed would subject Hong Kong residents and those passing through the city to de facto jurisdiction of Chinese courts. Despite Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announcing the bill to be "dead" after weeks of mass protests, waves of localised demonstrations continued, some resulting in violent clashes between police, pro-democracy activists, local residents, and Triad members. [109][110]
2019 Ecuadorian protests 3 – 14 October 2019  Ecuador On 3 October 2019, taxi, bus and truck drivers came out in protest against the planned fuel subsidy abolition and austerity measures announced by President Lenín Moreno. The government seat was relocated from Quito to Guayaquil and a state of emergency was declared following violent protests. [111]
2019–2022 Chilean protests 7 October 2019 – 21 December 2021  Chile On 18 October 2019, a period of mass protests and violent unrest began in Chile. The protests were initially in response to a fare hike on the Santiago Metro, but the scope of the protestors' demands has since expanded. [112]
2019 Bolivian protests 21 October – 21 November 2019  Bolivia Following a disputed election, protests forced Evo Morales, the president since 2006, to resign and flee to Mexico.[113] The new president, Jeanine Áñez, continued to face opposition from pro-Morales protestors.[114]
Concerns over economic inequality, greed and the influence of corporations on government led to the rise of the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011
The 2014 Hong Kong protests
Algerian protesters gather during the 2019 "Smile Revolution"

Arab Spring[edit]

The Arab Spring was a series of anti-government protests, uprisings, and armed rebellions that spread across much of the Islamic world in the early 2010s. It began in response to oppressive regimes and a low standard of living, starting with protests in Tunisia.[115][116] In the news, social media has been heralded as the driving force behind the swift spread of revolution throughout the world, as new protests appear in response to success stories shared from those taking place in other countries. In many countries, the governments have also recognised the importance of social media for organising and have shut down certain sites or blocked Internet service entirely, especially in the times preceding a major rally.[117] Governments have also scrutinised or suppressed discussion in those forums through accusing content creators of unrelated crimes or shutting down communication on specific sites or groups, such as through Facebook.[118]

Event Date Country Description Ref.
Tunisian Revolution 18 December 2010 – 14 January 2011  Tunisia Amidst anti-government protests, Tunisia's president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali dissolved the government, declared a state of emergency and resigned from office. [119]
2011 Egyptian revolution 25 January – 11 February 2011  Egypt On 11 February 2011, Vice President Omar Suleiman announced that Mubarak resigned as president, turning power over to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).
2011 Bahraini uprising 14 February – 18 March 2011  Bahrain 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. [120]
Libyan civil war 15 February – 13 October 2011  Libya Facing protests against his 42-year rule, Muammar Gaddafi refused to step down and sent in the military to brutally quell protests.[121][122] As a result, many army units defected to the opposition and protests soon turned into an armed rebellion.[123] With international help, the rebels captured Tripoli,[124] and eventually Sirte, Gaddafi's hometown and last outpost, where he was killed.[125]
Syrian civil war 15 March 2011 – present  Syria Protests erupted in Syria against President Bashar al-Assad's rule, with police and the army sent in to crack down on protesters.[126][127] They later morphed into war after army officers defected to the opposition, forming the Free Syrian Army (FSA).[128] It led to the Kurdish parties called the SDF to secede from Northeastern Syria, forming Rojava. The war also allowed for Islamic extremist groups like Al-Nusra Front and ISIL to temporarily take control of vast amounts of territory.
The Arab Spring saw mass unrest in the Arab world early in the decade:
  Government overthrown multiple times
  Government overthrown
  Civil war
  Protests and governmental changes
  Major protests
  Minor protests   Other protests and militant action outside the Arab world
Protesters in Tahrir Square during the Egyptian revolution of 2011.
Anti-Ghaddafi fighters celebrate during the Libyan Civil War.

Nuclear proliferation[edit]

P5+1 and Iranian negotiators meeting in Geneva for the interim agreement on the Iranian nuclear programme (2013)

Terrorist attacks[edit]

The most prominent terrorist attacks committed against civilian populations during the decade include, but are not limited to:

Event Date Country Deaths Injuries Ref.
2010 Lakki Marwat suicide bombing 1 January 2010 Pakistan 105 100+ [145]
2010 Moscow Metro bombings 29 March 2010 Russia 40 102 [146]
2011 Mumbai bombings 13 July 2011 India 26 130+ [147]
2011 Norway attacks 22 July 2011 Norway 77 319+ [148]
2011 Mogadishu bombing 4 October 2011 Somalia 100 110+ [149]
Boston Marathon bombing 15 April 2013 United States 3 264 [150]
Zamboanga City siege 9 September 2013 Philippines 220 70 [151]
Westgate shopping mall attack 21 September 2013 Kenya 67 175 [152]
2014 Kunming attack 1 March 2014 China 35 143
April 2014 Ürümqi attack 30 April 2014 China 1 79
May 2014 Ürümqi attack 22 May 2014 China 43 90
Camp Speicher massacre 12 June 2014 Iraq 1,566 [153]
Lindt Cafe siege 15 December 2014 Australia 3 18 [154]
2014 Peshawar school massacre 16 December 2014 Pakistan 148 114 [155]
2015 Baga massacre 3–7 January 2015 Nigeria 150+ [156]
January 2015 Île-de-France attacks 7–9 January 2015 France 20 22 [157]
2015 Sana'a mosque bombings 20 March 2015 Yemen 142 351 [158]
Garissa University College attack 2 April 2015 Kenya 152 79 [159]
2015 Ramadan attacks 26 June 2015 Various 403 336+ [160]
2015 Ankara bombings 10 October 2015 Turkey 109 400+ [161]
2015 Metrojet crash 31 October 2015 Russia 224 [162]
2015 Beirut bombings 12 November 2015 Lebanon 43 240 [163]
November 2015 Paris attacks 13 November 2015 France 131 413 [164]
2015 San Bernardino attack 2 December 2015 United States 14 22 [165]
2016 Brussels bombings 22 March 2016 Belgium 35 300+ [166]
Orlando nightclub shooting 12 June 2016 United States 49 58 [167]
2016 Atatürk Airport attack 28 June 2016 Turkey 45 236 [168]
July 2016 Baghdad bombings 3 July 2016 Iraq 340 246 [169]
2016 Nice truck attack 14 July 2016 France 87 434 [170]
2016 Berlin truck attack 19 December 2016 Germany 13 55 [171]
Istanbul nightclub shooting 1 January 2017 Turkey 39 70 [172]
2017 Westminster attack 22 March 2017 United Kingdom 6 49 [173]
2017 St. Petersburg Metro bombing 3 April 2017 Russia 15 64 [174]
2017 Stockholm truck attack 7 April 2017 Sweden 5 14 [175]
2017 Camp Shaheen attack 21 April 2017 Afghanistan 140+ 160+ [176]
Manchester Arena bombing 22 May 2017 United Kingdom 22 59 [177]
2017 London Bridge attack 3 June 2017 UK 11 48 [178]
2017 Barcelona attacks 17–18 August 2017 Spain 16 152 [179]
2017 Turku attack 18 August 2017 Finland 2 8 (+1 attacker) [180]
14 October 2017 Mogadishu bombings 14 October 2017 Somalia 587 316 [180]
2017 New York City truck attack 31 October 2017 United States 8 12 [181]
2017 Sinai mosque attack 24 November 2017 Egypt 311 122 [182]
2018 Strasbourg attack 11 December 2018 France 5 11 [183]
Christchurch mosque shootings 15 March 2019 New Zealand 51 40 [184]
2019 Pulwama attack 14 February 2019 India 40 35 [185]
2019 Sri Lanka Easter bombings 21 April 2019 Sri Lanka 269 500+ [186]
2019 El Paso shooting 3 August 2019 United States 23 23 [187]
December 2019 Mogadishu bombing 28 December 2019 Somalia 85 140+ [188]
Montage of the November 2015 Paris attacks. Islamic terrorism in Europe spiked following the rise of the Islamic State in 2014.
Two bombs explode near the finish line at the Boston Marathon on 15 April 2013.
The ruins of buildings destroyed in the 14 October 2017 Mogadishu bombings, which killed over 500 people.

Political trends[edit]

International relations[edit]

BRICS, a supranational economic cooperative comprising five major emerging national economies—Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa—grew to represent over 3.1 billion people, or about 41 percent of the world population by 2015.

China was increasingly called a superpower in the early 2010s, including at the 2011 meeting between President Hu Jintao and United States President Barack Obama. By the end of the decade, China overtook the U.S. as the world's largest trading nation and the country filing the most patents, dramatically expanded its military and landed its lunar rover Yutu on the moon, ending a four-decade hiatus of lunar exploration. In 2018, global military spending reached its highest level since 1988, late Cold War levels, largely fuelled by increased defence spending by the United States (4.6% increase to $649 billion) and China (5% increase to $250 billion). Together, their budgets accounted for half of the world's total military spending.[189] In 2019, the Lowy Institute Asia Power Index, which measures the projections of power across eight indexes in the Indo-Pacific, ranked the United States at #1 with a score of 84.5 and China #2 with a score of 75.9.[190]

Along with the United States and China, Russia under President Vladimir Putin steadily increased its defence spending and continued to modernise its military throughout the decade. This included the development of the T-14 Armata main battle tank and the fifth-generation Sukhoi Su-57 jet fighter. Russia also exercised its power projection capabilities in its 2014 annexation of Crimea and interventions in eastern Ukraine and the Syrian Civil War. Russia also waged information warfare campaigns against its geopolitical foes, interfering in the 2016 U.S. elections via hacking and leaking emails of U.S. political party leadership and by spreading disinformation via the Internet Research Agency. Other alleged Russian intelligence operations included the Skripal poisonings and the Montenegrin coup plot, both of which were attributed by some to the GRU's Unit 29155. Collectively, these activities—and the Western-led efforts to combat them—have been referred to as marking the beginning of the Second Cold War.

The European Union went through several crises. The European debt crisis caused severe economic problems to several eurozone member states, most notably Greece. The 2015 migration crisis led to several million people entering the EU illegally in a short period of time. There was a significant rise in the vote shares of several eurosceptic parties, including the League in Italy, Alternative for Germany, and the Finns Party in Finland. As a result of a referendum, the United Kingdom became the first member state in the EU's history to leave the Union.

Western polarisation[edit]

Socio-political polarisation increased as conservatives and social liberals clashed over the role and size of government and other social, economic and environmental issues in the West. In the United States, polls showed a divided electorate regarding healthcare reform, immigration, gun rights, taxation, job creation, and debt reduction.[191] In Europe, movements protesting increasing numbers of refugees and migrants from Islamic countries developed, such as the English Defence League and Pegida.[192][193] The trend of polarisation in the West was partially influenced by the prevalence of identity politics, both left-wing and right-wing, among activist movements.[194] Beginning around 2011, far-left and progressive concepts such as combating social inequality and economic inequality, often via progressive stack tactics, proliferated in the Western world and elsewhere.[195][196][197] Around the middle of the decade, phenomenon such as white nationalism, identitarianism and emboldened feelings of nativism saw a marked reemergence in the West due to drastically increased migration and corresponding crime and amongst both the right and left general dissatisfaction with Western government and Media responses to certain issues.[198] There were also increased calls for egalitarianism, including between the sexes,[199] and some scholars assert that a fourth wave of feminism began around 2012, with a primary focus on intersectionality.[200][201]

Antiestablishment politics[edit]

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and United States President Donald Trump in 2019. Both are emblematic of a wave of neo-nationalist and globalisation-weary conservative populism in the second half of the decade.

Populism in politics saw a widespread surge throughout the decade, with many politicians and various political movements expressing populist sentiments and utilising populist rhetoric.[202][203] This included conservative wave phenomenon in Latin America and neo-nationalist fervor in Europe and North America. The 2019 European Parliament election saw the highest voter turnout in two decades and saw relatively moderate centre-right and centre-left parties suffer significant losses to less moderate far-right, environmentalist, and both pro-EU and eurosceptic parties, who made gains.[204] Examples of 2010s populist movements included the Tea Party movement,[205] Occupy Wall Street,[206] Brexit,[207] Black Lives Matter,[208] and the alt-right.[209][210] Examples of populist country leaders were just as extensive, with Donald Trump,[211] Narendra Modi,[212] Andrés Manuel López Obrador,[213] Hugo Chávez,[214] Matteo Salvini,[215] Jair Bolsonaro,[216] Rodrigo Duterte,[217] and Boris Johnson, left and right-wing, described as such.

