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2010s (decade)

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2010s (decade)

Millennium: 3rd millennium
Centuries: 20th century21st century22nd century
Decades: 1980s 1990s 2000s2010s2020s 2030s 2040s
Years: 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

The 2010s, pronounced "twenty-tens"[1] or "two thousand (and) tens",[2][3][4][5] is the current decade, which began on January 1, 2010, and will end on December 31, 2019.


Mixed pronunciation

Among experts and the general public, there is some disagreement as to how specific years of the 21st century should be pronounced in English.[6] While most people pronounced the years 2000 to 2009 as "two thousand (and) _", the pronunciation in the 2010s has been mixed. The year 2013, for example, is referred to by some as "twenty-thirteen" and by others as "two thousand (and) thirteen" and this mixed pronunciation continues as of today.[7]

Global financial crisis

The 2010s began amidst a global financial crisis that started in the late 2000s. In particular, the ongoing Eurozone debt crisis, which stemmed from these economic problems, first became pronounced in May 2010 and continues with a global recovery. Along with the recovery in 2013, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a 5-year high on Tuesday, May 28, 2013, and it is continuing to slowly rise. Also, the Dow had its longest stretch of gains since the tech boom of the late 1990s. But, economic issues such as inflation, and an increase in commodity prices, sparked immense unrest in many lower-income countries. In some countries, particularly Arab ones, political unrest eventually evolved into socio-economic crises which set off numerous revolutions, such as in Kyrgyzstan and Tunisia in 2010, and Libya, Syria, Yemen and Egypt in 2011 and 2012. This widespread recent phenomenon is now known as the Arab Spring, and it still continues, as of November 2013.

Politics and wars


Main articles: List of wars 2003–2010 and List of wars 2011–present

The prominent wars of the decade so far include:

International wars

Civil wars, guerrilla wars and political revolutions

  • Arab Spring (December 17, 2010 – present) – a revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests occurring in the Arab world that began on Friday, December 17, 2010. In December 2010, protests first began, in Tunisia and Algeria. On January 14, 2011, the President of Tunisia, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, resigned after 23 years as President. On January 25, 2011, protests against President Hosni Mubarak began in Egypt. Mubarak resigned on February 11, 2011. Protests against Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year-rule then began in Libya, which later developed into a nationwide uprising, and, eventually, a civil war. At the same time, protests started in numerous other Arab countries, including Yemen, Jordan, Sudan, and Saudi Arabia. On January 26, 2011, protests against President Bashar al-Assad's rule began in Syria. In March 2011, the uprising intensified, and the Syrian Army was deployed by the government, to quell the popular uprising. In 2012, the Syrian conflict became a civil war, and fighting between the regime forces and the opposition intensified. The Syrian civil war still continues, to the present-day.
  • Libyan civil war (February 15 – October 23, 2011) – a series of demonstrations and riots held against Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule. The widespread demonstrations, which erupted in response to the high unemployment rate in Libya and the lack of development in the country, rapidly escalated into a civil war as Gaddafi used his military force against the Libyan rebels. As a result, fifty thousand Libyans have died.[12] The civil war came to an end when Gaddafi was killed during the liberation in Sirte, Libya on October 20, 2011.
  • Syrian civil war (January 26, 2011 – present) – a series of demonstrations and riots held against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In April 2011, the Syrian Army deployed tanks, and other weapons, in an attempt to quell the protests. However, the opposition forces soon started to become more and more organized, eventually resulting in the formation of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). On July 15, 2012, the International Committee of the Red Cross declared that the 18-month uprising was a civil war.
  • Mexican Drug War (2006–present) – an armed conflict fought between rival drug cartels and government forces in Mexico. Although Mexican drug cartels, or drug trafficking organizations, have existed for quite some time, they have become more powerful since the demise of Colombia's Cali and Medellín cartels in the 1990s. Mexican drug cartels now dominate the wholesale illicit drug market in the United States.[13] Arrests of key cartel leaders, particularly in the Tijuana and Gulf cartels, have led to increasing drug violence as cartels fight for control of the trafficking routes into the United States.[14][15][16] Roughly more than 28,299 people in total were killed between December 2006 until November 2010.[17]
  • War in North-West Pakistan (2004–present) – an armed conflict between the Pakistani Armed Forces and Islamic militants made up of local tribesmen, the Taliban, and foreign Mujahideen (Holy Warriors). It began in 2004 when tensions rooted in the Pakistani Army's search for al-Qaeda members in Pakistan's mountainous Waziristan area (in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas) escalated into armed resistance by local tribesmen. The violence has displaced 3.44 million civilians[18] and to more than 7,000 civilians being killed.[19]
  • Sa'dah insurgency (2004–2010) – a civil war in the Sa'dah Governorate of Yemen. It began after the Shī‘a Zaidiyyah sect launched an uprising against the Yemeni government. The Yemeni government has accused Iran of directing and financing the insurgency.[20] Thousands of rebels and civilians have been killed during the conflict.[21][22]
  • War in Somalia (1991–present) – involved largely the forces of the Somali Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) assisted by African Union peacekeeping troops, who fought against various militant Islamist factions for control of the country. The violence has displaced thousands of people residing in Mogadishu, the nation's capital. 1,739 people in total were killed between January 1, 2009 until January 1, 2010.[23]
  • Conflict in the Niger Delta (2004–present) – an ongoing conflict in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The conflict was caused due to the tensions between the foreign oil corporations and a number of the Niger Delta's minority ethnic groups who felt they were being exploited, particularly the Ogoni and the Ijaw. The competition for oil wealth has led to an endless violence cycle between innumerable ethnic groups, causing the militarization of nearly the entire region which was occupied by militia groups as well as Nigerian military and the forces of the Nigerian Police.
  • Civil war in Chad (2005–2010) involved Chadian government forces and several Chadian rebel groups. The government of Chad estimated in January 2006 that 614 Chadian citizens had been killed in cross-border raids.[24] The fighting still continues despite several attempts to reach agreements.
  • Insurgency in the Maghreb (2002–present)Algeria has been the subject of an Islamic insurgency since 2002 waged by the Sunni Islamic Jihadist militant group Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC). GSPC allied itself with the Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb against the Algerian government. The conflict has since spread to other neighbouring countries.
  • Colombian Armed Conflict (1964–present) has changed substantially after the government of Alvaro Uribe. President Juan Manuel Santos took office in 2010 and seeks to continue Uribe's policy about terrorism. The FARC and ELN guerrillas are weaker than ever and divided, with the latter calling for peace talks with the government. Meanwhile, paramilitary forces have demobilized, but irregular drug-trafficking forces called "Bacrim" have gained control over much of the areas that the AUC paramilitaries previously held. The "Bacrim" gangs have allied with guerrillas in some regions of the country like Chocó and Antioquia.
  • Northern Mali conflict (2012-2013) - a rebellion by Tuaregs in Northern Mali began in January 2012. After Malian president Amadou Toumani Touré was ousted in a coup d'état, tuaregs captured all of Northern Mali. In April 2012, the "Independent State of Azawad" was declared by the MLNA, a tuareg organization. Islamist groups Ansar Dine, AQIM and MOJWA seized Northern Mali from the MLNA and imposed sharia law in the region. France and various African states are helping the Malian military to recapture most of Northern Mali.


