Millennium: 3rd millennium

The 2010s (pronounced "twenty-tens" or "two thousand (and) tens")[1][2][3][4][5] Template:Show by date Template:Toclimit

Name for the decade[]

In the English-speaking world, a name for the decade has never universally been accepted in the same manner as for decades such as the '80s, the '90s, etc. Common suggestions for referring to this decade are "Tens" or "Teens" but generally the most often used terms are "Twenty-tens" or "Two thousand (and) tens".[6]


Political changes[]

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. China overtook the US as the world's largest trading nation, filing the most patents, expanding its military, landing its lunar rover Yutu on the moon (ending a four-decade lack of lunar exploration) and creating China's Oriental Movie Metropolis as a major film and cultural center. China was projected to have the world's largest economy by 2018 with an estimated GDP per capita equal to the US by the late 2050s.[7]

In September 2015, the Syrian Civil War led to the European refugee crisis.[8] In the United States, internal migration declined to its lowest level since tracking began in 1948.[9]

Political polarization[]

Political polarization in the United States House of Representatives (DW-Nominate scores)

Political polarization increased as conservatives and social liberals clashed over the role 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.[10] In Europe, movements protesting increasing numbers of refugees from Islamic countries developed, such as the English Defence League and Pegida.[11][12] There have also been increasing calls for egalitarianism, including between the sexes,[13] and some scholars assert that a fourth wave of feminism began around 2012.[14][15]

Populism in politics saw widespread usage throughout the decade, with many politicians and various political movements expressing populist sentiments and utilizing populist rhetoric.[16][17] Notable examples of populist movements included Occupy Wall Street,[18] Brexit,[19] Black Lives Matter,[20] and the alt-right.[21][22] Examples of populist politicians are just as extensive, with Donald Trump,[23] Barack Obama,[24] Hugo Chávez,[25] Beppe Grillo,[26] Nigel Farage,[27] and others described as populists.

Notable world leaders[]


Political events[]

This table of events is listed by the region and by chronological order. The prominent political events include:

Event Country Region Date Description Ref.
South Sudanese independence referendum, 2011 South Sudan Africa 9 January 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. [28]
Tunisian Revolution Tunisia Africa 14 January 2011 Amidst anti-government protests, Tunisia's president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali dissolved the government, declared a state of emergency and resigned from office. [29]
Egyptian revolution of 2011 Egypt Africa 25 January 2011 Inspired by the Tunisian demonstrations, protests erupted in Egypt, calling for the departure of long-time President Hosni Mubarak. Mubarak resigned on 11 February 2011. [30]
2011 Libyan Civil War Libya Africa 15 February 2011 A popular revolt against Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule over Libya led to thousands of deaths and UN sanctions against the nation's government following a brutal crackdown against protesters. [31]
Northern Mali conflict Mali Africa 16 January 2012 An Islamist revolt in northern Mali threatened to gain control of the country. A coalition, led by France, intervened to assist the Malian government in fighting the militants. [32]
Ousting of François Bozizé Central African Republic Africa 25 March 2013 Séléka rebels conquered the capital of the Central African Republic, Bangui, and forced President François Bozizé to flee the country, resulting in widespread sectarian violence. [33]
Political violence in Egypt (2013) Egypt Africa 3 July 2013 Political violence broke out in Egypt after Abdul Fattah al-Sisi led the military overthrew President Mohamed Morsi in a coup. [34]
Death of Nelson Mandela South Africa Africa 5 December 2013 Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid activist and President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, died. [35]
2014 Burkinabé uprising Burkina Faso Africa 31 October 2014 President of Burkina Faso Blaise Compaoré resigned and fled to the Ivory Coast in the face of widespread protests, ending 27 years of authoritarian rule. [36]
Trials and judicial hearings following the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 Egypt Africa 29 November 2014 Former Egypt President Hosni Mubarak was found not guilty of charges of killing protesters in the 2011 Egyptian protests and was also cleared of corruption charges. [37][38]
Assembly of the West African Province Nigeria Africa 12 March 2015 Nigeria's Boko Haram merged with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to form the so-called "West African Province". [39]
Nigerian general election, 2015 Nigeria Africa 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. [40]
Burundian unrest (2015–present) Burundi Africa 26 April 2015 Burundi faces unrest as President Pierre Nkurunziza sought a third term in office, resulting in hundreds killed and thousands more fleeing the country. [41]
Gambian presidential election, 2016 The Gambia Africa 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. [42]
Hollingsworth v. Perry United States Americas 11 January 2010 A trial to determine the constitutionality of same-sex marriage in the United States was held in California. [43]
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act United States Americas 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. [44]
Brazilian presidential election, 2010 Brazil Americas 31 October 2010 Dilma Rousseff was elected as the first female President of Brazil. [45]
Peruvian general election, 2011 Peru Americas 5 June 2011 Ollanta Humala was elected president of Peru. [46]
Occupy Wall Street United States Americas 17 September 2011 Hundreds of protesters marched into the financial district of Wall Street in New York City, beginning the Occupy Wall Street movement: which started a series of demonstrations and hundreds of encampments in cities across the nation, forming the Occupy movement. [47]
Mexican general election, 2012 Mexico Americas 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. [48]
United States presidential election, 2012 United States Americas 6 November 2012 Barack Obama was re-elected President of the United States, defeating Republican nominee Mitt Romney. [49]
Death of Hugo Chávez Venezuela Americas 5 March 2013 Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez died at the age of 58 after governing the country for 14 years. [50]
Papal conclave, 2013 Argentina Americas 13 March 2013 Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected as the first pope from the Americas; he takes the papal name Francis. [51]
2014 Venezuela–Panama diplomatic crisis Venezuela Americas 5 March 2014 Nicolás Maduro, the President of Venezuela, severed diplomatic and political ties with Panama, accusing it of involvement in a conspiracy against the Venezuelan government. [52]
International sanctions during the Ukrainian crisis United States Americas 28 April 2014 U.S. President Barack Obama's new economic sanctions against Russia went into effect, targeting companies and individuals close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. [53]
Proposed lifting of the United States embargo against Cuba United States Americas 17 December 2014 U.S. President Barack Obama announces efforts to resume relations between the U.S. and Cuba, and to end the United States embargo against Cuba, which have been in place since January 1961. [54]
Obergefell v. Hodges United States Americas 26 June 2015 Same-sex marriage was legalized in all 50 U.S. states due to a landmark decision by the Supreme Court of the United States. [55]
Canadian federal election, 2015 Canada Americas 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. [56]
Argentine general election, 2015 Argentina Americas 22 November 2015 Mauricio Macri was elected President of Argentina, ending over a decade of "Kirchnerism" in the country. [57]
Venezuelan parliamentary election, 2015 Venezuela Americas 6 December 2015 The PSUV lost its majority in the National Assembly of Venezuela to the opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable, marking the first time since 1999 that the PSUV lost its majority. [58]
Impeachment of Dilma Rousseff Brazil Americas 12 May 2016 The Brazilian Senate votes (55–22) to open the impeachment process against the President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff and suspend her from office while the trial takes place as the Vice President of Brazil, Michel Temer, assumes the presidential powers and duties as Acting President of Brazil. [59]
Peruvian general election, 2016 Peru Americas 5 June 2016 Pedro Pablo Kuczynski was elected President of Peru. [60]
Colombian peace process Colombia Americas 23 June 2016 The government of Colombia and FARC rebels signed a ceasefire, officially ending over 50 years of conflict between the two. [61]
United States presidential election, 2016 United States Americas 8 November 2016 Republican nominee Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States, defeating Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the race to succeed Obama. [62]
Death of Fidel Castro Cuba Americas 25 November 2016 Former President of Cuba and revolutionary leader Fidel Castro dies at the age of 90. [63]
2017 Venezuelan constitutional crisis Venezuela Americas 23 March 2017 The Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) of Venezuela took over legislative powers of the National Assembly. The Tribunal, mainly supporters of President Nicolás Maduro, also restricted the immunity granted to the Assembly's members, who mostly belonged to the opposition. Constitutional Assembly elections were held on 30 July 2017 to elect the members of a new Constitutional Assembly. [64]