Related to the rise of populism and protests movements was the decline of traditional political parties. In Europe, pasokification described the loss of vote share experienced by traditional centre-left or social democratic parties. In France, specifically, Emmanuel Macron's La République En Marche! party won a majority in its first election in 2017.

Centre-left, neoliberal and traditional social democratic parties often lost their vote share to more socialist or democratic socialist alternatives, especially in Europe. This happened most completely in Greece, where PASOK was replaced by Syriza as the main left-wing party. Other far-left parties which rose in prominence included Podemos in Spain and La France Insoumise in France. In the two-party systems of the English-speaking world, these challenges mainly came from within the established parties of the left, with Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Party and Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour Party pushing for more left-wing policies.

The political establishment was also challenged in many countries by protest movements, often organised through new social media platforms. These included the various Arab Spring protests, the Occupy movement, and the yellow vests movement.

Democracy and authoritarianism[edit]

Xi Jinping became China's leader for life in 2018.

Countries which democratised fully or partially during the decade included Angola, which reformed under João Lourenço;[218] Armenia, which went through a revolution;[218][219] Ecuador, which reformed under Lenín Moreno;[218] Ethiopia;[218][219] and Malaysia, where the ruling party lost the first election since independence.[218][220]

Long-term dictators ousted from power included Muammar Gaddafi of Libya (after 42 years),[221] Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe (37 years),[222] Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen (33 years),[223] Omar al-Bashir of Sudan (30 years),[224] Hosni Mubarak of Egypt (29 years),[225] and Ben Ali of Tunisia (23 years).[226]

Democratic backsliding occurred in countries such as Hungary,[227] Venezuela,[228] and Turkey.[229]

The Arab Winter refers to the resurgence of authoritarianism, absolute monarchies and Islamic extremism[230] evolving in the aftermath of the Arab Spring protests in Arab countries.[231] The term "Arab Winter" refers to the events across Arab League countries in the Mid-East and North Africa, including the Syrian Civil War,[232][233] the Iraqi insurgency and the following civil war,[234] the Egyptian Crisis,[235] the Libyan Crisis and the Crisis in Yemen.[236] Events referred to as the Arab Winter include those in Egypt that led to the removal of Mohamed Morsi and the seizure of power by General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in an anti-Muslim Brotherhood campaign.[237]

In 2018, China's National People's Congress approved a constitutional change that removed term limits for its leaders, granting Xi Jinping the status of "leader for life". Xi is the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (de facto leader).


Sitting world leaders such as Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, Kim Jong-il of North Korea, Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Lech Kaczyński of Poland, Zillur Rahman of Bangladesh, Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan and Beji Caid Essebsi of Tunisia, all died in office, as did former leaders Fidel Castro, Lee Kuan Yew, Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, Robert Mugabe, Giulio Andreotti, Francesco Cossiga, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, Jacques Chirac, Helmut Schmidt, Helmut Kohl, Hussain Mohammad Ershad, Mohamed Morsi, Ariel Sharon, Shimon Peres, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Václav Havel, Malcolm Fraser, Bob Hawke, B. J. Habibie, Yasuhiro Nakasone, Alan García, Jorge Rafael Videla, Néstor Kirchner, Fernando de la Rúa, Patricio Aylwin, Itamar Franco, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and George H. W. Bush.

Prominent political events[edit]


Coups d'état against ruling governments during the decade include:

Event Date Country Ref.
Nigerien coup d'état 18 February 2010  Niger [238]
Malian coup d'état 21 March 2012  Mali [239]
Guinea-Bissau coup d'état 12 April 2012  Guinea-Bissau [240]
Egyptian coup d'état 3 July 2013  Egypt [241]
Thai coup d'état 22 May 2014  Thailand [242]
Yemeni coup d'état 21 September 2014  Yemen [243]
Turkish coup d'état attempt 15 July 2016  Turkey [244]
Zimbabwean coup d'état 14 November 2017  Zimbabwe [245]
Gabon coup d'état attempt 7 January 2019  Gabon [246]
Sudanese coup d'état 11 April 2019  Sudan [247]
Amhara coup d'état attempt 22 June 2019  Ethiopia [248]

The following tables of events is listed by the region and by chronological order. The prominent political events include, but are not limited to:


Event Country Date Description References
2011 South Sudanese independence referendum  South Sudan 9 July 2011 A referendum was held in Southern Sudan on whether the region should remain part of Sudan. An overwhelming majority voted in favour of separation and formed the new country of South Sudan. [249]
Death of Nelson Mandela  South Africa 5 December 2013 Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid activist and President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, died at the age of 95. [250]
2014 Tunisian presidential election  Tunisia 21 November 2014 Beji Caid Essebsi won the first regular presidential election following the Tunisian Revolution against outgoing president Moncef Marzouki. He became Tunisia's fifth president and first freely elected head of state in the Arab world. [251]
2015 Nigerian general election  Nigeria 29 March 2015 Muhammadu Buhari was elected President of Nigeria, the first time the opposition ever won an election against an incumbent and the first ever peaceful transfer of power in the country. [252]
2016 Gambian presidential election  Gambia 1 December 2016 Adama Barrow was elected President of The Gambia, defeating long-time President Yahya Jammeh and ending more than 22 years of authoritarian rule. [253]
Resignation of Jacob Zuma  South Africa 14 February 2018 Jacob Zuma resigns as President of South Africa, after nine years in power. [254]
Resignation of Abdelaziz Bouteflika  Algeria 2 April 2019 Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigns as President of Algeria amid widespread protests, after nearly two decades in office. [108]
Khartoum massacre  Sudan 3 June 2019 Security forces of the Transitional Military Council, the military junta ruling Sudan following the ousting of Omar al-Bashir, massacre over 100 people at a sit-in protest amid mass protests in Khartoum. The massacre prompts the African Union to suspend Sudan's participation until civilian rule is reestablished in the country. [255][256]
2019 Tunisian presidential election  Tunisia 13 October 2019 Conservative academic Kais Saied wins more than 70% of the votes, defeating businessman Nabil Karoui. He became Tunisia's sixth president and second freely elected head of state in the Arab world. [257]


Event Country Date Description References
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act  United States 23 March 2010 President Barack Obama signs the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law, marking a major reform of the U.S. health insurance and health care systems. [258]
2010 Brazilian presidential election  Brazil 31 October 2010 Dilma Rousseff was elected as the first female President of Brazil. [259]
2010 Midterm elections and Tea Party movement  United States 2 November 2010 The Republicans become the dominant party with a majority of the seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and gain seats in the U.S. Senate. This was seen as due to a tide of Libertarian support amongst the U.S. populace exemplified in the Tea Party. [260]
2011 Canadian federal election  Canada 2 May 2011 Stephen Harper, leader of the Conservative Party, is re-elected in Canada's federal election, with a majority government. [261]
2011 Argentine general election  Argentina 23 October 2011 Front for Victory candidate and President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner wins a second term as President of Argentina, defeating Socialist candidate Hermes Binner by 54% of votes. [262]
Impeachment of Fernando Lugo  Paraguay 22 June 2012 On 21 June the Chamber of Deputies voted 76 to 1 to impeach Lugo, and the Senate removed him from office the following day, by 39 votes to 4, resulting in Vice President Federico Franco, who had broken with Lugo, becoming president. [263]
2012 Mexican general election  Mexico 1 July 2012 Enrique Peña Nieto won the Mexican general election, bringing the Institutional Revolutionary Party back to prominence for the first time since 2000. [264]
2012 United States presidential election  United States 6 November 2012 Barack Obama was re-elected President of the United States, defeating Republican nominee Mitt Romney. [265]
Death of Hugo Chávez  Venezuela 5 March 2013 Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez died at the age of 58 after governing the country for 14 years. [266]
Obergefell v. Hodges  United States 26 June 2015 Same-sex marriage was legalised in all 50 U.S. states due to a landmark decision by the Supreme Court of the United States. [267]
2015 Canadian federal election  Canada 19 October 2015 The Liberal Party, led by Justin Trudeau, won Canada's federal election, defeating the Conservative Party in the country's longest election in a century. [268]
2015 Argentine general election  Argentina 22 November 2015 Cambiemos candidate and Buenos Aires Mayor Mauricio Macri became the President of Argentina, defeating Front for Victory candidate Daniel Scioli via ballotage by 51% of votes
2015 Venezuelan parliamentary election  Venezuela 6 December 2015 The Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) won majority seats of the Venezuelan National Assembly, defeating the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and its wider alliance, the Great Patriotic Pole (GPP) for the first time since 1999. [269]
Impeachment of Dilma Rousseff  Brazil 12 May 2016 The Brazilian Senate votes to open the impeachment process against President Dilma Rousseff and suspend her from office while the trial takes place, as the Vice President, Michel Temer, assumes the presidential powers and duties as Acting President of Brazil. [270]
2016 United States presidential election  United States 8 November 2016 Republican nominee Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States, defeating former U.S. Secretary of State and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. He became the first President without prior diplomatic or military experience. [271][272]
Death of Fidel Castro  Cuba 25 November 2016 Former First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and revolutionary leader Fidel Castro died at the age of 90. [273]
2017 Venezuelan constitutional crisis  Venezuela 29 March 2017 The Supreme Tribunal of Justice of Venezuela took over legislative powers of the National Assembly and removed its members' immunity, most of whom belonged to the opposition. The decision was reversed a few days later following domestic and international condemnation of the court's actions. [274]
2017–present Peruvian political crisis  Peru 15 September 2017–present Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski was impeached and later resigned. His successor Martín Vizcarra was removed by congress and appointed Vice President Mercedes Aráoz as interim president, moves that were largely seen as illegitimate. [275]
Inauguration of Miguel Díaz-Canel  Cuba 19 April 2018 Miguel Díaz-Canel is sworn in as President of the State Council of Cuba, marking the first time since 1959 that Cuba has had a prime minister or a president other than Fidel or Raúl Castro.
2018 Mexican general election  Mexico 1 July 2018 Andrés Manuel López Obrador won the historic Mexican general election, bringing the National Regeneration Movement for new prominence for the first time without any political rule like Institutional Revolutionary Party and National Action Party.
2018 Brazilian general election  Brazil 28 October 2018 Jair Bolsonaro was elected President of Brazil, marking the first time that the country is ruled by the right since the start of the New Republic in 1985. The election also interrupted 4 victories of the Workers' Party in a row. [276]
Death of George H. W. Bush  United States 30 November 2018 George H. W. Bush, former president of United States from 1989 to 1993 and former vice president, from 1981 to 1989, dies at the age of 94.
Venezuelan presidential crisis  Venezuela 10 January 2019 On 10 January 2019, the opposition-majority National Assembly declared that incumbent Nicolás Maduro's 2018 reelection was invalid and declared its president, Juan Guaidó, to be acting president of the nation. Maduro's government states that the crisis is a "coup d'état led by the United States to topple him and control the country's oil reserves." [citation needed]
2019 Canadian federal election  Canada 21 October 2019 Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party, is re-elected in Canada's federal election, albeit with a minority government. [277]
2019 Argentine general election  Argentina 27 October 2019 Peronist candidate Alberto Fernández of Frente de Todos is elected President of Argentina, defeating President Mauricio Macri of Juntos por el Cambio by 48% of votes.
2019 Bolivian political crisis  Bolivia 10 November 2019 Bolivian president Evo Morales resigns following 19 days of protests after the disputed 2019 Bolivian general election and following calls for his resignation by the military. [278]
First Impeachment of Donald Trump  United States 18 December 2019 United States president Donald Trump is impeached by the House of Representatives on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. [279]
Miguel Díaz-Canel (left) with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March 2015. Díaz-Canel became the first president of Cuba not to be of the Castro family since Osvaldo Dorticós
Donald Trump, a celebrity (filmography) and businessman, became president of the United States in 2017. Trump was the first U.S. president without prior military or government experience. Had Hillary Clinton been elected in 2016, she would have been the United States' first female president. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in 2016, but did not win the electoral college.