Main article: List of coups d'état and coup attempts since 2010

Terrorist attacks

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

Nuclear weapons controversies

  • Since 2005, Iran's nuclear program has become the subject of contention with the Western world due to suspicions that Iran could divert the civilian nuclear technology to a weapons program. This has led the UN Security Council to impose sanctions against Iran on select companies linked to this program, thus furthering its economic isolation on the international scene. The U.S. Director of National Intelligence said in February 2009 that Iran would not realistically be able to a get a nuclear weapon until 2013, if it chose to develop one.[25]
  • The United States and Russia sign a treaty to cut nuclear weapons in either nation in Prague in April 2010, a week later U.S. President Barack Obama hosts a Nuclear Security Summit where the attending nations decides to lock onto their nuclear arms, to make sure no terrorists get hands on these weapons of mass destruction, also South Korea was selected to hold the second Nuclear Security Summit in 2012.
  • During the 2013 Korean crisis, North Korea threatened nuclear war against the United States, Japan, and South Korea.

Political events

The prominent political events of the decade so far include:


  • The international new-media non-profit organization WikiLeaks published three massive sets of documents pertaining to the Iraq War, the Afghanistan War, and US diplomacy, which, respectively, were released in April, July, and November 2010. Each of these releases was accompanied by heavy and extensive weeks-long coverage in news media all over the world, and had a strong impact on the global political landscape, with strong reactions from leaders within many major countries.





  • Between January 9–15, 2011 a referendum was held in Southern Sudan on whether the region should remain a part of Sudan or become independent. In the referendum a majority of 98.83% voted in favour of separation from Sudan and the creation of an independent state.
  • January 14, 2011 – Amidst anti-government demonstrations, Tunisia's President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali dissolves the government, declares a state of emergency, and resigns from office.
  • January 25 – February 11, 2011 – Inspired by the Tunisian demonstrators, thousands of protesters in Egypt call for a resignation or ousting of Hosni Mubarak, longtime president of the nation, who many feel has been in power far too long and has no interests of the public. Mubarak resigns on 11 February.
  • February 15 – October 23, 2011: A popular revolt against Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule over Libya leads to thousands of deaths and UN sanctions against the nation's government following a brutal crackdown against protestors.[29]
  • January 16, 2012 – February 8, 2013 – An Islamist revolt in Mali threatens to control the whole country and forces a coalition, led by France, to take military actions and restore peace.
  • March 25, 2013 – Rebel forces conquest the Capital of the Central African Republic, Bangui, force the President Francois Bozize to flee and form a new government.


Assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts

Main article: List of assassinations and assassination attempts

Prominent assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts of the decade so far include:

  • January 8, 2011 – Gabrielle Giffords, U.S. Representative from Arizona, was a victim of a shooting near Tucson which was reported to be an assassination attempt on her, at a supermarket where she was meeting publicly with constituents. Giffords was critically injured by a gunshot wound to the head; 13 people were injured and 6 others were killed in the shooting, among them conservative federal judge John Roll.
  • May 1, 2011 – Osama bin Laden, the founder and leader of the militant Islamist group Al-Qaeda, was killed in a targeted killing in Abbottabad, Pakistan in an operation conducted by a team of United States Navy SEAL commandos from the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU), under the command of the Joint Special Operations Command, in conjunction with U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operatives.
  • September 30, 2011 – Anwar al-Awlaki, a senior talent recruiter, planner, and spiritual leader of al-Qaeda, was killed in a targeted killing in the northern al-Jawf province of Yemen, in an operation carried out by the US military in which two Predator drones fired Hellfire missiles at a vehicle in which he and other suspected al-Qaeda members were driving, killing them.[30] The strike was carried out by Joint Special Operations Command, under the direction of the CIA.[30]
  • October 20, 2011 – Muammar Gaddafi, Libya's ousted leader, was shot to death in Sirte, with National Transitional Council forces taking control of the city.[31]
  • September 4, 2012 - Pauline Marois, Premier-designate of Quebec, is rushed offstage during her victory speech after Richard Henry Bain opens fire at the Metropolis in Montreal, killing one person and critically injuring another.[32]


The most prominent disasters of the decade so far include:

Non-natural disasters

Aviation & naval disasters

Pollution disasters

  • On April 20, 2010, an explosion on BP's Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig, operating in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, left eleven crewmen dead and resulted in a fire that sank the rig and caused a massive-scale oil spill[36] that became the worst environmental disaster in United States history.[37] On June 18, 2010, oceanographer John Kessler said that the crude gushing from the well contains 40 percent methane, compared to about 5 percent found in typical oil deposits. Methane is a natural gas that could potentially suffocate marine life and create "dead zones" where oxygen is so depleted that nothing lives. "This is the most vigorous methane eruption in modern human history," Kessler said.[38] On June 20, an internal BP document was released by Congress revealing that BP estimated the flow could be as much as 100,000 barrels (4,200,000 US gallons; 16,000 cubic metres) per day under the circumstances that existed since the April 20 blowout.[39][40] On July 15, 2010, The BP Oil Spill was stopped for the first time, 86 days after oil started leaking into the Gulf of Mexico.
  • On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0[41] earthquake off the coast of Sendai caused a tsunami that severely damaged the Fukushima Daiichi and Fukushima Daini nuclear power plants. The damage resulted in the worst nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl disaster, contaminating water, soil and crops in the area with iodine-131 and caesium-137.