Kyrgyz Revolution of 2010 Kyrgyzstan Asia 7 April 2010 Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev fled Bishkek amid fierce anti-government riots as the opposition seized control. [66]
Philippine presidential election, 2010 Philippines Asia 10 May 2010 Benigno Aquino III was elected President of the Philippines. [67]
Myanmar general election, 2010 Myanmar Asia 7 November 2010 Thein Sein was elected President of Myanmar, the first civilian President of the country since 1962. [68]
Release of Aung San Suu Kyi Myanmar Asia 13 November 2010 Burmese opposition politician Aung San Suu Kyi was released from her house arrest after being incarcerated since 1989. [69]
2011 Bahraini uprising Bahrain Asia 15 March 2011 Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain, declared a three-month state of emergency as troops from the Gulf Co-operation Council were sent to quell the civil unrest. [70]
Death of Kim Jong-il North Korea Asia 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. [71]
18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China People's Republic of China Asia 8 November 2012 The 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China was held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, with Xi Jinping being chosen as the new General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and as the Chairman of the Central Military Commission. [72]
South Korean presidential election, 2012 South Korea Asia 19 December 2012 Park Geun-hye was elected President of South Korea, the first woman to hold the position. [73]
Japanese general election, 2012 Japan Asia 26 December 2012 The Liberal Democratic Party, led by Shinzō Abe, won a landslide victory in Japan's general election. [74]
North Korea and weapons of mass destruction North Korea Asia 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. [75]
Indian general election, 2014 India Asia 12 May 2014 The Bharatiya Janata Party, led by Narendra Modi, won a landslide victory in India's general election, the first time BJP gained a majority since 1984. [76]
2014 Thai coup d'état Thailand Asia 23 May 2014 Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is home-arrested in the wake of a military coup. [77]
Indonesian presidential election, 2014 Indonesia Asia 9 July 2014 Joko Widodo won Indonesia's presidential election, becoming the first president to not be from the country's political elite or military. [78]
2014 Hong Kong protests Hong Kong Asia 26 September 2014 Protests erupted in Hong Kong after proposed new electoral reforms prompted concerns of growing mainland Chinese influence in the politics of the island. [79]
2014 Yemen protests Yemen Asia 22 January 2015 After Houthi forces seized the presidential palace, Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi resigned after months of unrest. [80]
Death of King Abdullah Saudi Arabia Asia 23 January 2015 Abdullah, the King of Saudi Arabia from 2005 to 2015, died and is replaced by King Salman. [81]
Death of Lee Kuan Yew Singapore Asia 23 March 2015 Lee Kuan Yew, Prime Minister of Singapore from 1959 to 1990, died. [82]
India–Bangladesh enclaves India Bangladesh Asia 6 June 2015 India and Bangladesh officially ratified their 1974 agreement to exchange enclaves along their border. [83]
2015 Ma–Xi meeting Singapore Asia 7 November 2015 Chinese leader and Taiwanese president, Xi Jinping and Ma Ying-jeou, formally meet, the first time any leader of their respective countries met since 1949. [84]
Myanmar general election, 2015 Myanmar Asia 8 November 2015 The NLD, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, won a sweeping victory in Myanmar's first openly contested election since 1990. [85]
2016 attack on the Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran Saudi Arabia Asia 3 January 2016 Following the fallout caused by the Execution of Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Saudi Shia cleric, Saudi Arabia and its allies severed their diplomatic relations with Iran. [86]
Taiwanese general election, 2016 Republic of China Asia 16 January 2016 Tsai Ing-wen was elected President of Taiwan, the first woman to hold the position. [87]
2016 Armenian–Azerbaijani clashes Azerbaijan Asia 2 April 2016 Clashes between Armenian and Azerbaijani military in Nagorno-Karabakh kill at least 193 people, which becomes the heaviest breach of the 1994 ceasefire. [88]
Philippine presidential election, 2016 Philippines Asia 9 May 2016 Rodrigo Duterte was elected President of the Philippines. [89]
Philippines v. China Philippines Asia 12 July 2016 The Philippines wins the arbitration case they filed at the Permanent Court of Arbitration regarding the legality of China's nine-dotted line claim over the South China Sea under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. [90][91]
2016 Turkish coup d'état attempt Turkey Asia 15 July 2016 A coup d'état is launched against Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's government of Turkey, but ultimately fails on 16 July. [92]
Death of Bhumibol Adulyadej Thailand Asia 13 October 2016 Bhumibol Adulyadej, the King of Thailand from 1946 to 2016, died and replaced by his son, Vajiralongkorn. [93]
Impeachment of Park Geun-hye South Korea Asia 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. [94]
South Korean presidential election, 2017 South Korea Asia 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. [95]
2017 Qatar diplomatic crisis Qatar Asia 5 June 2017 Seven Arab countries – Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of destabilising the region and supporting terrorism. [96]
United Kingdom general election, 2010 United Kingdom Europe 6 May 2010 The 2010 United Kingdom election resulted in the first "hung parliament" since 1974.
Rubygate Italy Europe 15 February 2011 Longtime Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, was indicted for allegedly paying for sex with an underage nightclub dancer, and ordered to stand trial. [97]
Resignation of Silvio Berlusconi Italy Europe 16 November 2011 The longest-serving Prime Minister of the Italian Republic Silvio Berlusconi resigned in November 2011, after sexual allegation scandal, financial crisis and public protests. The economist Mario Monti was appointed new Prime Minister, at the head of a technocratic cabinet and held the office until 2013. [98]
Scottish Parliament election, 2011 Scotland Europe 5 May 2011 The Scottish National Party won an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament under Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond. The SNP's transition from a minority government to a majority government allowed them to pledge to have a referendum on Scottish independence from the United Kingdom. [99]
French presidential election, 2012 France Europe 22 April 2012 François Hollande was elected as the new President of France, becoming the first socialist president of the country in 17 years. [100]
Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI Vatican City Europe 28 February 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. [101]
Italian general election, 2013 Italy Europe 25 February 2013 Neither of the two main coalitions, the centre-right led by Silvio Berlusconi and the centre-left led by Pier Luigi Bersani, won an outright majority in Parliament, partly due to the strong showing by the populist anti-establishment Five Star Movement. [102][103]