Event Country Date Description References
2010 Myanmar general election  Myanmar 7 November 2010 Thein Sein was elected President of Myanmar, the first civilian President of the country since 1962. [280]
Death of Kim Jong-il  North Korea 17 December 2011 Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il of North Korea died after governing the country for 17 years. His son, Kim Jong-un, succeeded him. [281]
2012 Japanese general election  Japan 26 December 2012 The Liberal Democratic Party, led by Shinzō Abe, won a landslide victory in Japan's general election. [282]
North Korea and weapons of mass destruction  North Korea 11 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, inflaming tensions on the Korean Peninsula. [283]
2014 Indian general election  India 12 May 2014 The Bharatiya Janata Party, led by Narendra Modi, won a landslide victory in India's general election, the first time a single party gained a majority on its own since 1984. [284]
2014 Indonesian presidential election  Indonesia 9 July 2014 Joko Widodo won Indonesia's presidential election, becoming the first president not to be from the country's political elite or military. [285]
Pastoral and state visit by Pope Francis to the Philippines  Philippines 15–19 January 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, the largest papal crowd in history. [286]
Death of King Abdullah  Saudi Arabia 23 January 2015 Abdullah, the King of Saudi Arabia from 2005 to 2015, died and was succeeded by King Salman. [287]
Death of Lee Kuan Yew  Singapore 23 March 2015 Founding Prime Minister of Singapore who ruled from 1959 to 1990, highly regarded as the founding father of the nation, died from pneumonia at the age of 91. [288]
India–Bangladesh enclaves exchange  India  Bangladesh 6 June 2015 India and Bangladesh officially ratified their 1974 agreement to exchange enclaves along their border. [289]
2016 Taiwanese general election  Taiwan 16 January 2016 Tsai Ing-wen was elected President of Taiwan, the first woman to hold the position. [290]
2016 Philippine presidential election  Philippines 9 May 2016 Rodrigo Duterte was elected President of the Philippines. [291]
Death of Bhumibol Adulyadej  Thailand 13 October 2016 Bhumibol Adulyadej, the King of Thailand from 1946 to 2016, died and was succeeded by his son, Vajiralongkorn. [292]
Impeachment of Park Geun-hye  South Korea 10 March 2017 South Korean President Park Geun-hye is impeached by the Constitutional Court of Korea in a unanimous decision, terminating Park's presidency. South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn assumes power following the ruling. [293]
2017 South Korean presidential election  South Korea 9 May 2017 Moon Jae-in was elected the 12th President of South Korea, originally scheduled to take place later in the year, the election was moved to early May following the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye. [294]
2018 Malaysian general election  Malaysia 9 May 2018 The opposition-led Pakatan Harapan coalition, led by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, secures a parliamentary majority in the Malaysian Parliament, ending the 61-year rule of the Barisan Nasional coalition and leading to the pardon of Anwar Ibrahim. [295][296]
2018–2019 Korean Peace Process  South Korea  North Korea  United States February 2018–October 2019 A series of peace summits between the Supreme Leader of North Korea Kim Jong-un, the President of South Korea Moon Jae-in, and the President of the United States Donald Trump. Three inter-Korean summits occurred at the Korean Demilitarized Zone in April 2018, May 2018, and September 2018 between Kim and Moon. Additionally, two meetings between Kim and Trump occurred in Singapore in June 2018 and Hanoi in February 2019. All three leaders met and crossed the DMZ in June 2019. [297][298]
Abdication of Muhammad V of Kelantan  Malaysia 6 January 2019 Muhammad V of Kelantan abdicates the federal throne as the 15th monarch of Malaysia, making him the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong to do so. [299]
2019 Kim–Putin meeting  North Korea  Russia 25 April 2019 North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un meets with Russian president Vladimir Putin on Russky Island after being invited to hold talks. [300]
Abdication of Akihito  Japan 30 April 2019 Akihito, the Emperor of Japan from 1989 to 2019, abdicated and was succeeded by his son, Naruhito. [301]
2019–20 Persian Gulf crisis  Iran  United States 5 May 2019 The Persian Gulf region saw tensions between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran escalate in mid-2019. The crisis saw oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz sabotaged and seized, drone shootdowns, and efforts by the U.S. and United Kingdom to pursue military patrols to protect shipping in the gulf. [302]
In 2013, China launched the ambitious Belt and Road infrastructure initiative, with over 150 countries announcing participation by the end of the decade.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump meet during the first North Korea–United States summit in Singapore, June 2018
Women to drive movement: Women's rights in Saudi Arabia made progress when women were allowed to drive in the kingdom in 2018.


Event Country Date Description References
Resignation of Silvio Berlusconi  Italy 16 November 2011 The longest-serving Prime Minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi, resigned in November 2011, after a sexual allegation scandal, a financial crisis and public protests. The economist Mario Monti was appointed new Prime Minister, at the head of a technocratic cabinet. [303]
2012 Finnish presidential election  Finland 22 January 2012 Sauli Niinistö was elected the President of Finland for a term from 1 March 2012 until 2018.[304][305]
Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II  United Kingdom 6 February 2012 Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, which marked the 60th anniversary of her accession. [306]
2012 French presidential election  France 22 April 2012 François Hollande was elected as the new President of France, becoming the first socialist president of the country in 17 years. [307]
Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and papal inauguration of Pope Francis  Vatican City 28 February – 19 March 2013 Benedict XVI resigned as pope, the first to do so since Gregory XII in 1415, and the first to do so voluntarily since Celestine V in 1294. On 13 March, after a papal conclave, Jorge Mario Bergoglio is inaugurated as Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pope, the first pope from the Americas, and the first non-European Pope in over 500 years. [308][309]
Death of Margaret Thatcher  United Kingdom 8 April 2013 Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990, died. [310]
2013 Italian presidential election  Italy 20 April 2013 Amid growing financial tensions, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano was re-elected, the first ever Italian president to be re-elected. Napolitano appointed Enrico Letta Prime Minister, at the head of a grand coalition. [311]
Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation  Ukraine 18 March 2014 Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine following an internationally unrecognised referendum on the status of the region. [312]
2014 Scottish independence referendum  Scotland 18 September 2014 In a referendum called by the governing Scottish National Party, Scotland voted to remain in the United Kingdom, with 55.3% of votes against independence while 44.7% voted in favour. [313][314]
Abdication of Juan Carlos I of Spain  Spain 19 June 2014 King Juan Carlos I of Spain abdicated in favour of his son, Felipe VI. [315]
2015 Irish constitutional referendums  Ireland 23 May 2015 The Republic of Ireland voted to legalise same-sex marriage, becoming the first country to legalise same-sex marriage by popular vote. [316]
Adoption of the Paris Agreement  United Nations 12 December 2015 A historic agreement aimed at keeping global warming below 2 °C compared to pre-industrial levels and reducing greenhouse gas emissions is adopted by all 195 UNFCCC member states. [317]
2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum  United Kingdom 23 June 2016 In a referendum held in the United Kingdom on whether or not to continue being a member of the European Union, 52% of voters chose to leave it. Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation afterwards, being succeeded by Theresa May. [318][319]
2016 Austrian presidential election  Austria 4 December 2016 Independent green Alexander Van der Bellen narrowly beat the far-right Freedom Party of Austria candidate Norbert Hofer in a repeat of the 2016 Austrian presidential election after the first election was annulled. [320]
2017 French presidential election  France 7 May 2017 En Marche! candidate Emmanuel Macron was elected the President of France, replacing incumbent Hollande and defeating National Front candidate Marine Le Pen in the second round of voting. Macron is the youngest president in the history of the French Fifth Republic. [321]
Death of Helmut Kohl  Germany 16 June 2017 Helmut Kohl, former Chancellor of Germany from 1982 to 1998 (of West Germany 1982–1990 and of the reunited Germany 1990–1998), dies at the age of 87. [322]
2017 Spanish constitutional crisis  Spain 6 September 2017 Political conflict sparks between the Spanish and the Catalan governments over the 2017 Catalan independence referendum. It still went ahead, with 91% of voters supporting independence within Catalonia, with unionists and Spain opposing the vote. On 27 October, Catalonia declares independence from Spain but it is not recognised by any sovereign nation, while Madrid imposes direct rule for 6 months.[323] [324]
2018 Finnish presidential election  Finland 28 January 2018 Finnish Presidential elections were held in Finland on 28 January 2018. Incumbent Sauli Niinistö won reelection for his second consecutive term in office with 62,6 % of the vote. for a term from 1 March 2018 until 2024.
2018 Italian general election  Italy 4 March 2018 The centre-right alliance, in which the right-wing populist League emerged as the main political force, won a plurality of seats in the Chamber of Deputies and in the Senate, while the anti-establishment Five Star Movement became the party with the largest number of votes. After months of negotiations, the two populist parties, M5S and League, formed a government. [325][326]
2018 Russian presidential election  Russia 18 March 2018 Presidential elections were held in Russia on 18 March 2018. Incumbent Vladimir Putin won reelection for his second consecutive (fourth overall) term in office with 77% of the vote. [327]
2019 European Parliament election  European Union 23–26 May 2019 The first European Parliamentary election following the European migrant crisis and the vote for Brexit saw large anti-establishment gains by the Greens-European Free Alliance and by Right-Wing Eurosceptic Parties within Identity and Democracy and European Conservatives and Reformists, such as League in Italy, Alternative for Germany, and National Rally in France. Other populist gains were seen in the success of the Brexit Party in the United Kingdom and the Five Star Movement in Italy. [328]
2019 Conservative Party leadership election  United Kingdom 7 June – 22 July 2019 The Conservative Party of the United Kingdom voted for Boris Johnson to be the party's new leader and prime minister following the resignation of Theresa May on 24 May 2019, the party's first contested leadership election since 2005. [329]
2019 United Kingdom general election  United Kingdom 12 December 2019 After an extended period of political deadlock over how to proceed with leaving the European Union an early general election took place in the United Kingdom in which the pro-withdrawal Conservative party won a sizeable majority of seats effectively guaranteeing Brexit would take place in January the following year. [330]
Pope Francis with U.S. President Barack Obama, 2014
28 February 2014: following the removal of pro-Russian Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych from office, Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine
Syrian and Iraqi refugees arriving in Greece. In the 2010s Europe had been severely affected by a huge migration from Africa and Middle East

World leaders[edit]


Assassinations and attempts[edit]

Prominent assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts include:

Osama bin Laden
Malala Yousafzai
Jamal Khashoggi
Date Description
8 January 2011 United States Federal judge John Roll and 5 others were killed and 13 more were injured in a shooting near Tucson. The apparent target, U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords, was critically injured in the head.[331]
2 May 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.[332]
30 September 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 a drone strike.[333]
20 October 2011 Muammar Gaddafi, leader of Libya, was shot to death in Sirte.[334]
4 September 2012 Pauline Marois, Premier-designate of Quebec, escaped death during her victory speech after Richard Henry Bain opened fire at the Metropolis in Montreal, killing one person and critically injuring another.[335]
9 October 2012 Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani women's rights activist, was the survivor of an assassination attempt by the Pakistani Taliban in Pakistan.[336]
27 February 2015 Boris Nemtsov, Russian physicist, statesman and opposition politician, was assassinated on the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge, Central Moscow, Russia, within sight of the Kremlin.[337]
16 June 2016 Jo Cox, British MP, was shot and stabbed to death by a Neo-Nazi white supremacist[338] in Birstall, England. She was the first British MP assassinated in over a quarter of a century and the first female politician in Britain to be assassinated.[339]
19 December 2016 Andrei Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, was shot to death by an off duty police officer at an art gallery in Ankara.[340]
13 February 2017 Kim Jong-nam, eldest son of the late Kim Jong-il, was assassinated by two women in Malaysia with a VX nerve agent.[341]
14 June 2017 Steve Scalise, an American Congressman, is shot and injured during practice ahead of the annual Congressional Baseball Game in Alexandria, Virginia by a man who held grievances against the Republican party. Three others are also injured.[342]
4 March 2018 Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent, was poisoned alongside his daughter Yulia in the city of Salisbury with a Novichok agent.[343]
2 July 2018 Antonio Halili, Mayor of Tanauan, Batangas, was assassinated by an unidentified gunman while attending a flag raising ceremony together with around 300 government employees and newly elected barangay officials.[344]
2 October 2018 Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Arabian dissident and journalist for The Washington Post, was assassinated in the Saudi Arabian consulate by the Saudi Government in Istanbul, Turkey in what is widely believed to have been ordered directly by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.[345][346][347]
13 January 2019 Paweł Adamowicz, Mayor of the city of Gdańsk, was stabbed during a live charity event in Gdańsk by a former inmate. He died the following day.[348]
27 October 2019 Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIL, was killed during a raid by U.S. special forces in northwestern Syria.[349]


Non-natural disasters[edit]