Natural disasters

  • On January 12, 2010 a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hits Haiti, causing widespread destruction in Port-au-Prince. Haitian authorities currently believe that the disaster killed between 200,000 and 250,000 people.[42] Over 2 million people were affected and over 3 million in need of emergency aid.
  • On February 27, 2010 an 8.8 magnitude earthquake occurs in Chile, triggering a tsunami over the Pacific and killing 497.[43] One of the largest earthquakes in recorded history, this rare megathrust earthquake probably shifts Earth's axis and slightly shortens its days.[44][45] Another earthquake, of magnitude 6.9, occurred on 11 March of the same year, minutes before President Sebastián Piñera was sworn in; it was centred in Pichilemu, Cardenal Caro Province.[46]
  • In early 2010, eruptions of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano of Iceland caused unprecedented disruption to international air travel, rendering transatlantic flight impossible and closing the airways over much of Europe.
  • On April 4, 2010 (Easter Sunday) a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico killing four and injuring a hundred. The neighbouring United States border towns in Imperial Valley, California were also affected.
  • On April 13, 2010 a 6.9 magnitude earthquake occurs in western China, killing at least 2,200 and injuring more than 12,000.[47][48]
  • Early November 2010 – Mount Merapi erupts in Indonesia, killing hundreds and grounding flights to Singapore, Jakarta and other Southeast Asian cities.
  • 2010 Pakistan floods – Began in July 2010 after record heavy monsoon rains. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan was worst affected. At least 1,600 people were killed, thousands were rendered homeless, and more than thirteen million people were affected.[49][50][51][52][53] Estimates from rescue service officials suggest the death toll may reach 3,000 victims.[54]
  • On January 11 & 12, 2011, Brazil's worst natural disaster ever occurred. The January 2011 Rio de Janeiro floods and mudslides killed more than 900 people in 7 cities in the state of Rio de Janeiro and left damage that cost more than a billion dollars.
  • On February 22, 2011, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 185 and leaving 200 more missing.
  • On March 11, 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit near Sendai, Japan, creating a 10 meter (33 foot) tsunami, leaving over 15,000 now confirmed dead, possibly over 10,000 missing and over 150,000 people displaced into emergency shelters.[55] The earthquake and tsunami also damaged several nuclear reactors in the region, leaving at least one in danger of melting down. This was recorded as the worst earthquake in Japan. Damages could exceed over billion, making it the costliest natural disaster.
  • The 2011 Super Outbreak happened from 25–28 April 2011, killing 340+ people, injuring thousands and caused billion of damage from the 332 confirmed tornadoes. 27 April was the worst tornado day since the "Tri-State" outbreak in 1925. It is now the deadliest tornado outbreak in the history of the United States of America. Before the disaster occurred, merely two weeks prior, the states affected in the outbreak had also been damaged from the April 14–16, 2011 tornado outbreak, leaving 43 people dead.
  • The May 21–26, 2011 tornado outbreak was over a span of seven days in which 183 people were confirmed dead from 180 confirmed tornadoes. After a record active April, May was relatively quiet during the first three weeks until that pattern changed abruptly as a strong low-pressure area and associated dry line and cold front tracked eastward towards the Midwest of the United States in late May. More than a third of the deaths is contributed from the EF5 Joplin tornado on 22 May, which killed 162, injured 900+ and ranks as the both the costliest and seventh-deadliest single tornado in US history. Damages for the whole outbreak is between –7 billion.
  • In late August 2011, Hurricane Irene wreaks havoc across the Caribbean, then makes several landfalls as a major Category 3 in the Bahamas and threatened over 65 million people in the US East Coast during late August. Irene made three US landfalls in the states of North Carolina, New Jersey and New York over a two-day span. Overall, 55 fatalities and over billion in damages were contributed.
  • The 2011 Van earthquake strikes the Turkish city of Van, leaving over 610 dead and thousands injured.
  • A rare October snow storm hits the northeastern United States and Mid-Atlantic United States just days before Halloween in 2011, leaving millions without power and killing 15.
  • Tropical Storm Washi causes catastrophic damage in the Philippine island of Mindanao on the night of December 16, 2011. More than 1,000 are reported to be dead and thousands injured or missing. President Benigno Aquino III declared a state of calamity.
  • In late October 2012, Hurricane Sandy causes immense destruction in Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, the United States, and even Canada. Also known as "Superstorm Sandy", the storm ultimately becomes the largest and second-costliest Atlantic tropical cyclone ever.
  • In November and December 2012, Typhoon Bopha, a Category 5 Super-Typhoon, strikes the southern Philippines (including areas already affected by Tropical Storm Washi in 2011), killing over 1,000 and leaving hundreds more missing.
  • In early February 2013, a massive blizzard - dubbed "Winter Storm Nemo" by some media outlets - hits the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada, killing 18 and dropping a near-record amount of snowfall.
  • On May 20, 2013, a tornado kills 24 people and wounds over 300 in Moore, Oklahoma.
  • In June 2013, the 2013 Alberta floods occur, causing historic flooding in downtown Calgary, Alberta.
  • In October 15, 2013, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake jolts the Visayas region in the Philippines and has killed over 200 people.


The Great Recession, which began in the year 2007, officially ended in mid-2009, though unemployment has failed to recover. In the United States, a Gallup poll found that more than half of Americans believe the country is still in a recession.[56] Some economists believe that the 'recession' has not only continued, but is actually a mild economic depression much like the Great Depression of the 1930s.[57] There is an energy crisis in the world due to the protests and riots in the Middle East and North Africa.[58][59] Production of conventional crude oil plateaued in 2004 at 74 million barrels per day.[60] Because new sources of energy are still being developed, industrialized nations are still vulnerable to loss of supply, such as the relatively small output that was shut off during the Libya civil war, and the failure of releases from strategic reserves to stem high prices.[61][62] The International Energy Agency has found that global crude oil production reached its apex in 2006, meaning production from currently producing oil fields is forecast to drop and future oil supply projections represent unconventional sources of crude, a prediction it admits is less than certain.[63][64][65] Another school of opinion attributes the high energy prices in the western world to government regulation.[66]