Death of Margaret Thatcher United Kingdom Europe 8 April 2013 Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990, died. [104]
Italian presidential election, 2013 Italy Europe 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. [105]
Abdication of Beatrix of the Netherlands Netherlands Europe 30 April 2013 Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands abdicated in favour of her son, Willem-Alexander, who became the country's first king in over a century. [106]
2014 Ukrainian revolution Ukraine Europe 21 February 2014 Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych fled the country following violent protests in the capital, Kiev. The opposition-controlled Verkhovna Rada voted to remove him as president. [107]
Election of Matteo Renzi Italy Europe 22 February 2014 Matteo Renzi, after becoming the new leader of the Italian Democratic Party, forced Enrico Letta to resign and was elected Prime Minister, starting a program of radical constitutional reforms. Renzi is the youngest Prime Minister in the Italian history. [108]
Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation Ukraine Europe 18 March 2014 Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine following an internationally unrecognized referendum on the status of the region. [109]
European Parliament election, 2014 (United Kingdom) United Kingdom Europe 22 May 2014 The UK Independence Party received the most votes in the European election for the United Kingdom, the first time a third party won an election in the country since 1906. [110]
European Parliament election, 2014 (France) France Europe 24 May 2014 The French National Front won the most votes in the European election in respect to France, leading to fears of a growing far-right in mainland Europe. [111]
Scottish independence referendum, 2014 Scotland Europe 18 September 2014 In the Scottish independence referendum, Scotland voted to remain in the United Kingdom, with 55.3% of votes against independence while 44.7% voted in favour. [112]
Abdication of Juan Carlos I of Spain Spain Europe 19 June 2014 King Juan Carlos I of Spain abdicated in favour of his son, Felipe VI. [113]
Greek legislative election, January 2015 Greece Europe 26 January 2015 Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the anti-austerity Syriza party, was elected as Prime Minister of Greece. [114]
Minsk II Ukraine Europe 12 February 2015 Leaders from Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France reached an agreement on the conflict in Eastern Ukraine that included a ceasefire and withdrawal of heavy weapons. However, the truce has largely failed to stop the fighting, with skirmishes continuing unabated. [115][116]
Irish constitutional referendums, 2015 Republic of Ireland Europe 23 May 2015 The Republic of Ireland voted to legalize same-sex marriage, becoming the first country to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote. [117]
Greek government-debt crisis Greece Europe 1 July 2015 Greece became the first advanced economy to miss a payment to the International Monetary Fund in the fund's 71-year history. [118]
Joint Declaration of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill Vatican City Europe 12 February 2016 Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill signed an Ecumenical Declaration in the first such meeting between leaders of the Catholic and Russian Orthodox Churches since their split in 1054. [119]
United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, 2016 United Kingdom Europe 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 shortly afterwards. [120][121]
Conservative Party (UK) leadership election, 2016 United Kingdom Europe 13 July 2016 Theresa May succeeded David Cameron as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, becoming Britain's second female prime minister. [122]
Austrian presidential election, 2016 Austria Europe 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 Austrian presidential election, 2016 after the first election was annulled. [123]
Italian constitutional referendum, 2016 Italy Europe 4 December 2016 Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned after the result constitutional referendum, in which Italians rejected his reform to overhaul the Senate of the Republic. The Foreign Affairs Minister Paolo Gentiloni was appointed new Prime Minister. [124][125]
French presidential election, 2017 France Europe 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. [126]
2017 Spanish constitutional crisis Spain Europe 6 September 2017 Political conflict sparks between the Government of Spain and Government of Catalonia over the 2017 Catalan independence referendum, which Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy opposed, arguing that any referendum on Catalan independence would be in violation of the Spanish Constitution of 1978. Operation Anubis was launched in an attempt to thwart the referendum, though it still went ahead with 91% supporting independence within Catalonia. [127]
German federal election, 2017 Germany Europe 24 September 2017 Alternative for Germany entered parliament for the first time since their founding, while the Social Democratic Party of Germany suffered their worst election defeat since World War 2. [128]
Australian Labor Party leadership spill, 2010 Australia Oceania 24 June 2010 Julia Gillard succeeded Kevin Rudd as the Prime Minister of Australia, becoming Australia's first female prime minister after a leadership spill. [129]
Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act 2013 New Zealand Oceania 19 August 2013 Same-sex marriage was legalized in New Zealand, making it the first country in Oceania to allow same-sex couples to marry. [130]
Fijian general election, 2014 Fiji Oceania 17 September 2014 Former Fijian military commander Frank Bainimarama won Fiji's first democratic election since a coup in 2006, officially ending years of military rule. [131]
Crowning of Tupou VI Tonga Oceania 4 July 2015 Tupou VI was crowned King of Tonga, succeeding his brother George Tupou V, who died in 2012. [132]
Liberal Party of Australia leadership spill, September 2015 Australia Oceania 15 September 2015 Malcolm Turnbull succeeded Tony Abbott as Prime Minister of Australia after a leadership spill. [133]
Resignation of John Key New Zealand Oceania 11 December 2016 Bill English becomes Prime Minister of New Zealand after the resignation of John Key. [134]
New Zealand general election, 2017 New Zealand Oceania 23 September 2017 New Zealand holds a general election with no parties having a majority and therefore, must negotiate with New Zealand First in order to govern. On 19 October, NZ First announced the formation of a coalition government with the Labour Party, with a support from the Green Party, making Jacinda Ardern the Prime Minister-elect and ending the Fifth National Government. [135]
Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017 Australia Oceania 9 December 2017 The Governor-General of Australia provided Royal Assent for the Act. The Act then came into effect from 9 December 2017, which allowed same-sex couples previously married overseas to have their marriages recognised under Australian law. The first same-sex marriages took place in Australia on 9 January 2018 as all engaged couples must give the government 30 days notice of 'Intent to Marry'. Some same-sex couples had exceptional reasons and were granted exemptions to have their marriages held earlier which first took place on 16 December 2017. [136]