Event Date Country Description References
Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 25 January 2010  Ethiopia 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. [350]
2010 Polish Air Force Tu-154 crash 10 April 2010  Russia Polish President Lech Kaczyński and dozens of Polish government and military officials were among 96 people killed when their plane crashed near Smolensk, Russia. [351]
Afriqiyah Airways Flight 771 12 May 2010  Libya Afriqiyah Airways Flight 771 crashed on a runway at Tripoli International Airport in Libya, killing all but one of the 104 passengers and crew. [352]
Air India Express Flight 812 22 May 2010  India Air India Express Flight 812 overshot the runway at Mangalore International Airport in India, killing 158 people, with eight surviving. [353]
Airblue Flight 202 28 July 2010  Pakistan Airblue Flight 202 en route from Karachi to Islamabad crashed in the Margalla Hills near Islamabad, killing all 152 aboard, becoming the deadliest air crash in Pakistan's history. [354]
Dana Air Flight 992 3 June 2012  Nigeria Dana Air Flight 992 crashed in the Nigerian city of Lagos, killing all 153 people aboard. 10 people on the ground also perished. [355]
Asiana Airlines Flight 214 6 July 2013  United States Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed at San Francisco airport killing 3 and injuring 181 people. [356]
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 8 March 2014  Malaysia 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 29 July 2015, after they washed ashore on Réunion Island. [357][358]
Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 17 July 2014  Malaysia Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine and crashed near the Ukrainian-Russian border, killing all 298 people on board, making it the deadliest airliner shoot down in history. [359]
Air Algérie Flight 5017 24 July 2014  Mali Air Algérie Flight 5017 crashed in southern Mali, killing all 116 passengers and crew. [360]
Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 28 December 2014  Indonesia Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 crashed in the Java sea after an attempt to avoid heavy thunderstorms, leaving all 162 people dead. [361]
Germanwings Flight 9525 24 March 2015  France Germanwings Flight 9525 crashed in the French Alps, killing all 150 on board. [362]
2015 Indonesian Air Force Lockheed C-130 Hercules crash 30 June 2015  Indonesia A Lockheed C-130 Hercules operated by the Indonesian Air Force crashed into a crowded residential neighbourhood in Medan shortly after take-off from Soewondo Air Force Base, killing 143 people including 22 on the ground, making it the deadliest crash in Indonesian Air Force peacetime history. [363]
Metrojet Flight 9268 31 October 2015  Egypt Metrojet Flight 9268, an Airbus A321 airliner en route to Saint Petersburg from Sharm el-Sheikh, crashes near Al-Hasana in Sinai, killing all 224 passengers and crew on board. [364]
LaMia Flight 2933 29 November 2016  Colombia A chartered Avro RJ85 plane carrying 77 people, including the Chapecoense football team, crashes near Medellín, Colombia. Six of the passengers survived. The 2016 Copa Sudamericana Finals were suspended, and Atlético Nacional, Chapecoense's to-be opponents, gave them the trophy out of respect. [365]
2016 Russian Defence Ministry Tupolev Tu-154 crash 25 December 2016  Russia A Tupolev Tu-154 crashes near Sochi, Russia, killing all 92 people on board, including 64 members of the Alexandrov Ensemble. [366]
Iran Aseman Airlines Flight 3704 18 February 2018  Iran Iran Aseman Airlines Flight 3704 crashes in the Zagros Mountains, en route from Tehran to Yasuj. All 65 passengers and crew members perish. [367]
Cubana de Aviación Flight 972 18 May 2018  Cuba Cubana de Aviación Flight 972 crashes shortly after take-off near José Martí International Airport in Havana, killing 112 and leaving only one survivor. [368]
Lion Air Flight 610 29 October 2018  Indonesia Lion Air Flight 610 crashes off the coast of Java, with 189 passengers on board. [369]
Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 10 March 2019  Ethiopia Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 bound for Nairobi, crashes shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa killing all 157 people on board. [370]
Aeroflot Flight 1492 5 May 2019  Russia Aeroflot Flight 1492 makes a hard landing, causing fire and partial destruction at Sheremetyevo International Airport, Moscow, killing 41 of the 78 people on board. [371]


Event Date Country Description References
2010 Copiapó mining accident 13 October 2010  Chile Thirty-three miners near Copiapó, Chile, were trapped 700 metres (2,300 feet) underground in a mining accident in San José Mine, before being rescued after surviving for a record 69 days. [372]
2013 Savar building collapse 24 April 2013  Bangladesh An eight-story factory building collapsed in the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, killing 1,129 people and injuring over 2,000 more, becoming the deadliest structural failure in history. [373]
2015 Tianjin explosions 12 August 2015  China Two explosions occurred within 30 seconds of each other at a container storage station at the Port of Tianjin in the Binhai New Area of Tianjin, China, killing at least 173. [374]
Mecca crane collapse 11 September 2015  Saudi Arabia A crane toppled over at Mecca, killing 111 people, weeks before the official Hajj pilgrimage. [375]
2015 Mina stampede 24 September 2015  Saudi Arabia A stampede during the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, killed at least 2,236 people, making it the deadliest Hajj disaster in history. [376]
Bento Rodrigues dam disaster 5 November 2015  Brazil An iron ore tailings dam in Bento Rodrigues, a subdistrict of Mariana, Brazil, suffered a catastrophic failure, causing flooding and at least 17 deaths. At least 16 people have been injured. This incident has been described as the worst environmental disaster in Brazil's history. [377][378][379]
Tham Luang cave rescue 23 June – 10 July 2018  Thailand Twelve boys and their football coach are rescued from the flooded Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Thailand, following a 17-day ordeal that gained worldwide attention. [380][381]
Ponte Morandi Collapse 14 August 2018  Italy Part of the Morandi Bridge collapses after a violent storm in Genoa, Italy, causing 43 fatalities. Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio and transport minister Danilo Toninelli blame private company Autostrade per l'Italia. [382][383]
Tlahuelilpan pipeline explosion 18 January 2019  Mexico A gasoline pipeline exploded in the town of Tlahuelilpan, in the Mexican state of Hidalgo. The blast killed at least 135 people and injured dozens more. Mexican authorities blamed fuel thieves, who had illegally tapped the pipeline. [384]
2019 Xiangshui chemical plant explosion 21 March 2019  China A major explosion at a chemical plant in Xiangshui, Jiangsu, China, kills at least 64 people and injures more than 600 others. Its powerful impact registered as an artificial earthquake. [385]


Event Date Country Description References
Comayagua prison fire 14–15 February 2012  Honduras A fire at the National Penitentiary in Comayagua, Honduras killed 361 people. [386][387]
2012 Dhaka garment factory fire 24 November 2012  Bangladesh 117 people were confirmed dead in a garment factory fire, and over 200 were injured, making it the deadliest factory fire in the nation's history.
Kiss nightclub fire 27 January 2013  Brazil 242 people were killed in a fire at a nightclub in Santa Maria, Brazil. [388]
Colectiv nightclub fire 30 October 2015  Romania 64 people were killed in a fire at a nightclub in Bucharest, Romania.
Ghost Ship warehouse fire 2 December 2016  United States 36 were killed in an artists' live-and-work collective in an Oakland, CA accident due to substandard wiring.
Grenfell Tower fire 14 June 2017  United Kingdom A fire ignited by a faulty refrigerator in a London council estate tower block spread to almost the entirety of the building causing 72 deaths and over 70 injuries. [389][390]
2018 Kemerovo fire 25 March 2018  Russia 60 people die in a fire at a shopping and entertainment complex in the Russian city of Kemerovo. [391]
2018 Valencia, Venezuela fire 28 March 2018  Venezuela At least 78 people die in a fire in the police headquarters of Valencia, Venezuela. [392]
National Museum of Brazil fire 2 September 2018  Brazil A fire destroys the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro. No one was injured, but 90 percent of the collection was destroyed. [393][394]
February 2019 Dhaka fire 20 February 2019  Bangladesh A major fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh kills at least 78 people. [395]
Notre-Dame fire 15 April 2019  France A major fire at the Notre-Dame Cathedral destroyed most of its roof, and its upper walls were severely damaged; extensive damage to the interior was prevented by its stone vaulted ceiling, which largely contained the burning roof as it collapsed. 3 injuries were reported, but there were no confirmed deaths. [396]


Event Date Country Description References
Costa Concordia disaster 13 January 2012  Italy The Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia hit a reef and partially capsized off the coast of Isola del Giglio, Italy, killing 32 people. [397]
Sinking of MV Sewol 16 April 2014  South Korea South Korean ferry MV Sewol capsized while en route to Jeju, killing 295 people, mostly secondary school students from Danwon High School. [398]
Sinking of Dongfang zhi Xing 1 June 2015  China The river cruise ship Dongfang zhi Xing capsized in the Yangtze River after being hit by a waterspout, killing 442 people, making it the deadliest maritime disaster in China's peacetime history. [399]
Sinking of MV Nyerere 20 September 2018  Tanzania The MV Nyerere capsizes on Lake Victoria, killing at least 227 passengers. [400]


Event Date Country Description References
Deepwater Horizon oil spill 20 April 2010  United States 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 oil spill, becoming the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. [401][402]
Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster 11 March 2011  Japan 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 the entire area. [403][404]
Flint water crisis 25 April 2014  United States The U.S. city of Flint, Michigan's water source was changed from the treated Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to the Flint River, where officials had failed to apply corrosion inhibitors. This decision led to the water being contaminated by lead and eventual nationwide outrage about an alleged coverup. [405][406]

Natural disasters[edit]

Earthquakes and tsunamis[edit]

Event Date Country Description References
2010 Haiti earthquake 12 January 2010  Haiti 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 and over three million more were affected by the quake. The earthquake was the deadliest disaster in the decade. [407][408]
2010 Chile earthquake 27 February 2010  Chile An 8.8 magnitude earthquake occurred in Chile, triggering a tsunami across the Pacific and killing 497. One of the largest earthquakes in recorded history, this rare megathrust earthquake likely shifted Earth's axis and slightly shortened its days. [409][410][411]
2010 Baja California earthquake 4 April 2010  Mexico A 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Mexicali and Baja, killing three and injuring more than two hundred. US border towns in Imperial Valley, California were affected. [412]
2010 Yushu earthquake 13 April 2010  China A 6.9 magnitude earthquake occurred in western China, killing at least 2,200 and injuring more than 12,000. [413][414]
February 2011 Christchurch earthquake 22 February 2011  New Zealand A 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 185 people. [415]
2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami 11 March 2011  Japan A 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit near Sendai, Japan. It created a 30 feet (9.1 m) high tsunami, leaving 15,893 dead, 2,565 missing and over 150,000 displaced. It was the largest earthquake to hit Japan in 140 years. [416][417][418]
2011 Van earthquake 23 October 2011  Turkey A 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck the Turkish city of Van, leaving over 604 dead and thousands more injured. [419]
April 2015 Nepal earthquake 25 April 2015    Nepal A massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal killed at least 8,857 people and injured tens of thousands more. It is the worst disaster to hit Nepal in decades. [420][421][422]
May 2015 Nepal earthquake 12 May 2015    Nepal A second major earthquake hit Nepal, measuring 7.3 on the moment magnitude scale, killing 218 more people. [423]
2016 Ecuador earthquake 16 April 2016  Ecuador A 7.8 earthquake struck near Muisne, Ecuador, killing over 673 people and displacing at least 25,000 more. [424]
August 2016 Central Italy earthquake 24 August 2016  Italy A 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck Central Italy near Norcia, 75 km (47 mi) southeast of Perugia and 45 km (28 mi) north of L'Aquila, in an area near the tripoint of the Umbria, Lazio, and Marche regions. At least 299 people were left dead. [425]
2017 Central Mexico earthquake 19 September 2017  Mexico A 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck near the city of Puebla. Coincidentally, it was also the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, which was commemorated with a national seismic alert drill, just two hours before the real earthquake struck, which left 360 dead and over 6,000 injured. [426]
2018 Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami 28 September 2018  Indonesia A magnitude 7.5 earthquake hits Sulawesi, Indonesia, causing a tsunami that kills at least 2,256 people and injures more than 540 others. [427]
2018 Sunda Strait tsunami 22 December 2018  Indonesia A tsunami hits the Sunda Strait, Indonesia after a volcanic eruption of Anak Krakatoa killing at least 430 people and injuring nearly 1,500. [428]
2019 Peru earthquake 26 May 2019  Peru An 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck in Loreto Region, Peru, killing 2 people and injures more than 30 others. [429]
2019 Albania earthquake 26 November 2019  Albania A 6.4 magnitude earthquake hits Albania near the cities of Durrës and Tirana, killing 51 people and injuring over 3,000 others. [430]

Tropical cyclones[edit]

Event Date Country Description References
Typhoon Megi 18 October 2010  Philippines Typhoon Megi, known in the Philippines as Super Typhoon Juan, hit the Philippines, killing at least 69 and causing US$709 million in damage. [431]
Hurricane Irene 22 August 2011  United States Bahamas Turks and Caicos Hurricane Irene, the first hurricane and major hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season,

caused devastation on various islands in the Caribbean and the East Coast of the United States, killing 49 and causing almost $14.2 billion in damages.