A sovereign-debt crisis in Europe began in early 2010, and the Greek government admitted that it was having difficulties servicing its large sovereign debt. Speculation abounded that it would be unable to make required bond payments due in 2010. causing the Euro to drop in value versus the US dollar and pushing the Greek/German yield spread to almost 4%. In May 2010, Eurozone leaders agreed to a billion euro three-year rescue package.[67] However, by the following year, the country's fiscal condition had not improved.[68] In the summer and fall of 2011 bond yields for Italy and Spain spike above 6 percent.[69] China becomes the second largest global economy, surpassing Japan.[70] China currently faces out-of-control inflation, a real estate bubble, and troubling demographics that will lead to a shrinking labour force, all of which could lead to a collapse of the Chinese economy.[71][72][73]

Debt struggles plague advanced countries. The crisis in Greece fuels growing fears of contagion.[74] Beyond Greece, European countries such as Ireland, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Austria, Slovakia and Slovenia see their credit rating downgraded.[75][76][77][78][79] In August 2011, the S&P downgrades the United States' credit rating from triple AAA to AA-plus.[80] In September 2011 Italy is downgraded by S&P from A+.[81] Japan also sees a rating downgrade due to debt burden.[82] In October 2011 European leaders devised another Greek debt agreement in which private banks that loaned Greece money agreed to voluntarily write down or revalue Greek debt by 53.5%. Overall losses for private bondholders would be above 70 percent when accounting for the new bonds' longer repayment period and lower interest rate.[83] The size of the European Financial Stability Facility was increased from €440 billion to €2 trillion.[84]

Society and trends

The 2010s are notable for being the first decade in which the population of Earth has been more urban than rural; the portion of the human population living in cities and urban areas reached 50% in 2007.[85]

The world population is projected to peak at 9 billion by 2050, and many countries reported declining fertility rates in the 2010 census.[86] Society by the 2010s is still being accustomed to the huge changes the Internet, globalization and digital technology make in everyday life, with many young people growing up spending their entire lives exposed to microchip technology.[87] At the same time, the world is grappling with the Great Recession that began in 2007 and continues into the 2010s.

Political polarization and pension reform

In the United States and, to a lesser degree, elsewhere, political polarization continues and/or increases as conservatives and progressives clash over the role of government and other social, economic, and environmental issues. Polls in the US continue to show a divided electorate regarding job creation, debt reduction, and taxation.[88][89][90][91][92][93]

As of 2013 the average age of a human being on Earth is about 30 years old (28.4 in 2009); hence the average birth date is around the year 1983.[94] This ranges locally from as low as the teenage years in the developing world to as high as the mid-40s in several countries including Japan. In 1950 the average global age was only about 24 years.[94] The aging of populations in the developed countries, most prominently Europe and Japan, continues as the Baby boomers generation reaches the age of retirement. This has caused a large debate over the Medicare and Social Security programs in the United States. Many popular opinions among Americans are that either the retirement age should be raised,[95][96][97][98] the Social Security and Medicare programs be replaced with another type of pension,[99][100][101] or that Medicare and Social Security should be abolished in its entirety.[102][103][104]

Growing acceptance of the LGBT community

Acceptance of LGBT people slowly increases across the world, with significantly higher levels of support among younger generations than among older generations, though a growth in all age groups.[105][106][107] For the first time, in June 2011, the United Nations passed a motion in support of LGBT rights across the world, 21 years after the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of diseases.[108][109] Although many nations already allowed for gays to serve openly in the military, a major milestone in LGBT history was made in September 2011 when the United States joined that list by abolishing its Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.[110][111] The issue of marriage for same-sex couples is an ongoing debate in many nations, but over sixteen nations and thirteen states in the United States have legalized same-sex marriage (as of May 2013). In most cases, votes to legalize same-sex marriage fall along a strict-party line vote with leftist parties favoring legalization and more conservative ones favoring no recognition at all. However, as the culture continues to shift more supportive, conservatives are growing more comfortable with marriage equality as was the case for New York's effort to legalize same-sex marriage and the ongoing debate in the United Kingdom, where legalization of same-sex marriage has been seen as a priority by the Conservative Party.[112][113][114][115][116] In May 2012, President Barack Obama became the first sitting United States president to support same-sex marriage.[117] Polls found that by 2012, 53% of Americans supported gay marriage, up dramatically from six years prior when just over one-third of respondents believed it should be legal. In addition, less than four out of ten Americans believed that marriage for gay and lesbian couples should be illegal.[118]

While many western countries are becoming more accepting and tolerant towards gays and lesbians, some nations such as Russia, are becoming more distant. In 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law that criminalized free expression.[119] Prior to its passage, St. Petersburg drafted its own ban on free expression and banned pride events as well.[120] Russia's actions brought concern to many human rights organizations and free speech proponents, even pushing for a boycott of Russian products and the 2014 Winter Olympics, which are to be held in Sochi.[121][122]

Youth culture

Youth culture such as skateboarding continues to spread to countries such as Afghanistan.[123] Internet memes grew in popularity across the Internet since around late 2009, although internet memes existed as far back as the web's infancy in the 1990s. Current trends set Internet memes to grow hugely and enter the mainstream of TV and general entertainment in the coming years. In 2013, Baauer's Harlem shake is the first internet meme song to reach the #1 spot on the Billboard Top 100, reflecting a shift in popular culture as internet memes become mainstream and not a "geek" counterculture.