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

Event Date Country Ref.
Nigerien coup d'état 18 February 2010 Niger [137]
Malian coup d'état 21 March 2012 Mali [138]
Guinea-Bissau coup d'état 12 April 2012 Guinea-Bissau [139]
Egyptian coup d'état 3 July 2013 Egypt [140]
Thai coup d'état 22 May 2014 Thailand [141]
Yemeni coup d'état 21 September 2014 Yemen [142]
Turkish coup d'état attempt 15 July 2016 Turkey [143]
Zimbabwean coup d'état 14 November 2017 Zimbabwe [144]

Nuclear weapons[]

U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev signing the New START treaty in Prague.

  • In 2005, Iran's nuclear program became a source of tension due to fears that Iran could possibly divert civilian nuclear technology into a nuclear weapons program.[145] This led the UN Security Council to impose sanctions against Iran on select companies linked to Iran's nuclear program, causing further economic isolation of Iran.[146] In 2015, Iran and other world powers agreed to trade sanctions relief for explicit constraints on Iran's nuclear program, including permanently closing their plutonium reactor, reducing the number of uranium-enriching centrifuges by two-thirds and allowing the inspections of nuclear facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).[147] On 16 January 2016 the IAEA confirmed that Iran had complied with the agreement, allowing the United Nations to lift sanctions immediately.[148][149]
  • On 8 April 2010, the United States and Russia signed a treaty in Prague, Czech Republic to reduce the stockpiles of their nuclear weapons by half. It is meant to replace the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT), which was set to expire.[150] The treaty went into force on 5 February 2011 after it was ratified by both nations.[151]
  • Throughout the decade, North Korea expanded its nuclear capabilities, performing alleged nuclear tests in 2013[152] and 2016,[153] which governments responded by placing international sanctions on the country.[154][155] In response North Korea has threatened the United States, South Korea and Japan with pre-emptive nuclear strikes.[156]


The prominent wars of the decade include:

International wars[]

  • Israeli–Palestinian conflict (14 May 1948 –) – Since 1948, conflict between Jewish and Palestinian communities in Israel and the West Bank has continued to this day.[157] After Israel occupied the West Bank, it began making settlements there, which has been an obstacle to the peace process.[158] 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.[159]
  • War on Terror (11 September 2001 –) – Since the September 11 attacks, the United States and other governments in the world have been engaged in a war to eliminate terrorism. However, over time the war began to be seen more negatively, with various consequences.[160][161][162] On 23 May 2013, U.S. President Barack Obama declared the war to be over, saying a war cannot be declared on a tactic and that anti-terrorism operations will be focused on specific groups instead.[163]
    • War in Afghanistan (7 October 2001 – 28 December 2014) – The United States, with support from NATO, invaded Taliban-controlled Afghanistan and overthrew the government.[164] However, the Taliban later regrouped and began an insurgency in the country.[165] Combat operations were declared over on 28 December 2014, though several thousand troops remain in the country to support Afghanistan's military.[166]
    • Iraq War (20 March 2003 – 18 December 2011) – On the pretext that the government of Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,[167] the United States and a coalition of partners invaded Iraq and overthrew Hussein.[168] After the invasion, the U.S. occupied the country.[169] However, the occupation subsequently created an insurgency by jihadist groups opposed to it and sectarian violence between Shiite and Sunni Muslims in the country.[170] At the end of 2011, U.S. forces officially withdrew from Iraq.[171]
  • Military intervention in Libya (19 March – 31 October 2011) – In Libya, anti-government protests evolved into an armed rebellion after forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi began military operations against protesters.[172] In response to the brutal crackdown, the United Nations authorized an international intervention in support of anti-Gaddafi militias.[173] International forces, mainly from NATO countries, began airstrikes and enforced a no-fly zone.[174] The intervention came to an end following the death of Gaddafi in Sirte.[175]
  • War in Donbass and Russian military intervention in Ukraine (6 April 2014– and 20 February 2014– present)
  • Military intervention against ISIL (13 June 2014 –) – In late 2013, a terrorist organization 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[176] and made Raqqa its capital, declaring itself to be a worldwide caliphate.[177] Various international coalitions were formed to help fight the militants.[178][179] By early 2016, ISIL had lost around 40% and 20% of its territory in Iraq and Syria respectively.[180]
  • Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen (26 March 2015 –) – After Houthi rebels overtook Sana'a on 6 February 2015, the internationally recognized government of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi relocated to Aden.[181] In response to a Houthi advance to the coastal city, the Hadi government made a plea for international assistance in taking out the Houthi rebels.[182] Neighbouring Saudi Arabia and its allies accepted the plea and began carrying out airstrikes across the country to target the Houthi rebels and other non-state actors.[183]
  • Russian military intervention in the Syrian Civil War (30 September 2015 – 11 December 2017) – By early 2015, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces in Syria's civil war began experiencing major setbacks.[184] The Syrian government requested Russian military intervention.[185] The Russian Air Force subsequently began airstrikes with the alleged target being jihadist like ISIL,[186] but instead mostly targeted Syrian opposition rebels opposed to Assad.[187][188] Putin ordered the withdrawal of troops on 11 December 2017, claiming to have "completely defeated" ISIS.[189]

Civil wars[]

  • War in North-West Pakistan (16 March 2004 –) –Since 2004, Pakistan has been fighting an insurgency by various armed militant groups in the country.[190] The violence has killed almost 57,000 people since,[191] with over 3 million more affected.[192] By 2014, however, casualties from terrorist and militant attacks had dropped by around 40%.[193]
  • Houthi insurgency in Yemen (14 June 2004 – 6 February 2015) – The Houthis, a Shia militant group, waged a war against the Yemeni government.[194] Yemen had accused Iran of directing and financing the insurgency.[195] Thousands of rebels and civilians were killed during the conflict.[196][197] The insurgency came an end in 2015 when Houthi forces captured Sana'a and exiled the government to the port city of Aden.[198]
  • Mexican Drug War (11 December 2006 –) – Following a rise in criminal violence as a result of drug trafficking in the country, Mexican President Felipe Calderón declared a war on drugs in December 2006.[199] Since the start of the war, the death toll from drug violence had sharply increased.[200] Arrests of key cartel leaders, particularly in the Tijuana and Gulf cartels, led to increasing violence as cartels fought for control of trafficking routes into the United States.[201][202][203]
  • Philippine Drug War (30 June 2016 –) – Following a rise in criminal violence as a result of drug trafficking in the country, since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was inaugurated on 30 June 2016. It has caused 3,000 deaths.[204]
  • War in Somalia (31 January 2009 –) – Following years of lawlessness in the country, the new Transitional Federal Government attempted to restore order in Somalia. However, Al-Shabaab, an Islamist militant group that gained prominence in the country during the period, had been waging an insurgency against the new government. In 2011, the federal government captured Mogadishu, the capital,[205] and subsequently retook several towns across the country.[206] Since then, the government has attempted to clean out the remaining Al-Shabaab strongholds with help from AMISOM soldiers.[207]
  • Colombian Armed Conflict (1964 –) – Fighting between the Colombian government, left-wing guerrillas, and various paramilitary factions had been ongoing since 1964. However, since then end of the Cold War, the violence has sharply decreased as rebel groups gradually became more weakened with only two major groups remaining, FARC and ELN.[208] The violence has killed over 222,000 people, mostly civilians since the conflict began.[209] Since 2012, both groups have been in peace talks with the government, with FARC and the government signing a ceasefire in 2016.[210]
  • Northern Mali conflict (16 January 2012 – 20 February 2015) – In January 2012, a rebellion by Tuaregs in Northern Mali began. After Malian president Amadou Toumani Touré was ousted in a coup d'état, Tuaregs captured Northern Mali,[211] and declared it to be the independent state of Azawad.[212] However, shortly afterward, various Islamists groups took over Northern Mali from the Tuaregs and imposed sharia law on the region.[213]

Arab Spring[]

  • Libyan Civil War (15 February – 13 October 2011) – Inspired by the revolutions in their neighbours, Libyans began to protest against Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule.[214] However, unlike in Tunisia and Egypt, Gaddafi refused to step down and sent in the military to brutally quell protests.[215] As a result, many army units had defected to the opposition and protests soon turned into an armed rebellion.[216] With international help from NATO and neighbors in the region, the rebels were able to make rapid advances into Gaddafi's strongholds, capturing Tripoli, the capital,[217] and eventually Sirte, Gaddafi's hometown and last outpost, where he was killed.[218] The war resulted in the death of at least fifty thousand people.[219]
  • Syrian Civil War (since 15 March 2011) – Protests erupted in Syria against President Bashar al-Assad's rule and called for democratic reforms.[220] The uprising later intensified after police and the army were sent in to crack down on protesters,[221] laying siege to various opposition strongholds in the country.[222] The uprising later morphed into war after army officers defected to the opposition, forming the Free Syrian Army (FSA).[223] Over the course of the war, moderate rebel groups, including the FSA, began to splinter and lose influence in the conflict,[224] allowing for Islamic extremist groups like Al-Nusra Front and ISIL to take control of vast amounts of territory. By 2014, ISIL was the main force fighting Assad.[225]
  • Iraqi Civil War (Since 4 June 2014) – A spillover from the Syrian Civil War
  • Yemeni Civil War (since 19 March 2015)