Tropical Storm Washi 16 December 2011  Philippines Tropical Storm Washi, known in the Philippines as Tropical Storm Sendong, caused catastrophic damage on the Philippine island of Mindanao. More than 1,000 died and thousands were injured or missing. [432]
Hurricane Sandy 25 October 2012 Various Hurricane Sandy caused immense destruction in Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and the United States, leaving at least 233 dead. It became the largest Atlantic tropical storm ever. [433]


Typhoon Bopha 2 December 2012  Philippines Typhoon Bopha, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Pablo, struck the Philippines, killing at least 650 people and leaving millions more homeless. [435]
Typhoon Haiyan 7 November 2013  Philippines Typhoon Haiyan, known as Super Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, hits the Philippines, killing at least 6,000 people, with a thousand more still missing, making it the deadliest typhoon to ever hit the Philippines. [436]
Hurricane Joaquin 28 September 2015 – 7 October 2015  United States Cuba Bahamas Bermuda Turks and Caicos Islands Hurricane Joaquin was a powerful tropical cyclone that devastated several districts of the Bahamas and caused damage in the Turks and Caicos Islands, parts of the Greater Antilles, and Bermuda. [437]
Typhoon Melor 13 December 2015  Philippines Typhoon Melor, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Nona, hits the Philippines, killing 42 and causing $136 million in damages. [438][439]
Cyclone Winston 20 February 2016  Fiji Cyclone Winston struck Fiji, killing 44 people and causing $1.4 billion in damages, making it the costliest tropical cyclone in South Pacific history. [440]
Hurricane Matthew 28 September 2016 – 9 October 2016  United States Cuba Haiti Jamaica Dominican Republic Bahamas Hurricane Matthew caused catastrophic damage and a humanitarian crisis in Haiti, as well as widespread devastation in the southeastern United States. The deadliest Atlantic hurricane since Hurricane Stan in 2005, it caused extensive damage to landmasses in the Greater Antilles, severe damage in several islands of the Bahamas and was responsible for 603 fatalities. [441]
Hurricane Harvey 23 August 2017  United States Hurricane Harvey slams into southeastern Texas after reorganising over the Gulf of Mexico, causing catastrophic flooding and billions in damages. It became the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Total damage from the hurricane was estimated at $125 billion, making it the costliest natural disaster ever in the United States, tied with 2005's Hurricane Katrina. [442][443]
Hurricane Irma 30 August 2017 – 16 September 2017  Antigua and Barbuda

 Cuba  United States

Hurricane Irma, an extremely powerful and catastrophic Cape Verde-type hurricane, the strongest observed in the Atlantic since Wilma in 2005 in terms of maximum sustained winds. It was the first Category 5 hurricane to strike the Leeward Islands on record. The storm caused catastrophic damage in Barbuda, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Anguilla, and the Virgin Islands as a Category 5 hurricane. [444][445]
Hurricane Maria 16 September 2017 – 3 October 2017  Puerto Rico Dominica Hurricane Maria is regarded as the worst natural disaster on record in Dominica, and caused catastrophic damage and a major humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico. The third costliest Atlantic hurricane to date, it caused catastrophic damage and thousands of fatalities across the northeastern Caribbean, compounding recovery efforts in areas still damaged from Hurricane Irma just two weeks prior. [446][447]
Typhoon Mangkhut 15 September 2018  Philippines Typhoon Mangkhut, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Ompong, hits northern Luzon, triggering deadly landslides and killing at least 95 people. [448][449]
Hurricane Michael 7 October 2018 – 16 October 2018  United States Cuba Hurricane Michael was the first Category 5 hurricane to strike the contiguous United States since Andrew in 1992. In addition, it was the third-most intense Atlantic hurricane to make landfall in the contiguous United States in terms of pressure, behind the 1935 Labor Day hurricane and Hurricane Camille of 1969. It was the first Category 5 hurricane on record to impact the Florida Panhandle, and was the fourth-strongest landfalling hurricane in the contiguous United States, in terms of wind speed. Michael was responsible for 74 deaths. [450]
Hurricane Dorian 24 August 2019 – 10 September 2019  The Bahamas  United States Hurricane Dorian was one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes in years, and also is tied as the strongest landfalling Atlantic hurricane since the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane. Dorian also became the worst natural disaster in all of the Bahamas' history, killing over 73 people and causing over US$4.68 billion in damage, with US$3.4 billion of damage in The Bahamas alone after the storm stalled over Grand Bahama at incredible Category 5 intensity. The storm also caused 1.2 billion dollars of damage in the United States after making landfall near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. [451]


Event Date Country Description References
2011 Super Outbreak 25–28 April 2011  United States Canada A tornado outbreak in the United States and Canada killed 324 people across six states. At 360 tornadoes, it was the largest and one of the deadliest tornado outbreaks in United States history. [452]
21–26 May 2011 tornado outbreak sequence 21 May 2011  United States Another U.S. tornado outbreak took place over six days. 178 people were killed, most of which occurred in Joplin, Missouri after an EF5 tornado swept through the city, killing 158 people and injuring at least 1,150. [453]
2019 Nepal tornado 31 March 2019    Nepal A tornado struck the Bara and Parsa districts of Nepal, killing 28 and injuring 1,176 people. It is the first officially recorded tornado in Nepalese history. [454]

Floods, avalanches, and mudslides[edit]

Event Date Country Description References
2010 Pakistan floods July 2010  Pakistan Flooding occurred in Pakistan after record monsoon rains, killing at least 1,600 people, thousands were rendered homeless, and more than thirteen million people were affected. Estimates from rescue service officials suggest the death toll might have reached 3,000. [455][456][457]
January 2011 Rio de Janeiro floods and mudslides 11 January 2011  Brazil Floods and mudslides killed 903 people across the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. [458][459]
2013 Alberta floods 19 June 2013  Canada Massive flooding occurred in Alberta, becoming the province's worst flooding in decades. [460]
2014 Southeast Europe floods 13–27 May 2014  Serbia




Between 13 and 18 May 2014 a low pressure cyclone designated "Tamara" and "Yvette" affected a large area of Southeastern and Central Europe, causing floods and landslides. Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina suffered the greatest damage as the rain was the heaviest in 120 years of recorded weather measurements. At least 86 people were killed and hundreds of thousands had been forced from their homes. Assessments of damage range up to 3.5 billion euros for Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
2015 Afghanistan avalanches 24 February 2015  Afghanistan An avalanche killed 310 people and wounded over 129 in Panjshir Province, Afghanistan. [461]
2015 South Indian floods 8 November 2015  India Heavy rainfall generated by the annual northeast monsoon affected the Coromandel Coast region of the South Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. More than 500 people were killed and over 1.8 million people were displaced. With estimates of damages and losses ranging from nearly ₹200 billion (US$3 billion) to over ₹1 trillion (US$14 billion), the floods were the costliest to have occurred in 2015, and were among the costliest natural disasters of the year. [462]

Volcanic eruptions[edit]

Event Date Country Description References
2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull 20 March 2010  Iceland Eruptions of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland caused unprecedented disruption to international air travel, rendering transatlantic flight impossible and closing airways across much of Europe. The event was the largest air traffic shut-down since World War II. [463]
2010 eruptions of Mount Merapi Early November 2010  Indonesia Mount Merapi erupted in Indonesia, killing 353 people and grounding flights across Southeast Asia, becoming the largest eruption from the mountain in a century.
2018 lower Puna eruption 3 May 2018  United States A lava flow erupted in Hawai'i from Kīlauea's east rift zone, causing much damage and resulting in evacuation orders.
2018 Volcán de Fuego eruption 3 June 2018  Guatemala Volcán de Fuego erupted in Guatemala, killing at least 190 people, the deadliest eruption in Guatemala since 1929.
2019 Whakaari/White Island eruption 9 December 2019  New Zealand Whakaari/White Island, an active stratovolcano off the east coast of New Zealand's North Island, erupted, killing 20 people. [464]

Droughts, heat waves, and wildfires[edit]

Event Date Country Description References
2011–17 California drought December 2011 – March 2017  United States The state of California suffered through a water drought for the most part of the decade, affecting the way how Californians showered, use their drinking water, and even some of their electricity. [465]
2015 Indian heat wave 24 May 2015  India A heatwave in Southern India resulted in over 2,500 deaths. [466]
2015 Pakistani heat wave 20 June 2015  Pakistan A related heatwave hit neighbouring Pakistan, killing over 2,000 people in Karachi alone. [466]
2016 Fort McMurray wildfire 1 May 2016  Canada A wildfire began southwest of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. On 3 May, it swept through the community, destroying more than 2,400 homes and buildings and forcing the largest wildfire evacuation in Alberta's history. The wildfire is the costliest disaster in Canadian history. [467][468]
2018 Camp Fire 8–25 November 2018  United States A wildfire began in Northern California that eventually became the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history to date. It was also the deadliest wildfire in the United States since the Cloquet fire in 1918, and among the list of deadliest wildfires, it was the sixth-deadliest U.S. wildfire overall, killing 85 people and injuring 17. [469][470]
2019 Amazon rainforest wildfires January 2019 – October 2019  Brazil  Bolivia
 Perù  Paraguay
The 2019 wildfires season saw an unusual surge in the number of fires occurring in the Amazon rainforest and other parts of the Amazon biome contained within the countries of Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Peru during the 2019 Amazonian tropical dry season. [471][472]
2019–20 Australian bushfires August 2019 – June 2020  Australia The 2019 Australian bushfire season arrived in the wake of heavy droughts across the country, with fires covering the east coast including the metropolitan confines of Sydney. There were 34 direct fatalities and hundreds of properties destroyed. Subsequent smoke covered the city of Sydney and Melbourne, causing toxic air pollution. [473][474][475][476]


Greece and Eurozone's rise of debt in the early years of the decade
The weighted capital city residential property price index, produced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, since 2003
A man and a delivery robot waiting at a pedestrian crossing in Redwood City, California, United States. E-commerce spurred advancements in drone delivery and transformed parts of the services and retail sectors
A poster used during the Occupy Wall Street movements with the phrase "We are the 99%". The movement was against the economic inequality and the influence of money in politics. US President Barack Obama claimed the movement would help "Americans express their frustrations", while Vice President Joe Biden remarked: "The middle class has been screwed."
In 2014 the One World Trade Center opened its doors in the Financial District of Manhattan, serving as a replacement to the original World Trade Center Twin Towers that were destroyed in 2001. On the 10th anniversary of 9/11 in 2011 (the same year Osama bin Laden was killed), the 9/11 Memorial was opened.

The global economy during the 2010s was generally strong. It saw steady growth, low unemployment, and increasing consumer confidence recovering from the great recession. The decade ended with a strong finish, with 2019 seeing record highs in many areas. 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.[477] 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.[478] Despite the Eurozone debt crisis, the American Dow Jones Industrial Average had its longest stretch of gains since the late 1990s tech boom.[479] 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, resulting in the Arab Spring leading to political instability and civil wars.

As a result of the global recession, many central banks instituted a zero interest-rate policy, or close to it.[480] Another form of monetary stimulus was that of quantitative easing. The resulting flood of market liquidity caused a rise in asset prices.[481] As a result, for example, United States stock prices reached record highs.[482] Another consequence has been the rise in housing prices in many major world cities.[483] Some of the cities which recorded the most dramatic rises included Sydney, San Francisco, Vancouver, and Auckland.[484]

In 2010, China became the second largest global economy, surpassing Japan.[485] Japan also saw a rating downgrade the following year due to debt burden.[486] In August 2011, the S&P downgraded the United States' credit rating from triple AAA to AA-plus following a debt ceiling crisis.[487] Also in 2011, a Gallup poll found that more than half of Americans believed the country was still in a recession.[488] In June 2015, the Shanghai Stock Exchange lost a third of the value of A-shares within one month, an event known as the 2015–16 Chinese stock market turbulence. India became the fastest growing major economy of the world in 2015, surpassing China.[489] In 2018, as the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates, fears of a yield curve inversion preceding a potential U.S. recession sent inflation higher in several emerging markets, including Argentina, where interest rates hit 40% and an International Monetary Fund bail out was issued.[490] In 2019, Singapore supplanted the United States as the world's most competitive economy, with the U.S. dropping to third, behind Hong Kong.[491]

Global oil production in 2014 reached a historic peak, reaching 93 million barrels/day.[492] In 2018, partially due to a shale boom, the United States overcame Russia and Saudi Arabia in becoming the world's largest crude oil producer, the first time since 1973.[493] Around the year 2017 is a period seen by some economists as being the new peak of a "goldilocks economy".[494] The International Monetary Fund's April 2019 World Economic Outlook stated, "After peaking at close to 4 percent in 2017, global [economic] growth remained strong, at 3.8 percent in the first half of 2018, but dropped to 3.2 percent in the second half of the year."[495]

In 2018, United States President Donald Trump announced he would put into place new tariffs on some Chinese products, starting the 'US-China Trade War', an economic conflict involving the world's two largest economies. Trump said the reasoning for the trade war is to punish China for 'unfair' trade practices, such as the appropriation of jobs and the theft of American intellectual property. China responded with tariffs of its own, and a cycle began, escalating the conflict to the situation faced today. As part of his 'America First' policy, Trump also announced new tariffs were being placed on countries around the world for various products such as steel and aluminium, which has drawn some economic retaliation.