Other societal trends

New urbanism and urban revival continue to be forces in urban planning in the United States.[124] However, evidence shows that growth of American suburbs still outpaces urban growth.[125]

Environmentalism slowly continues to become mainstream, though action on curbing fossil fuels has been limited in its success.[126]

The world's major civilizations are now interacting more than ever in history, creating tensions but also bringing new ideas to cultures that previously did not have them. This occurs more often not only physically but in cyberspace. This is radically changing the economic and social fabric in virtually every part of the world. China, considered an emerging power in the 1990s and 2000s, has increasingly been called a superpower in the early 2010s, such as at the 2011 meeting between Hu Jintao and Barack Obama.[127]

Individuality and uniqueness continues to be increasingly valued as opposed to conformism. A well noted example of this are baby names, which have become far more individualized since the 1960s, but especially since the 1990s and the introduction of the Internet.[128]

In America, migration to the Sun Belt, large during the last decades of the 20th century and the 2000s decade, declines; migration in general around the US has been in decline since the beginning of the 1980s,[129] reaching their lowest levels since information began being kept in 1948.[130]

AIDS, a pandemic responsible for killing over 30 million people since its discovery in the early 1980s, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, becomes a treatable condition; though only one case has been cured,[131] the disease is no longer a death sentence and with good treatment victims can generally expect to live normal lives and lifespans. However, as of 2011 only a bit more than 5 million of the 12 million people who need drugs for AIDS get them and hence many people still die from the disease.[131]

Ufology has seen a decline in popularity compared to its heyday in the 1980s and 1990s. In the 1990s, there were well over 100 groups involved in UFO research in the UK; in 2013 this number declined to about 30.[132]

Science and technology



  • The ethics and consequences of indefinite life extension begin to be considered as the technology becomes more feasible.[137]
  • By February 2011, the IPv4 internet addresses officially ran out. An early period of transition to IPv6 continued during 2011.[138]
  • Supercomputers are projected to reach exaflop scale in 2019.[139]
  • By March 2011, more than 2 billion people used the Internet.[140]
  • One billion mobile broadband users predicted by sometime in 2011, and 4.6 billion people worldwide were subscribed to mobile phones.[141]
  • On April 3, 2010, Apple Inc. launches its first tablet computer called the iPad which offers multi-touch interaction with multimedia formats including newspapers, magazines, ebooks, textbooks, photos, movies, TV shows videos, music, word processing documents, spreadsheets, video games. The iPad soon became an immediate bestseller and only months after its release became the best selling tech gadget in history.[142] Multiple competing tablet computers are now on the market.
  • Mobile phone apps, introduced in the later 2000s, explode in popularity; In June 2011, Americans spent more time using apps than using the World Wide Web.[143]
  • On May 25, 2012, SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft becomes the first private commercial spacecraft to successfully attach to the International Space Station, thus ushering in a new era for commercial spaceflights.
  • Tablet sales now overtook netbooks for the first time, and in 2012 netbook sales fell by 25 percent, year-on-year.
  • By 2012, Samsung overtook Nokia for the first time as the largest mobile phone maker in the world.
  • By 2013, the people living in developed countries uses more smartphones than feature phones as the sales and users declined steadily for the first time.
  • Sales for PCs steadily decline as more and more people purchase tablet computers.[144]

Additional notable world-wide events

Popular culture

Film and television

Film and television, two industries that have dominated pop culture for a large part of the last century found themselves struggling to maintain their predominant influence throughout this decade.[149] The struggles plaguing the music industry in the previous decade had begun to catch up to other mediums, as well as the consequences of ever-increasing online usage by consumers. Internet piracy was a major concern for the industry as well and a reluctance to adapt to consumer demand through online venues even further harmed the industry's image.[150] In 2008, the industry launched the joint venture video site Hulu to combat numerous piracy concerns from other video-sharing sites.[151] As of 2010, Hulu was contemplating a US$2 billion IPO.[152] As of 2012, Viacom is pursuing a US$1 billion lawsuit against YouTube for copyright infringement.[153] Furthermore, governments began looking at ways to combat internet piracy. In early 2012, the United States Congress began debating the infamous SOPA and PIPA bills that were heavily lobbied by the entertainment industry and widely unpopular among the population.[154] Despite government efforts to debate the issue, internet piracy is still expected to be a major concern throughout the decade.[155][156]

Cable providers saw a decline in their membership in favor of online streaming services such as Hulu, Netflix and's Prime service due to cheaper cost to consumers.[157][158] These non-cable, internet-based media streaming services even began producing their own programming.[159]

TV sets, such as the SmartTV by Samsung, start to integrate the internet to traditional television, giving more choices that are more traditional and high quality than cable, along with more family friendly middle class entertainment.