Terrorist attacks[]

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

Event Date Country Deaths Injuries Ref.
2010 Moscow Metro bombings 29 March 2010 Russia 40 102 [226]
2010 Ahmadiyya mosques massacre 28 May 2010 Pakistan 87 120+ [227]
Domodedovo International Airport bombing 24 January 2011 Russia 37 173 [228]
2011 Norway attacks 22 July 2011 Norway 77 319+ [229]
2011 Monterrey casino attack 25 August 2011 Mexico 52 10 [230]
Boston Marathon bombing 15 April 2013 United States 5 264 [231]
Zamboanga City siege 9 September 2013 Philippines 220 70 [232]
Westgate shopping mall attack 21 September 2013 Kenya 67 175 [233]
December 2013 Volgograd bombings 29–30 December 2013 Russia 32 85 [234]
2014 Sydney hostage crisis 15 December 2014 Australia 3 18 [235][236][237]
2014 Peshawar school massacre 16 December 2014 Pakistan 148 114 [238]
Charlie Hebdo shooting 7 January 2015 France 17 22 [239]
2015 Baga massacre 3–7 January 2015 Nigeria 150+ [240]
Mamasapano clash 25 January 2015 Philippines 67 17+ [241]
Bardo National Museum attack 18 March 2015 Tunisia 24 50+ [242]
2015 Sana'a mosque bombings 20 March 2015 Yemen 142 351 [243]
Garissa University College attack 2 April 2015 Kenya 152 79 [244]
2015 Ramadan attacks 26 June 2015 Various 403 336+ [245]
2015 Bangkok bombing 17 August 2015 Thailand 20 125 [246]
2015 Beirut bombings 12 November 2015 Lebanon 43 240 [247]
2015 Ankara bombings 10 October 2015 Turkey 109 400+ [248]
November 2015 Paris attacks 13 November 2015 France 130 368 [249]
2015 Bamako hotel attack 20 November 2015 Mali 20 9 [250]
2015 San Bernardino attack 2 December 2015 United States 14 22 [251]
2016 Jakarta attacks 14 January 2016 Indonesia 8 24 [252][253][254]
2016 Brussels bombings 22 March 2016 Belgium 35 300+ [255]
2016 Lahore suicide bombing 27 March 2016 Pakistan 69 300+ [256]
Tipo-Tipo clash 9 April 2016 Philippines 18+ 70 [257]
2016 Orlando nightclub shooting 12 June 2016 United States 49 53 [258]
2016 Istanbul airport attack 28 June 2016 Turkey 45 236 [259]
2016 Gulshan attack 1 July 2016 Bangladesh 20 [260]
July 2016 Baghdad bombings 3 July 2016 Iraq 281 200 [261]
2016 Nice attack 14 July 2016 France 87 434 [262]
2016 Gaziantep bombing 20 August 2016 Turkey 54 66 [263]
2016 Davao City bombing 2 September 2016 Philippines 15 70 [264]
2016 Berlin attack 19 December 2016 Germany 12 56 [265]
2017 Istanbul nightclub shooting 1 January 2017 Turkey 39 70 [266]
2017 Westminster attack 22 March 2017 United Kingdom 6 49 [267]
2017 Aleppo suicide car bombing 15 April 2017 Syria 126+ 60+
2017 Camp Shaheen attack 21 April 2017 Afghanistan 140+ 160+
2017 Manchester Arena bombing 22 May 2017 United Kingdom 22 59 [268]
2017 Barcelona attacks 17–18 August 2017 Spain 16 152
14 October 2017 Mogadishu bombings 14 October 2017 Somalia 512 316 [269]
2017 New York City truck attack 31 October 2017 United States 8 12 [270]
2017 Sinai mosque attack 24 November 2017 Egypt 311 122 [271][272]

Assassinations and attempts[]

Prominent assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts include:

Date Description Ref.
1 January 2011 Reynaldo Dagsa, Philippine Barangay official from Caloocan, was assassinated by two men during New Year's Eve. [273]
8 January 2011 Federal judge John Roll and 5 others were killed and 13 more were injured in a shooting near Tucson. The shooting was reported to be an assassination attempt. The apparent target, U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, was critically injured in the head. [274]
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. [275]
15 August 2011 Esmael Mangudadatu, Governor of Maguindanao was a victim of a car bomb in Tacurong city, Sultan Kudarat. Two people were killed, including a Maguindanao board member, while six others were wounded. [276]
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, using two US Predator drones fired Hellfire missiles. [277]
20 October 2011 Muammar Gaddafi, Libya's ousted leader, was shot to death in Sirte. [278]
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. [279]
9 October 2012 Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani Women's rights activist was the victim of an assassination attempt by the Taliban in Pakistan. [280]
6 February 2013 Chokri Belaid, Tunisian opposition leader of the Democratic Patriots' Unified Party, was fatally shot. [281]
22 May 2013 Lee Rigby, a British Army soldier who was killed by Islamic extremists with links to Al-Qaeda, the first such attack by the group in the United Kingdom since 2005. [282]
25 January 2015 Zulkifli Abdhir, suspected member of Jemaah Islamiyah, was killed in a police operation in Mamasapano, Philippines. [283]
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. [284]
5 March 2015 Mark Lippert, United States Ambassador to South Korea, was rushed into hospital after he was attacked by a knife-wielding man identified as Kim Ki-jong at a restaurant attached to Sejong Center in downtown Seoul, where Lippert was scheduled to give a speech at a meeting of the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation. [285]
26 August 2015 Alison Parker and Adam Ward, news reporter and camera operator of CBS affiliate WDBJ of Roanoke, Virginia were shot and killed on live television during an interview in Moneta, Virginia. [286]
1 March 2016 Aid al-Qarni, Islamic Muslim scholar, author and activist was shot injured in an assassination attempt in Zamboanga City in the Philippines. [287]
16 June 2016 Jo Cox, British MP, was shot and stabbed to death by a Neo-Nazi white supremacist[288] 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. [289]
19 December 2016 Andrei Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, was killed in a gun attack at an art gallery in Ankara. [290]
1 January 2017 Emmanuel Niyonkuru, the Burundian environment minister, was shot dead in the nation's capital, Bujumbura. [291]
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. [292]
14 June 2017 Republican congressmen were targeted by James T. Hodgkinson, a left-wing activist from Illinois, who fired upon them during practice ahead of the annual Congressional Baseball Game in Alexandria, Virginia. Only Hodgkinson died, following a 10-minute shootout with police officers where he died on his way to the hospital. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was left in critical condition, however, he would eventually recover and return to the House on 28 September. [293]


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.