By the end of the decade, in North American and some Western European domestic economies, consumer-level purchasing habits had shifted significantly, a partial consequence of the Great Recession's impact on discretionary incomes and a shifting breadwinner model. The so-called "retail apocalypse" had commenced as consumers increasingly resorted to online shopping and e-commerce, accelerating the decline of brick-and-mortar retail and the continued decline of indoor shopping malls. The transitioning retail industry and popularity of online shopping facilitated economic phenomena such as bricks and clicks business models, pop-up and non-store retailing, drone delivery services, ghost restaurants, and a quickly maturing online food ordering and delivery service sector.[496][497] This was only further perpetuated by the rise in cryptocurrency throughout the decade, such as Bitcoin. By May 2018, over 1,800 cryptocurrency specifications existed.[498]

In the same vein as cryptocurrency, the trend towards a cashless society continued as non-cash transactions and digital currency saw an increase in favourability in the 2010s. By 2016, only about 2 percent of the value transacted in Sweden was by cash, and only about 20 percent of retail transactions were in cash. Fewer than half of bank branches in the country conducted cash transactions.[499] A report published in 2019 suggested that the percentage of payments conducted in cash in the United Kingdom had fallen to 34% from 63% from 2009.[500] The 2016 United States User Consumer Survey Study claimed that 75 percent of respondents preferred a credit card or debit card as their payment method while only 11 percent of respondents preferred cash.[501]

Science and technology[edit]

Two of the most prominent deaths in the scientific community during the decade were Neil Armstrong in 2012 and Stephen Hawking in 2018.

Below are the most significant scientific developments of each year, based on the annual Breakthrough of the Year award of the American Association for the Advancement of Science journal Science.


The late 2000s saw the rise of two prominent mobile operating systems, Android developed by Google and iOS developed by Apple.

3D printed model of a human liver

Robotics, particularly drones like quadcopters, experienced a wide use and application in the 2010s. Autonomous and electric car technology and sales showed considerable growth as well. In addition, sustainable space launch technologies were spearheaded by entrepreneurs like Elon Musk.

In 2016, the number of people globally using mobile devices to access the internet overtook those using desktop computers for the first time, having been preceded by the U.S. two years prior in 2014.[513][514][515][516][517] 3D printers also emerged in the 2010s and were referenced or used in pop culture during the decade.

In 2018, during the Falcon Heavy test flight, the first production car was launched into space. The car was attached to the Falcon Heavy rocket, the most powerful rocket in operation at the time.

Cyber security and hacking[edit]

Cyber security incidents, such as hacking, leaks or theft of sensitive information, gained increased attention of governments, corporations and individuals.

Edward Snowden, former NSA employee who revealed a large number of global surveillance programs.
Jürgen Mossack, co-founder of Mossack Fonseca, which shut down in light of revelations from the Panama Papers.
Event Date Description
Afghan War documents leak 25 July 2010 WikiLeaks published more than 90,000 internal U.S. military logs of the War in Afghanistan. The documents revealed numerous cover-ups and absence of trials for captured or killed Taliban members by the coalition.[518]
Stuxnet August 2010 A malicious computer worm was responsible for causing substantial damage to Iran's nuclear program. Although neither country has admitted responsibility, the worm is now generally acknowledged to be a jointly built U.S.-Israeli cyberweapon.[519]
Iraq War documents leak 22 October 2010 WikiLeaks disclosed nearly 392,000 U.S. Army field reports of the Iraq War, the largest leak in the history of the U.S. military. It documented multiple cases of misconduct, abuse of power against civilians and other war crimes by U.S. authorities in the country.[520]
The Offshore leaks April 2013 A report disclosed details of 130,000 offshore accounts, with some observers calling it one of the biggest hit against international tax fraud of all time. The report originated from the Washington D.C. investigative journalism nonprofit, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).[521]
Global surveillance disclosures (2013–present) 5 June 2013 Edward Snowden leaked files through the Guardian newspaper detailing National Security Agency (NSA) privacy policies, including PRISM, the NSA call database, and Boundless Informant.[522]
Office of Personnel Management data breach 5 June 2015 The Office of Personnel Management of the U.S. government announced that it was hacked, resulting in a massive data breach, stealing information of around 21.5 million people.[523] The attack was suspected to have originated from China but it remains unclear if it was or not.[524]
2016 Bangladesh Bank heist 4 February 2016 The Bangladesh Bank became a victim of theft after hackers attempted to steal US$951 Million from its account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.[525] The hackers failed to steal the attempted amount but still got away with $81 million, which was diverted to the Philippines, making it one of the largest bank heists in history.[526]
Panama Papers 3 April 2016 11.5 million confidential documents were leaked from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca that detailed financial and attorney–client information of more than 214,488 offshore companies. The leaks revealed information of various prominent figures being involved in hidden financial dealings within tax havens and companies doing business with terrorist organisations and governments under international sanctions.[527]
Yahoo! data breach 22 September 2016 Yahoo Inc. reported that account information for up to 500 million users in 2014 had been hacked, compromising personal data from the accounts, including names, addresses, passwords, telephone numbers and possibly encrypting other information.[528]
October 2016 Dyn cyberattack 21 October 2016 A currently unknown attacker launches multiple distributed denial-of-service (DDos) attacks on networks operated by DNS provider Dyn, making numerous sites difficult or impossible to access for a period of time, including Twitter, Reddit, Netflix, Spotify, The New York Times, BBC News, and PayPal. The Department of Homeland Security opens an investigation.[529]
WannaCry ransomware attack 12 May 2017 A large cyberattack infected more than 230,000 computers in 150 countries, demanding ransom payments in the cryptocurrency bitcoin in 28 languages. The attack spread by multiple methods, including phishing emails and on unpatched systems as a computer worm. The attack was described by Europol as unprecedented in scale, affecting large companies such as Telefónica and parts of Britain's National Health Service.[530]
Paradise Papers 5 November 2017 A set of 13.4 million confidential electronic documents relating to offshore investments. The documents originate from the offshore law firm Appleby, the corporate services providers Estera and Asiaciti Trust, and business registries in 19 tax jurisdictions. At 1.4 terabytes in size, this is second only to the Panama Papers, it is the second biggest data leak in history.[531]

Health and society[edit]

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 by the end of the decade only two cases had been cured.[532] With good treatment patients can generally expect normal lives and lifespans. However, as of 2011 only some 5 million of the 12 million affected people had access to such treatment.[533]

During the 2010s, social changes included increases in life expectancy and falling birth rates leading to larger proportions of the population being elderly. This put pressure on pensions and other social security programs in developed nations. The environment became a topic of greater public concern around the world.[534] Many parts of the world moved towards greater acceptance of LGBT people often including the legalisation of same-sex marriage. The internet took an ever greater role in entertainment, communication, politics and commerce, especially for younger people and those living in wealthier countries. In 2011, the world population reached seven billion people.[535]

Popular culture[edit]


Rihanna was a fashion icon of the era

Fashion of the 2010s became slimmer-fit and slightly more formal compared to previous decades. In addition, people's handheld devices such as cellphones (and their colorful cases), selfie sticks (for a brief period during the middle of the decade), tech-like Beats headphones, smart watches, wired and by the end of the decade wireless ear buds, as well as handheld gaming systems became more prevalent personal items.

The decade was also defined by new hipster fashion (hipster styles were marked by the wearing of knit beanies, checkered shirts, and clothes from thrift stores; as well as hobbies like horticulture, photography, and specialty coffee) athleisure, and a revival of austerity-era and other nostalgic alternative fashion trends (such as 1980s-style neon streetwear in the first part of the decade, and unisex 1990s-style elements influenced by grunge).

In 2018, a subculture of "e-kids" came into existence, whom took their style from Japanese street fashion, cosplay, skater aesthetic, and other pieces of pop culture. In contrast to the colorful subculture of "e-kids" later in the decade, the early 2010s saw the Emo revival.

Political fashion became a genre of fashion starting around 2016, as people wore hats like MAGA hats (popularized by political outsider, prior TV-star and businessman President Donald Trump), as well as the Pussyhat. These two pieces of fashion wear would be popularized in the 2010s in popular culture on television and further, but would become controversial in their own right.

The decade sparked many smaller fashion movements, notable examples including Cottagecore and Normcore (a notable icon of Normcore in the 2010s was Steve Jobs, whom represented the decade's casual clothing). Fad toys and accessories like the Fidget spinner, Silly Bandz, and Shutter shades each had waves of popularity among youth throughout the decade. Funko Pops were a collectible fad during the 2010s.


Internet users grew from covering 29% to 54% of the world population.[536]

Over the course of the 2010s, Baidu, Twitter and Instagram emerged to become among the top 10 most visited websites (becoming the 4th, 6th and 8th most popular websites by the end of the decade), while Wikipedia went the 9th to 5th most popular website, almost sextupling its monthly visits (from 1 to 5.7 billion). Meanwhile, Yahoo significantly declined in popularity, descending from being the 1st to 9th most popular site, with monthly visits declining by two-thirds (going from 11.6 to 3.9 billion). Google, Facebook, YouTube and Yandex maintained relatively consistent popularity and remained within the top 10 throughout the decade.[537]


In January 2010, James Cameron's Avatar surpassed $1 billion in sales, becoming the first movie of the decade to do so, and surpassed $2 billion in sales by February 2010. The following year, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 became one of the fastest grossing films of all time, and became the highest-grossing film of 2011. 2019's Joker became the first R rated movie to gross over $1 billion and cemented itself in popular culture by making the "Joker Stairs" a famous tourist destination in New York City at the end of the decade. Motion capture grew in terms of its realism and reach, and was seen in movies like Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Avengers, and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.[538]

Superhero films and franchises[edit]

Superhero films became box office leaders, especially with the start of The Infinity Saga of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2008 with movies such as the Avengers franchise. Avengers: Infinity War was the first superhero film to gross over $2 billion internationally, broke numerous box office records, became the highest-grossing film of 2018, and the 4th-highest-grossing film of all time. Avengers: Endgame grossed over $2.7 billion worldwide, surpassed Infinity War's entire theatrical run in just eleven days, broke numerous box office records, and became the highest-grossing film of all time.

Marvel's main competitor, DC Extended Universe also began to produce superhero films starting in 2013, with films such as Shazam! releasing in 2019.

Non-shared universe superhero films have also been successful with the release of The Dark Knight Rises in addition to animated films such as Incredibles 2, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, The Lego Batman Movie, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, and many others.

Other prominent franchises[edit]

The epic space-opera franchise Star Wars saw a resurgence throughout its decade with the third trilogy aka the sequel trilogy of the franchise and the final act of the "Skywalker Saga". These films include Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker with all of them raking in over $4 billion with the first movie became the 3rd highest-grossing film of all time at its release.

The science fiction Universal franchise Jurassic Park also saw a resurgence and popularity with the release of Jurassic World and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Both of these films each garnered over $1 billion in revenue with the first film became the 3rd highest-grossing film of all time and the second film became the 12th highest-grossing film of all time. Critical reception of the first movie was positive while the second movie had mixed reviews from critics and negative reviews from fans.

The action racing heist spy franchise The Fast and the Furious continued on from the 2000s and became commercially successful in the 2010s becoming one of Universal's biggest franchises besides Jurassic Park and was the eighth highest-grossing film series. Films include Fast Five, Fast & Furious 6, Furious 7, and The Fate of the Furious.

Other films and genres[edit]

The horror film It, which was based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King, became the highest-grossing horror film of all time.[539] 2018 saw the acclaimed Halloween sequel, Halloween, the 11th installment of the Halloween franchise and sequel to the first film, Halloween.