3D films, although not a new technology, saw a resurgence in popularity after the long-awaited release of James Cameron's Avatar in late-2009.[160][161][162] In 2010, Avatar became the first film to gross more than US$2 billion.[163] The box office success of other 3D releases that year insured the industry that 3D movies were not a fad.[164][165] In fact, the video game and television industries began to look into utilizing the 3D trend by releasing their own 3D products and services.

Animated films in the 2010s remain predominately computer generated. Traditional 2D animation has struggled in recent years and is seen by some industry giants like Michael Eisner to be an outdated artform or casualty to the rise of CGI-based films.[166][167] Japanese anime still remain to be fairly popular 2D mediums globally and may be the exception to this trend.[168] In 2010, Toy Story 3 became the first animated film to gross more than US$1 billion worldwide.[169] Established long-running 2D animated sitcoms are still widely popular as well.[170]

The American Soap opera format slides in popularity as reality television and daytime talk shows continue to move in on their time slots.[171][172] All My Children and One Life to Live, both globally broadcast series that have been on the air for decades are cancelled, but will return in 2013 as an online broadcast through join arrangement of Hulu and Prospect Park Productions.[173] Prime-time television serials and Spanish-language telenovelas remain popular globally.[174]

In 2010, Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to receive the Academy Award for Best Director for the 2009 movie The Hurt Locker.[175]

The highly controversial, globally acclaimed 2000 Japanese film "Battle Royale" was officially released to theaters and home media in the United States after more than eleven years of quiet corporate wrangling by both American and Japanese distributors; the first planned Los Angeles public theatrical run in December 2011 was extended by six days due to popular demand.[176][177]

Academy Award Best Pictures


The trend of musicals based on movies reaches a peak in 2013 when for the first time, the four nominees for the Best Musical Tony Award are all based on movies.

Rights for many shows from the 2000s, including The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Spring Awakening, and Hairspray, were released for amateur production.

Locally, many theaters begin to perform smaller productions with less actor and set requirements as a way of coping with the Great Recession. This made shows like the aforementioned Spelling Bee into standards.


Main article: 2010s in music

Popular music in the early stages of the decade has witnessed a revival of that of the 1980s, with the growing popularity of Synthpop after 2009. While stylistically music has seen the creation of only a few genres since about 1992, the musical paradigm shifts in the previous decade regarding how people obtain and listen to music including the rise of the MP3 format,.[178][179][180] televised national musical contests,[181] and the declining influence of the recording industry have had major effects on the state of music globally in a relatively short time.[182][183][184] According to a Nielsen and Billboard report, digital music sales in 2012 topped the physical sale of music.[185]

In terms of popular music, the heavy use of Auto-Tune and Talk box has dramatically changed the landscape of the Top-40 charts. At the same time, electronic dance music and electropop have gained significant popularity; autotune became widespread during the late 2000s and early-2010s, making a sound that differentiates 2010s music from the popular music styles of the early 2000s.[186] Another noticeable trend that began late in the 2000s and is continuing into this decade is the prevalence of dance and pop music.[187][188][189] In the early 2010s Dubstep and Drumstep, originating in the United Kingdom, rose in popularity globally.[190][191][192] In the mid 2010s Dubstep then declined in global popularity,[193] while Drumstep is continuing to grow in popularity along with Drum and Bass. It mirrors the electronic-leaning musical trends elsewhere, while Hardstyle is increasingly popular in Australia, with music festivals such as Defqon 1 and IQON.[194][195][196]

Record of the Year Grammy Winners


Postmodernism and green designs[197][198] are common themes seen throughout the architecture of the decade. The aftermath of the energy crisis and the threat of peak oil have pushed developers to creating structures that are as sustainable as possible whether that is through the use of natural lighting, green/white roofs, better insulation, and other cost-saving means.[199] Architect Bjarke Ingels, known for designing the Danish pavilion at Expo 2010, has proposed a type of "hedonistic sustainability" to create a balance between playful art and sustainability.[200]

China and Dubai have been regarded as the "architect playgrounds" of this decade.[201][202][203][204] Many iconic structures, including the current world's tallest building Burj Khalifa and the Shanghai Tower, are placed in these regions of the world. Dubai's development has been slowed by the global recession,[205] but China continues to flourish in its development towards a modern nation.[206] In fact, China is pushing Shanghai to become a global financial center by 2015.[207][208] As China continues to develop, it will continue to struggle to provide energy for its 1 billion strong population. China's Three Gorges Dam became fully operational in 2011 and is one of the world's largest gravity dams.[209]

A supertall skyscraper race began in the late-2000s and in 2010, Dubai's Burj Khalifa became the tallest man-made structure ever built, standing at 828 m (2,717 ft). The title is not expected to last too long as other projects proposed or approved such as the Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia[210] hopes to rise even higher.