Non-natural disasters[]

Event Category Date Country Details Refs.
2010 Copiapó mining accident General 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. [294]
Kiss nightclub fire General 27 January 2013 Brazil 242 people were killed in a fire at a nightclub in Santa Maria, Brazil. [295]
2013 Savar building collapse General 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. [296]
Zolitūde shopping centre roof collapse General 12 November 2013 Latvia The roof of a shopping centre in Zolitūde, Latvia collapsed, killing 54 people and resulting in the resignation of Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis. [297]
Kentex slipper factory fire General 13 May 2015 Philippines At least 72 were killed in a fire at a slipper manufacturing factory in Valenzuela City, Philippines. [298][299][300]
2015 Tianjin explosions General 12 August 2015 People's Republic of 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. [301]
Mecca crane collapse General 11 September 2015 Saudi Arabia A crane toppled over at Mecca, killing 111 people, weeks before the official Hajj pilgrimage. [302]
2015 Mina stampede General 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. [303]
Colectiv nightclub fire General 30 October 2015 Romania A fire broke out at a nightclub in Bucharest, Romania, killing 63 people and resulting in widespread protests that led to the resignation of Prime Minister Victor Ponta. [304]
Bento Rodrigues dam disaster General 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. [305][306][307][308][309]
Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 Aviation 25 January 2010 Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 crashed into the Mediterranean Sea shortly after take-off from Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport, killing all 90 people on board. [310]
2010 Polish Air Force Tu-154 crash Aviation 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. [311]
Afriqiyah Airways Flight 771 Aviation 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. [312]
Air India Express Flight 812 Aviation 22 May 2010 India Air India Express Flight 812 overshot the runway at Mangalore International Airport in India, killing 158 people, with eight surviving. [313]
Airblue Flight 202 Aviation 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. [314]
2011 Beechcraft 65-80 Queen Air crash Aviation 10 December 2011 Philippines Parañaque plane crash kills 14 people in a slum area. [315]
Dana Air Flight 992 Aviation 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. [316]
2012 Philippine Piper Seneca crash Aviation 18 August 2012 Philippines A plane carrying four people – two pilots, the Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government Jesse Robredo and his aide, crashed off the shore of Masbate Island en route to Robredo's hometown of Naga City from Cebu City. His aide survived the crash, however the Secretary and the two pilots did not survive. [317]
Asiana Airlines Flight 214 Aviation 6 July 2013 United States Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed at San Francisco airport killing 3 and injuring 181 people. [318]
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Aviation 8 March 2014 Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The bulk of the plane is still missing, with all 239 people on board presumed dead. The first remains of the aircraft were found on 29 July 2015, after they washed ashore on Réunion Island. [319][320]
2014 Lao People's Liberation Army Air Force An-74 crash Aviation 14 May 2014 Laos A Lao People's Liberation Army Air Force airplane crashed in northern Laos, killing 16 people, among them several prominent Laotian statesmen, including Defense Minister Douangchay Phichit. [321]
Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Aviation 17 July 2014 Ukraine 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. [322]
Air Algérie Flight 5017 Aviation 24 July 2014 Mali Air Algérie Flight 5017 crashed in southern Mali, killing all 116 passengers and crew. [323]
Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 Aviation 28 December 2014 Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 crashed in the Java sea after an attempt to avoid heavy thunderstorms, leaving all 162 people dead. [324]
Villa Castelli helicopter collision Aviation 9 March 2015 Argentina Two helicopters collided in mid-air in a remote area of northwestern Argentina leaving at least ten dead. Among the dead were a group of French sports stars participating in a reality-television show called Dropped. [325]
Germanwings Flight 9525 Aviation 24 March 2015 France Germanwings Flight 9525 crashed in the French Alps, killing all 150 on board. [326]
2015 Pakistan Army Mil Mi-17 crash Aviation 8 May 2015 Pakistan Ambassadors Leif Larsen of Norway, Domingo Lucenario of the Philippines, Burhan Muhammad of Indonesia and other diplomats and the two helicopter pilots were killed in a helicopter crash in Pakistan. [327]
2015 Indonesian Air Force Lockheed C-130 Hercules crash Aviation 30 June 2015 Indonesia A Lockheed C-130 Hercules operated by the Indonesian Air Force crashed into a crowded residential neighborhood in Medan shortly after take-off from Soewondo Air Force Base, killing 143 people including 22 on the ground, making it the deadliest crash in Indonesian Air Force peacetime history. [328]
Metrojet Flight 9268 Aviation 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. [329]
2015 Russian Sukhoi Su-24 shootdown Aviation 24 November 2015 Syria Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet in the first case of a NATO member destroying a Russian aircraft since the 1950s. [330]
Flydubai Flight 981 Aviation 19 March 2016 Russia Flydubai Flight 981 crashed in the runway of Rostov-on-Don Airport in Russia, killing 62 passengers and crews. [331]
EgyptAir Flight 804 Aviation 19 May 2016 EgyptAir Flight 804 was an international passenger flight from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to Cairo International Airport, operated by EgyptAir, that went missing over the Mediterranean Sea near the Greek island of Karpathos. There were 66 people on board who are still missing. [332][333]
LaMia Flight 2933 Aviation 29 November 2016 Colombia A chartered Avro RJ85 plane carrying 77 people, including the Chapecoense football team, crashes near Medellín, Colombia. Rescuers report at least six survivors have been found in the wreckage. The 2016 Copa Sudamericana Finals are suspended. [334]
2016 Russian Defence Ministry Tupolev Tu-154 crash Aviation 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. [335]
Costa Concordia disaster Marine 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. [336]
Grounding of the USS Guardian (MCM-5) Marine 17 January 2013 Philippines USS Guardian (MCM-5), an American mine countermeasures ship, ran ground at Tubbataha Reef, testing relations between the Philippines and the United States. [337]
Sinking of the MV St. Thomas Aquinas Marine 16 August 2013 Philippines MV St. Thomas Aquinas collided with MV Sulpicio Express Siete resulting in 55 deaths. 65 people remain missing. [338]
Sinking of MV Sewol Marine 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. [339]
Sinking of Dong Fang Zhi Xing Marine 1 June 2015 People's Republic of China The river cruise ship Dong Fang 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. [340]
Sinking of the Kim Nirvana-B Marine 2 July 2015 Philippines MB Kim Nirvana, a motorized jukung bound for Camotes Islands which carried 173 passengers, capsized off the coast of Ormoc, killing 62 passengers. [341]
Deepwater Horizon oil spill Pollution 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. [342][343]
Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster Pollution 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. [344][345]
Flint water crisis Pollution 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. [346][347]
Grenfell Tower fire General 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 at least 80 deaths, over 70 injuries and a widespread panic throughout the UK over the cladding used outside the tower block which caused the fire to spread so quickly and rapidly. Many residents of towers blocks in many different areas of the UK including 1 Tower block in Wuppertal, Germany were evacuated from their homes over fears the buildings using the same cladding were unsafe and a serious fire risk. [348][349]

Natural disasters[]