Disney, Pixar, DreamWorks, Illumination, and Sony Pictures Animation have dominated the animated films market and have also gained popularity in this decade. The highest-grossing and critically successful franchises included Toy Story, Frozen, Wreck-It-Ralph, Hotel Transylvania, The Lego Movie, and Despicable Me being the highest grossing animated franchise of all time.

In 2019, Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Movies original computer-animated feature film Wonder Park.

The 2010s saw the release of many Disney live-action remakes based on Disney animated movies: Alice in Wonderland, Alice Through the Looking Glass, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Maleficent, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Lady and the Tramp, Christopher Robin, Dumbo, The Jungle Book, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King. Many of these movies were met with mixed reviews from critics and audiences but were financially successful at the box office, especially The Lion King which grossed over $1.6 billion and became the 7th-highest-grossing film of all time as well as the 2nd-highest-grossing film of 2019.

Acclaimed movies[edit]

The decade also saw many popular and critically acclaimed theatrical releases of varying genres, such as The Social Network, Her, 12 Years a Slave, Boyhood, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, The Edge of Seventeen, The Fault in Our Stars, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Easy A, 21 Jump Street, Eighth Grade, Steve Jobs, Lady Bird, Green Book, Get Out, Parasite, Love, Simon, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and Uncut Gems.

While Jimmy Kimmel was hosting the Oscars in 2017, a live error was made in which the Best Picture winner was incorrectly stated as La La Land. It was later found out that the wrong envelope was handed to the presenters, and the Best Picture was Moonlight. This came after Steve Harvey's live error during the 2015 Miss Universe Pageant, in which the wrong contestant was accidentally deemed Miss Universe (in 2015 then presidential candidate Donald Trump sold his ownership of Miss Universe).

The critically acclaimed movies of the 2010s mentioned above set new precedents. Movies like Boyhood (2014) were filmed over the span of a decade in real time to show the growth and childhood of a young boy, and Uncut Gems (2019) brought Adam Sandler back to a wide screen release and was critically acclaimed, while teenage movies like The Edge of Seventeen (2016), Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015), The Fault in Our Stars (2014), and The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) gained large popularity. Her (2013) became Spike Jonze's highest grossing and most critically acclaimed movie, noted for its filming locations and art direction, Parasite (2019) became the first foreign film to win best picture, and movies like Ready Player One (2018) helped advance motion capture technologies (winning two Outstanding Achievement Awards from the Visuals Effects Society and a Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film), in addition to becoming one of Spielberg's highest-grossing films.


The 2010s decade is often said to be a part of the Golden Age of Television, due to the widespread quality of multiple shows, as well as advancements in technology leading to streaming, cable television, and online outlets bringing this quality and quantity of programming. Cable providers saw a decline in subscriber numbers as cord-cutting viewers switched to lower-cost online streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.[540] On cable television, as well as streaming services, a variety of shows gained popularity.

Live-action TV[edit]

The comedy sitcom The Big Bang Theory ran for the entirety of the decade, and was the number-one television sitcom for all of its airing prior to its finale in 2019. Other sitcoms like Curb Your Enthusiasm, Will & Grace, The Office, Scrubs: Med School, and Netflix's Trailer Park Boys and its Out Of The Park: USA and Out Of The Park: Europe specials were popular in the 2010s. How I Met Your Mother (narrated by Bob Saget) gained controversy for its 2014 finale, "Last Forever", which sparked an alternate finale to be created for the show, a television-first. Cult shows like the dark comedy sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia carried its popularity from the 2000s and lasted through the entirety of the 2010s. CBS's Two Broke Girls began its run in 2011 (ending in 2017), its pilot being the highest watched on the network in a decade. In 2011, Charlie Sheen was fired from Two and a Half Men, who made his last appearance in the show in Season 8 during February 2011. Sheen's 2011 outbursts and firing from the show were highly publicized.[541] Indian sitcom Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah became the world's longest-running sitcom, with over 2,500 episodes,[542][543]

In 2013, Nickelodeon original television series Sam & Cat was launched.

Dramas like Breaking Bad (2008–2013), The Walking Dead (2010–2022), Game of Thrones (2011–2019) and the Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul (2015–2022) became some of the most popular American television series of all time. Stranger Things gained a massive following during the decade among teen and youth, and 2019's Stranger Things 3 gained even more recognition for the character of Robin Buckley, who was popularized online.

Science fiction television gained a renewed sense of interest, thanks in part to Seth MacFarlane's The Orville and its second season which aired on Fox between 2017 and 2019, inspired by and parading the Star Trek franchise. Black Mirror was popularized on Netflix after being broadcast on British television. Science nonfiction such as Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey joined the lineup on Fox.

A new era of family television and tween television existed in the 2010s, sitcoms of which were mainly spearheaded by Disney and Nickelodeon, but also appeared on cable channels such as ABC (The Middle on ABC for example) and on streaming services like Netflix. Shows such as Nickelodeon's iCarly and Victorious, and Disney's Girl Meets World were notable examples of popular shows among tween and youth throughout the 2010s. The short-lived 2018 revival of Roseanne (a family sitcom on ABC) gained attention for the firing of its main star Roseanne Barr and her outbursts.

Reality television[edit]

Reality television grew an increased following during the decade. Kitchen Nightmares, Hell's Kitchen (UK), and Hotel Hell gained popularity on cable television, as well as getting millions of views on YouTube, making Gordon Ramsay a prominent celebrity chef. America's Got Talent drew in viewers when radio personality Howard Stern announced his joining of the show in late 2011, staying as host until 2015. Meanwhile, popular reality programming on ABC included What Would You Do?, Shark Tank and The Bachelor. Corinne Olympios also gained recognition on the 2017 season of The Bachelor for her behavior on set. American Idol remained popular into the beginning of the decade, as did The Voice. Impractical Jokers flourished throughout the 2010s, gaining exposure on YouTube and elsewhere. TMZ became a popular television show and news source in the 2010s on cable television and YouTube respectively. A genre of pawn shows emerged like Pawn Stars and Hardcore Pawn.

The Apprentice was a reality television show that starred media personality and businessman Donald Trump as host until 2015, at which time he resigned as host. Trump would use the success he gained on The Apprentice to run for President of the United States; which he was elected to in 2016. Additionally, programs such as The Celebrity Apprentice, Comedy Central's The Roast Of Donald Trump, and Donald Trump's November 2015 hosting of Saturday Night Live, would send the reality TV star and businessman into the spotlight to help win the U.S. presidency. Governor in the early 2010s and movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger took Trump's place on The Celebrity Apprentice.


Popular cartoons were dominated by Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and Disney Channel during the decade. Popular cartoons of the 2010s included the likes of SpongeBob SquarePants, Adventure Time, The Loud House, Arthur, Regular Show, Steven Universe, Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Phineas and Ferb, Gravity Falls, Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu, The Amazing World of Gumball, and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (which, under its G4 status, became a pop culture phenomenon in its own right, thanks to its controversial, but loyal cult following known as "Bronies" who peaked in 2012–2015). SpongeBob SquarePants also made headlines for the petition and attempts to get "Sweet Victory" played at the 2019 Super Bowl after the passing of its series creator Stephen Hillenburg. Nickelodeon brought back three classic Nicktoons; Hey Arnold!, Rocko's Modern Life (which was themed around late 2010s culture), and Invader Zim near the end of the decade, turning them into reboot films.

In 2015, French computer-animated television series Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir.

Anime broadened its appeal worldwide with shows such as Attack on Titan, Madoka Magica, Mob Psycho 100, Fairy Tail, KonoSuba, Food Wars!, Haikyu!!, Sailor Moon Crystal, One Piece, Bleach, Hunter × Hunter, One Punch Man, Little Witch Academia, Devilman Crybaby, My Hero Academia, JoJo's Bizzarre Adventure, Parasyte -the maxim- and Steins;Gate, separately Japanese reality shows like Terrace House: Boys & Girls in the City reached new and international audiences because of the use of the internet and streaming services (it was Netflix's first international release and one of their earliest international releases). As a result of anime's international popularity it has inspired many creators outside of Japan to create their own shows incorporating anime characteristics. Anime elements can be seen in shows like The Boondocks. Anime was also viewed on services of the era like Crunchyroll.

Newer adult animation grew rapidly throughout the decade with shows such as Rick and Morty, F Is for Family, BoJack Horseman, Superjail! (continuing from the 2000s), Bob's Burgers, among many others; while adult animation like Family Guy, Futurama, South Park, The Simpsons, Robot Chicken, and 2011's Beavis and Butt-Head have remained popular.


The video streaming website YouTube became popular, especially among younger people, as memes shifted the meaning of entertainment. Memes like Nyan Cat, Dat Boi, "We Are Number One", Trollface, Pepe the Frog, Bottle flipping, Condescending Wonka (Gene Wilder died in 2016), Creepypastas and others emerged on YouTube; the use of YouTube and the internet also lead to new and popular vernacular like: poggers, bae, Netflix and chill, and "on fleek".

Initially (early in the decade) channels like Fred Figglehorn (FRED), The Annoying Orange, Ray William Johnson, CollegeHumor, Smosh, PewDiePie and the Angry Video Game Nerd attracted millions of views, channels and videos becoming viral on the site. The popularity of YouTubers even ended up spawning films based on popular YouTubers, including Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie (2014), Smosh: The Movie (2015), and the Fred Trilogy (2010–2012) starting with Fred: The Movie. These YouTubers became well known through comedic skits, video game reviews, and "Let's Play" videos, as Angry Video Game Nerd reviewed games like Sonic The Hedgehog for the Xbox 360, and Life of Black Tiger for the PlayStation 4, which AVGN reviewed in a video featuring Gilbert Gottfried, Smosh would upload skits like "FOOD BATTLE" and Pewdiepie would play games such as Five Nights at Freddy's.[544][545]

Other YouTubers that constantly received views within the millions or went viral during the decade included the likes of bill wurtz for his "history of japan" and "history of the entire world i guess" videos (and music like "and the day goes on"), Swoozie, Etika (and his fanbase the "JOYCONBOYZ"), REACT, WatchMojo, The Joe Rogan Experience, The Nostalgia Critic, Studio C, Babish Culinary Universe, Good Mythical Morning, Penguinz0, Vsauce, CGP Gray, Kurzgesagt, Matpat, MrBeast, Scott the Woz, TheOdd1sOut, Domics, and Jaiden Animations among many others. YouTube itself would even end up banning controversial content creators like ImJayStation and LeafyIsHere during the decade.

YouTube would make an annual video series called YouTube Rewind where it would be a recap of each year's YouTubers, viral videos, trends, events, music and memes starting from 2010 to 2019. The 2018 and 2019 installments was heavily criticized by YouTubers, critics, and viewers alike, receiving millions of dislikes. Rewind did not return for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and YouTube announced the following year that the series would be discontinued leading to other YouTubers to make their own YouTube Rewind videos.


Adele (left) and Taylor Swift were two of the highest-selling musical artists of the decade, pictured here in 2016 and 2019 respectively.

Globalism and an increased demand for variety and personalisation in the face of music streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music created many new subgenres. US digital music sales topped CD sales in 2012.[546] Dance, hip-hop, and pop music surged in the 2010s,[547] with hip-hop and R&B surpassing rock as the biggest US music genre in 2018.[548]


Electronic dance music (EDM) achieved mass commercial success in the middle of the decade but fell somewhat into decline by the end.[549][550] The mass global appeal of EDM music (and subgenres such as dubstep, electro house and trap) from the early-to-mid part of the decade spawned the rise in fame of DJs and digital music producers, such as Skrillex, Tiësto, Avicii, Steve Aoki, Deadmau5, Calvin Harris, Baauer and Diplo.

Country music also saw a resurgence throughout the 2010s in the United States, with artists like Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, Kacey Musgraves, Chris Stapleton and Florida Georgia Line topping the charts and garnering many music industry awards.

With the rise of the internet in the 2010s, independent music (or "indie music") gained a large international cult following, with successful indie bands being Foster the People, Dr. Dog, Tally Hall, Florence and The Machine, Beach House, alt-J, Of Monsters and Men, The National, Two Door Cinema Club, and M83; as well as successful indie solo artists being Tame Impala, Neil Cicierega, St. Vincent, Father John Misty, Ellie Goulding, Feist, Sufjan Stevens, Lana Del Rey, Justin Vernon and Lorde.


Music artists like Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Rihanna and Nicki Minaj (with their albums such as 1989, The Fame Monster, My World 2.0, Teenage Dream, Doo-Wops & Hooligans, Loud and Pink Friday respectively) increased the global commercial appeal of pop music in the 2010s, with each of them selling over 100 million records in the 2010s and becoming some of the best-selling musicians of all time.