The Gotthard Base Tunnel, the world's longest railway tunnel, is scheduled to be completed in 2017 or 2018. The One World Trade Center is sign end 2013, the One World Trade is the highest Building in the USA.


See also 2010s in sports

Events held


Video gaming

Coming into the 2010s, video games and their associated culture matures into an established element of pop culture. According to the Entertainment Software Association, the average age of a person who plays games is 30.[211]

Some of the new and innovative trends to gaming culture in this decade include cloud gaming, the rise of 3D gaming, and the ever-increasing advancements in graphic card technologies leading to more photo-realistic graphics. Video game sales declined in the early-2010s, most likely due to the effects of the Great Recession,[212] but the industry still continued to make millions of dollars in profits from wide-releases of popular franchises. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, released in late-2011, made over US$775 million in one-week which put that particular first-person shooter video game on par or even surpassing records of the film industry's opening numbers that week.[213]

The first few years of the decade was dominated primarily with seventh generation consoles. This includes Microsoft's Xbox 360, the Sony PlayStation 3, and Nintendo's Wii. The lack of many wide release titles on the PC lead some industry critics to question whether PC gaming is dead entirely.[214] The PC, however still remains the preferred choice medium by the Sims franchise and many of Blizzard's popular titles despite they themselves expanding onto other devices.[215][216] 2012 introduced the first console regarded to be in the eighth generation, the Wii U. Sony and Microsoft have initially stated that their PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles were to be on a ten-year lifespan which wouldn't place a release of one of their consoles until 2014 or 2016,[217][218][219] but the Wii U's announcement has prompted the other two industry giants to make swifter timetables of release. The successor to the Xbox 360 is expected to be released in 2013 and feature 3D gaming and touchscreen controllers.[220] The eighth generation consoles are expected to face stiff competition from tablet and smartphone gaming markets, as well as an increased interest in independent games promoted by popular social networking sites.[221][222]

Following in the 3D craze, Nintendo released the Nintendo 3DS in early-2011. It introduced a new interface that does not require special glasses to observe stereoscopic 3D visual during gameplay.[223] Sony also releases a handheld console, the PlayStation Vita in 2012, but does not feature 3D gaming. The OnLive console is released in 2010 becoming the first massively produced cloud gaming-based gaming device.[224] Mobility and interaction become a common trend to see in video games. The original Wii revolutionized the industry with the introduction of the sensor bar with compatible sensitive controllers, and Sony and Microsoft reacted by releasing the PlayStation Move and Kinect respectively. This new and innovative direction expanded the video game market to those interested in physical therapy and to the elderly.[225][226][227][228]


Main article: 2010s in fashion

The early 2010s (2010–present) have thus far been defined by a revival of interwar, Austerity era, 1980s, (from late 2012 onwards) early 1990s and skater fashions.[229] In the early 2010s, many mid and late 2000s fashions remain popular in Europe, the US, Latin America, Australasia and Asia, especially the indie pop look which largely drew upon 1960s Mod clothing combined with elements of 1970s garage rock, contemporary alternative fashion. Latin American teens and young adults, who started to keep up with general Western fashion more closely since the mid-1990s, proved to be more conservative upon maintaining or abandoning 2000s trends than their European and North American peers until about 2013.

2010s in fiction



  • In the BBC mockumentary Time Trumpet, British retail chain Tesco launches an invasion of Denmark on January 21 of 2013.
  • The last few minutes of the Season 4 finale and Season 5 of Desperate Housewives is set in 2013.
  • BBC Drama Spooks: Code 9 is set in 2013.
  • The Simpsons episode "Future-Drama" is set in 2013 since it aired in 2005 as the Simpsons siblings, Bart and Lisa, are shown where they will be eight years into the future.
  • Smallville's season 9 finale, Salvation, depicted a vision of 2013.
  • The final episodes of the television show Death Note takes place during January 2013.
  • Ben 10: Ultimate Alien takes place.
  • Ben 10: Omniverse takes place.
  • "Rocko's Modern Life" The episode "Future Schlock" takes place 17 years in the future since it aired in 1996. Filbert's children ask Filbert what a banana is.
  • In Supernatural, there is a Season 5 episode entitled "The End" that is mainly set in 2014.


World leaders

Sports figures

Association Football











Earth Scientists




See also


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


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