Event Country Date Deaths Description
2010 Haiti earthquake Haiti 12 January 2010 200,000-250,000 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[350] and over three million more were affected by the quake[351] The earthquake is so far the deadliest disaster in the decade.
2010 Chile earthquake Chile 27 February 2010 497 An 8.8 magnitude earthquake occurred in Chile, triggering a tsunami across the Pacific and killing 497.[352] One of the largest earthquakes in recorded history, this rare megathrust earthquake likely shifted Earth's axis and slightly shortened its days.[353][354]
2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull Iceland 20 March 2010 0 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, affecting the travel plans of millions of passengers. The event was the largest air traffic shut-down since World War II.[355] The International Air Transport Association estimated that the airline industry worldwide would lose Template:€ or Template:GBP a day during the disruption.[356]
2010 Baja California earthquake Mexico 4 April 2010 4 A 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Mexicali and Baja, killing four and injuring one hundred. US border towns in Imperial Valley, California were affected.
2010 Yushu earthquake People's Republic of China 13 April 2010 2200 A 6.9 magnitude earthquake occurred in western China, killing at least 2,200 and injuring more than 12,000.[357][358]
2010 eruptions of Mount Merapi Indonesia Early November 2010 353 Mount Merapi erupted in Indonesia, killing 353 people and grounding flights across Southeast Asia, becoming the largest eruption from the mountain in a century.
2010 Pakistan floods Pakistan July 2010 1600 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.[359][360][361][362][363] Estimates from rescue service officials suggest the death toll might have reached 3,000.[364]
Typhoon Megi Philippines 18 October 2010 69 Typhoon Megi, known in the Philippines as Super Typhoon Juan, hit the Philippines, killing at least 69 and causing US$709 million in damage.[365]
January 2011 Rio de Janeiro floods and mudslides Brazil 11 January 2011 903 Floods and mudslides killed 903 people across the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.[366][367]
February 2011 Christchurch earthquake New Zealand 22 February 2011 185 A 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 185 people.[368]
2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami Japan 11 March 2011 15893 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.[369][370] It was the largest earthquake to hit Japan in 140 years.[371]
2011 Super Outbreak United States 25–28 April 2011 342 A tornado outbreak in the United States killed 342 people across seven states. It was the largest and one of the deadliest tornado outbreaks in United States history.[372]
21–26 May 2011 tornado outbreak sequence United States 21 May 2011 178 Another US 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 161 people.[373]
2011 Van earthquake Turkey 23 October 2011 604 A 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck the Turkish city of Van, leaving over 604 dead and thousands more injured.[374]
2011 Halloween nor'easter United States 29 October 2011 15 A rare October snow storm hit the northeastern United States and Mid-Atlantic United States days before Halloween, leaving millions without power and killing 15.
Tropical Storm Washi Philippines 16 December 2011 1000 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.[375]
Hurricane Sandy 25 October 2012 233 Hurricane Sandy caused immense destruction in Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and the United States, leaving at least 233 dead.[376] It became the largest Atlantic tropical storm ever.[377]
Typhoon Bopha Philippines 2 December 2012 650 Typhoon Bopha, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Pablo, struck the Philippines, killing at least 650 people and leaving millions more homeless.[378]
February 2013 nor'easter United States Canada 7 February 2013 18 A massive blizzard hit the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada, killing 18 and dropping a near-record amount of snow.[379]
2013 Moore tornado Oklahoma 20 May 2013 24 A tornado killed 24 and wounded over 300 in Moore, Oklahoma.
2013 Alberta floods Canada 19 June 2013 3 Massive flooding occurred in Alberta, becoming the province's worst flooding in decades.[380]
2013 Bohol earthquake Philippines 15 October 2013 200 A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Visayas region of the Philippines, killing over 200 people.[381]
Typhoon Haiyan Philippines 7 November 2013 6000 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.[382]
Typhoon Hagupit Philippines 6 December 2014 18 Typhoon Hagupit, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Ruby, hit the Philippines killing at least 18 and causing $114 million in damage.[383]
2015 Afghanistan avalanches Afghanistan 24 February 2015 310 An avalanche killed 310 people and wounded over 129 in Panjshir Province, Afghanistan.[384]
Cyclone Pam Vanuatu 13 March 2015 16 Cyclone Pam struck Vanuatu, killing a total of 16 people with around 166,000 people affected, more than half the population of the entire country.[385] It is the worst tropical cyclone to ever strike the country.[386]
April 2015 Nepal earthquake Nepal 25 April 2015 8857 A massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal killed at least 8,857 people and injured tens of thousands more.[387][388] It is the worst disaster to hit Nepal in decades.[389]
May 2015 Nepal earthquake Nepal 12 May 2015 218 A second major earthquake hit Nepal, measuring 7.3 on the moment magnitude scale, killing 218 more people.[390]
2015 Indian heat wave India 24 May 2015 2500 A heatwave in Southern India resulted in over 2,500 deaths.[391]
2015 Pakistani heat wave Pakistan 20 June 2015 2000 A related heatwave hit neighbouring Pakistan, killing over 2,000 people in Karachi alone.[391]
2015 Illapel earthquake Chile 16 September 2015 14 An 8.3 magnitude earthquake jolted Chile, killing over 14 people.[392]
Typhoon Koppu Philippines 17–19 October 2015 48 Typhoon Koppu, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Lando, hit the Philippines and killed at least 48 and caused $235.8 million in damages.[393]
Hurricane Patricia Mexico 23 October 2015 13 Hurricane Patricia was the most intense hurricane ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere and second most intense globally, with winds of 215 miles per hour (346 km/h) and a pressure of 872 millibars (872 hPa).[394]
2015 Hindu Kush earthquake Pakistan Afghanistan 26 October 2015 398 A magnitude 7.5 earthquake strikes the Hindu Kush region and causes 398 deaths, with 279 in Pakistan, 115 in Afghanistan and 4 in India.[395]
Typhoon Melor Philippines 13 December 2015 8 Typhoon Melor, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Nona, hits the Philippines, killing 42 and causing $136 million in damages.[396][397]
Cyclone Winston Fiji 20 February 2016 44 Cyclone Winston struck Fiji, killing 44 people and causing $1.4 billion in damages, making it the costliest tropical cyclone in South Pacific history.[398]
2016 Kumamoto earthquakes Japan 16 April 2016 44 A 7.0 earthquake struck near Kumamoto City of Kumamoto Prefecture, resulting in at least 44 deaths and about 3,000 injured. More than 44,000 people have been evacuated from their homes.[399]
2016 Ecuador earthquake Ecuador 16 April 2016 673 A 7.8 earthquake struck near Muisne, Ecuador, killing over 673 people and displacing at least 25,000 more.[400]
2016 Fort McMurray wildfire Canada 1 May 2016 0 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.[401] The wildfire is the costliest disaster in Canadian history.[402]
2016 Louisiana floods United States 12 August 2016 13 The 2016 Louisiana floods are a period of prolonged rainfall in southern parts of the U.S. state of Louisiana that resulted in catastrophic flooding that submerged thousands of houses and businesses. The flood has been called the worst US natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. 13 deaths have been reported as a result of the flooding.
Blue Cut Fire United States 16 August 2016 0 The Blue Cut Fire was a wildfire in the Cajon Pass, northeastern San Gabriel Mountains, and Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County, California. As of 20 August 2016 (2016-08-20) the fire has destroyed 105 homes and 213 other structures and continues to burn.[403]
August 2016 Central Italy earthquake Italy 24 August 2016 299 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 298 people have been left dead.[404]
Typhoon Haima Philippines 19 October 2016 14 Typhoon Haima, known in the Philippines as Super Typhoon Lawin, hits northern Luzon, killing at least 14 people.[405] Typhoon signal number 5 is raised for the first time before and after its landfall.[406]
Hurricane Harvey United States 23 August 2017 90 Hurricane Harvey slams into southeastern Texas after reorganizing over the Gulf of Mexico, causing catastrophic flooding and billions in damages.[407][408] 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 $198 billion, making it the costliest natural disaster ever in the United States.[409]
Hurricane Irma 30 August 2017 – 16 September 2017 134 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.[410][411]
Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico
16 September 2017 – 3 October 2017 537 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 tenth-most intense Atlantic hurricane on record, Maria was the thirteenth named storm, seventh consecutive hurricane, fourth major hurricane, and the second Category 5 hurricane of the unusually active 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. At its peak, the hurricane caused catastrophic damage and numerous fatalities across the northeastern Caribbean, compounding recovery efforts in the areas of the Leeward Islands already struck by Hurricane Irma just two weeks prior.
2017 Central Mexico earthquake Mexico 19 September 2017 370 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 claimed about 10,000 lives. The earthquake was commemorated with a national earthquake seismic alert drill at 11 a.m. local time, just two hours before the Puebla earthquake struck, which left 370 dead and over 6,000 injured.