Billboard named Drake the top artist of the decade in the US.[551][note 2] Other popular musical solo artists of the 2010s included Adele, Ed Sheeran, Beyoncé, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, The Weeknd, Frank Ocean, Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, Khalid, Sam Smith, Travis Scott, Cardi B, Future, Shawn Mendes, Post Malone, Kesha, Selena Gomez and Fetty Wap.[551]

Popular musical groups of the decade included One Direction, BTS, Imagine Dragons, Mumford & Sons, Arcade Fire, Twenty One Pilots, Migos, Swedish House Mafia, Bon Iver, Zac Brown Band, Maroon 5, Alabama Shakes, The Chainsmokers, OneRepublic, Vampire Weekend, The Lumineers, Lady A, Fun, 5 Seconds of Summer and Anthem Lights.

Successful duos included The Black Keys, Run the Jewels, Matt and Kim, Rae Sremmurd, Love and Theft, LMFAO, Garfunkel and Oates and Dan + Shay.

Several prominent musicians from past decades died in the 2010s, including Ronnie James Dio in 2010, Gil Scott-Heron and Amy Winehouse in 2011, Whitney Houston and Adam Yauch in 2012, Lou Reed in 2013, Joe Cocker in 2014, Ben E. King, B.B. King and Lemmy Kilmister in 2015, David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Phife Dawg, Merle Haggard, Prince, Pete Burns, Leonard Cohen and George Michael all in 2016, Chuck Berry, Chris Cornell, Prodigy and Tom Petty in 2017, Aretha Franklin in 2018, and Keith Flint in 2019. There were also several deaths of newer hip hop artists who had started or first became successful in the 2010s, including Capital Steez, Lil Peep, XXXTentacion, Mac Miller, Nipsey Hussle, Juice WRLD and others.

Video games[edit]

Video game companies and products[edit]

The video game industry continued to be dominated by Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft; Minecraft became the best-selling game of all time in 2019.[552]

Sony's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One were released in 2013,[553] and in the United States the PlayStation 4 became the highest-selling console of the decade, surpassing Nintendo, releasing games such as Marvel's Spider-Man, God of War, Uncharted 4, The Last of Us, and Bloodborne.[554] The Nintendo Switch launched in 2017 and was responsible for bringing Nintendo's success back, the success of the console initially spawned by the strong sales of both The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, as well as Wii U ports/sequels with Super Mario Maker (Wii U) and Super Mario Maker 2 (Nintendo Switch), Splatoon (Wii U) and Splatoon 2 (Nintendo Switch), and updated "Deluxe" versions of Mario Kart 8 and New Super Mario Bros. U, among many others. Micro-consoles also emerged during the decade, a notable example being the Ouya, a system which was a commercial and critical failure that received attention online.

Handheld gaming console revenue was overtaken by mobile gaming revenue in 2011, due to the rise of smartphones and freemium apps.[555] The use of iPods, tablets, and cell phones became one of the most popular forms of gaming as the decade progressed with the rise of mobile games, expanding the industry's appeal among less traditional markets such as women and older adults. Gaming apps such as Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, Plants vs. Zombies, Fruit Ninja, Candy Crush, Flappy Bird, Clash of Clans, Temple Run, Smash Hit, Doodle Jump, Geometry Dash, Subway Surfers, and Pokémon Go became huge hits.

The popularity of video games increased across the world, as the Nintendo Wii influenced gaming in the early part of the decade,[556] and the Nintendo 3DS provided 3D gaming through autostereoscopy.[557] The successful Wii was followed by the Wii U in 2012, a commercial failure.[556] Ports and sequels to Wii U games on the Nintendo Switch would sell considerably better than their Wii U counterparts, and even though well-received games like Super Mario 3D World and Nintendo Land released on Wii U, the console still ultimately failed due to poor marketing and public confusion.[558] The Nintendo Wii would be responsible for the most critically acclaimed game of the 2010s decade, Super Mario Galaxy 2 (which is also often considered one of the greatest video games of all time by game critics).

The Wii (and later to a lesser extent the Wii U) would singlehandedly cause the increased use of motion controls in gaming with its Wii line up of games such as Wii Play: Motion, Wii Fit U, Wii Sports Club, Wii Party and Wii Party U, all released in the 2010s. Motion controls would carry over to Nintendo Switch's Joy-Con in 2017, and would form the foundation of 2010's motion-based PlayStation Move and Xbox Kinect, counterparts and competitors to the Wii. In addition to Super Mario Galaxy 2, it is notable in mentioning that Nintendo Wii released a large group of critically acclaimed games in the early 2010s with popular titles such as Kirby's Epic Yarn, Donkey Kong Country Returns (both games later in the decade released on 3DS), The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, and Sonic Colors; as well Portal 2 was a critical success on Xbox and PlayStation early in the decade.[559][560]

The 2010s marked the growth, release, and large expansion of the "Toys To Life" category. Brands such as Nintendo's Amiibo became massively popular, and allowed figurines to be bought which were scanned into games to level up, train your figurine, or receive goods for your figurine. The Amiibo skyrocketed in success due to the roster of figurines available for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, with many posting videos of them online going "amiibo hunting" mostly around late 2014 and 2015. Skylanders and Disney Infinity also remained popular at the time, as fads. The Nintendo Labo released in 2018, was also a part of the "Toys To Life" brand of video games, using cardboard to create objects such as a fishing pole, a crank, and a race-car wheel to be played with games.

Online and multiplayer games[edit]

By the early 2010s, online gaming had become a mainstay of console platforms such as Xbox and PlayStation. During the 2010s, as the number of Internet users increased, two new video game genres rapidly gained worldwide popularity – battle royales and multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBA). Both designed exclusively for multiplayer gameplay over on the Internet. First-person shooters genre were also popular genre before and during the decade. These genres are commonly played in Esports.

Professional gaming, also known as Esports, although was well known in the 2000s, it became tremendously big incurring a large increase in both viewership and prize money. By the late 2010s, it was estimated that the total audience of esports would grow to 454 million viewers, with revenue increasing to more than US$1 billion, with China accounting for 35% of the global esports revenue in 2020. The increasing availability of online streaming media platforms, particularly YouTube and Twitch, have become central to the growth and promotion of esports competitions.

Since the 2010s, a common trend among online games has been operating them as games as a service, using monetization schemes such as loot boxes and battle passes as purchasable items atop freely-offered games. Unlike purchased retail games, online games have the problem of not being permanently playable, as they require special servers in order to function.

Let's Plays[edit]

YouTube and Twitch became a platform for "Let's Players" to upload videos of themselves playing certain games, which led to the popularity of existing games and newer indie games like Cuphead, Undertale, Terraria, Octodad/Octodad: Dadliest Catch, Shovel Knight, Stardew Valley, and Five Nights at Freddy's (indie games like Cuphead were lauded for its rubber hose animation style, while Undertale's soundtrack like "Megalovania" came to light and Five Nights At Freddy's became well known for its lore).

"Let's Players" were even referenced in greater pop culture such as the 2014 episode Rehash on South Park, where Pewdiepie would be featured onto the show. Jimmy Kimmel would make a sketch parody on his YouTube channel where he would ridicule the "let's plays" culture which led to backlash from the gaming community.

Video games and movies[edit]

In the 2010s movies based on video game franchises became popular, grossing more and being talked about in the media and among fans more than ever before. Movies like Detective Pikachu starring Ryan Reynolds (which starred additional actors like Kathryn Newton as Lucy Stevens and Bill Nighy as Howard Clifford) broke box office records for movies based on game series at the time, while movies like Jim Carrey's debut in Sonic The Hedgehog created buzz in the media and on shows like Conan (where the film and its fans were satirized) in 2019 for the movie's depiction of a more realistic looking hedgehog character, which by demand of the fans, was changed into a more cartoon version of the titular character to much like and approval upon the November 2019 trailer and movie's release.[citation needed]

In early 2018 Nintendo and Illumination jointly announced (after the 2015 reveal of Nintendo's planned Universal theme parks) that they were working on a Super Mario Bros. movie. The announcement by Nintendo and Illumination was met with internet speculation; the new Illumination Super Mario film replaced the Sony-Nintendo Super Mario film that was leaked during the 2014 Sony Pictures hack.

Video game themed movies became popular as well, with films such as Ready Player One, Pixels, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Wreck-It Ralph, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Jumanji: The Next Level.

The best-selling games of every year throughout this decade were as follows:


The best-selling book of the decade was Fifty Shades of Grey, having sold 15.2 million copies in the United States.[563]

The following is a list of the 10 best-selling books of the decade. Note that global data is unavailable and this is limited to the United States:[563]

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series also became one of the best-selling book series of all time throughout the 2010s, with installments such as Cabin Fever and The Long Haul winning awards at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards.


2011 IIHF World Championship gold medal celebrations in Finland
LeBron James, a sports icon of the decade, is the only NBA player to have won four championships with three separate franchises.

Popular athletes of the decade included Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Megan Rapinoe, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Tiger Woods, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Canelo Álvarez, Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Kyle Busch, Conor McGregor, Ronda Rousey, Mike Trout, Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Shaun White, Kelly Slater, Simone Biles, Sidney Crosby and many more.

At the 2010 Wimbledon Championships, tennis players John Isner and Nicolas Mahut competed in the longest professional tennis match in history, requiring five sets and 183 games for Isner to ultimately defeat Mahut in a match which lasted 11 hours and 5 minutes, and was played over the course of three days.

A doping scandal and investigation that was concluded in 2012 led to former professional road racing cyclist Lance Armstrong being stripped of all seven of his Tour de France titles.

On 14 October 2012, skydiver Felix Baumgartner completed a jump from the stratosphere and set world records for the highest skydive (39 km or 24 mi), fastest freefall speed (1,357.64 km/h or 843.6 mph, or Mach 1.25), and became the first person in history to break the sound barrier without vehicular power.

In 2015, after Thoroughbred racehorse American Pharoah won the American Triple Crown and the Breeders' Cup Classic, he became 12th Triple Crown winner in history and the first in more than 30 years, and in winning all four races, became the first horse ever to win the Grand Slam of Thoroughbred racing.

In November 2016, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series for the first time since 1908, over the then-Cleveland Indians. Their win, along with Game 7 and the entire 2016 Series, was heavily noted in the sports and baseball community. It is often considered one of the best World Series ever played, due to the underdog nature of both teams, how close the games were and especially the final game, and how it ultimately ended the over 100-year drought of the Cubs not winning a series.

In June 2017, rock climber Alex Honnold became the first person in history to free solo climb El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, an accomplishment that one commentator described as "one of the great athletic feats of any kind, ever."

In January 2018, the final play of an NFL playoffs game between the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints, dubbed the "Minneapolis Miracle", became the first time in NFL playoffs history where a game ended in a touchdown as time expired, and prompted a change to the NFL's rules as they pertain to extra-point conversion attempts.


As the decade drew to a close, some commentators looked back on it as a politically unstable period. An article in the New York Times stated: "With the rise of nationalist movements and a backlash against globalisation on both sides of the Atlantic, the liberal post-World War II order – based on economic integration and international institutions – began to unravel." It heavily discussed the US presidency of Donald Trump (a reality TV Star and businessman with no political experience at the time of taking office, succeeding Barack Obama) whilst also commenting, "Echoes of Mr. Trump's nationalist populism can be found in Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain's recent electoral victory and the Brexit referendum of 2016, and in the ascent of the far-right President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India. Democracy is under threat in Hungary and Poland. Once fringe right-wing parties with openly racist agendas are rebranding themselves in Sweden and Belgium. And far-right groups in Germany and Spain are now the third-largest parties in those nations' parliaments."[564] A December 2019 piece in The Guardian argued that the 2010s would be remembered "as a time of crises", elaborating "there have been crises of democracy and the economy; of the climate and poverty; of international relations and national identity; of privacy and technology". The article also noted that, in Britain, "politics since 2010 has often been manic. Parties have hastily changed their leaders and policies; sometimes their entire guiding philosophies. Last week's general election was the fourth of the decade; the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s had two apiece."[565] Similar trends of political unrest were felt beyond the Western world, as suggested in The Asian Review, which described the 2010s as a "tumultuous time for Asia, sometimes tragic, sometimes triumphant and never dull".[566]

See also[edit]

The following articles contain brief timelines which list the most prominent events of the decade:


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  2. ^ a b Billboard awards are based on album and digital songs sales, radio airplay, streaming, touring and social engagement.[2]


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