In 2010, China became the second largest global economy, surpassing Japan.[412] Japan also saw a rating downgrade the following year due to debt burden.[413] The 2010s began amidst a global financial crisis that started in the late 2000s. In particular, the Eurozone debt crisis, which began during 2009, continued into the 2010s. 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.[414] In August 2011, the S&P downgraded the United States' credit rating from triple AAA to AA-plus.[415] That same year, a Gallup poll in 2011 found that more than half of Americans believed the country was still in a recession.[416] Despite the Eurozone debt crisis, the American Dow Jones Industrial Average had its longest stretch of gains since the late 1990s tech boom.[417] However, economic issues, including inflation and an increase in commodity prices, sparked unrest in many lower-income countries. In some countries, particularly those in the Arab world, political unrest evolved into socioeconomic crises. This set off numerous revolutions, including those in Kyrgyzstan and Tunisia in 2010, and Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Egypt in 2011 and 2012. This trend became known as the Arab Spring, and was followed by the Arab Winter. Global oil production in 2014 reached an historic peak, reaching 93 million barrels/day.[418] 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.[419] India became the fastest growing major economy of the world in 2015, surpassing China.[420]

Cyber security and hacking[]

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

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 how the coalition used special forces to hunt down Taliban leaders and "kill or capture" them without trial, increasingly used drones to attack alleged Taliban positions, covered up evidence of the Taliban acquiring surface-to-air missiles and the deaths of civilians by coalition forces and Taliban suicide bombings.[421][422]
Stuxnet August 2010 A malicious computer worm, first identified in 2010 but thought to be in development since at least 2005, that targets industrial computer systems and 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 American-Israeli cyberweapon.[423][424][425]
Iraq War documents leak 22 October 2010 Wikileaks disclosed nearly 392,000 U.S. Army field reports of the Iraq War, which documented multiple cases of U.S. authorities failing to report torture, rape and other abuses of detainees and purposely misleading the death toll of the war,[426] soldiers killing hundreds of civilians for coming too close to checkpoints and other war crimes.[427][428] The leaks also showed that Iran was involved in the war by supplying Shiite militias with deadly weapons for use against civilians, Sunni Muslims and U.S. Army soldiers.[429] It is the largest leak in the history of the U.S. military.[430]
The Offshore leaks April 2013 A report disclosed details of 130,000 offshore accounts. Some observers have called it one of the biggest hit against international tax fraud of all times, although it has been pointed out that normal businesses may use the offshore legislation to ease formalities in international trade.[431][432] The report originated from the Washington D.C.-based investigative journalism nonprofit, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and was based on a cache of 2.5 million secret records about the offshore assets of people from 170 countries and territories, obtained by ICIJ's director.[432]
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.[433][434][435] These leaks raised serious questions for civilians on whether their privacy should be breached in the name of public safety and whether that had already happened.[436] Leaks also revealed covert actions against German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and have damaged diplomatic relations in Europe and Brazil.[437][438]
Swiss Leaks February 2015 The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) website released information about bank accounts in Switzerland.[439] The investigation was conducted by over 130 journalists in Paris, Washington, Geneva, and 46 other countries. Investigators allege that 180.6 billion euros passed through HSBC accounts held in Geneva by over 100,000 clients and 20,000 offshore companies between November 2006 and March 2007. The data for this period comes from files removed from HSBC Private Bank by a former staffer and handed to French authorities in late 2008.[440] The disclosed information has been called "the biggest leak in Swiss banking history".[441]
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.[442] The attack was suspected to have originated from China but it remains unclear if it was or not.[443]
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 by taking credentials for payment transfers and then moving the money to the Philippines and Sri Lanka.[444] 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.[445][446]
Commission on Elections data breach 27 March 2016 Anonymous Philippines has hacked the website of Commission on Elections to force them to place security features on Vote Counting Machine (VCM).[447] Soon, the LulzSec Pilipinas leaked sensitive information of voters all over the Philippines from the COMELEC website, and the incident has been called the "biggest government data breach in history".[448] On 21 April, one of the hackers involved in the recent defacement and supposed leak of data from the Commission on Elections' official website has been arrested in Sampaloc, Manila.[449] On 29 April, another hacker allegedly responsible for leaking the information of voters from the Comelec website was arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation.[450]
Panama Papers 3 April 2016 11.5 millions 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.[451] The leaks revealed information of various world leaders, politicians, billionaires and celebrities being involved in hidden financial dealings within tax havens and companies doing business with terrorist organizations and governments under international sanctions.[452][453]
Yahoo! data breach 22 September 2016 Yahoo Inc. reported that account information for up to 500 million users in 2014 had been hacked.[454] Yahoo alleged in its statement that the act was "state-sponsored data breach."[455] It was believed that the hack compromised personal data from the accounts including names, addresses, passwords, telephone numbers and possibly encrypted information including security questions.[456] Further the statement claimed that the hacker was no longer in Yahoo's system and that the company was fully cooperating with law enforcement.[455]
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.[457]
Vault 7 7 March 2017 It is a series of documents that WikiLeaks began to publish that detail activities and capabilities of the United States Central Intelligence Agency to perform electronic surveillance and cyber warfare. The files, dated from 2013–2016, include details on the agency's software capabilities, such as the ability to compromise cars, smart TVs,[285] web browsers (including Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera Software ASA),[458][459][460] and the operating systems of most smartphones (including Apple's iOS and Google's Android), as well as other operating systems such as Microsoft Windows and macOS.
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.[461] The attack spread by multiple methods, including phishing emails[462] and on unpatched systems as a computer worm. The attack was described by Europol as unprecedented in scale.[463] The attack affected Telefónica and several other large companies in Spain, as well as parts of Britain's National Health Service (NHS),[464] FedEx, Deutsche Bahn and LATAM Airlines.[465][466][467][468] Other targets in at least 99 countries were also reported to have been attacked around the same time.[469][470]
Paradise Papers 5 November 2017 A set of 13.4 million confidential electronic documents relating to offshore investments.[471] The documents originate from the offshore law firm Appleby, the corporate services providers Estera and Asiaciti Trust, and business registries in 19 tax jurisdictions.[472] At 1.4 terabytes in size, this is second only to the Panama Papers, it is the seconde biggest data leak in history.[473]


AIDS, a pandemic responsible for killing over 30 million people since its discovery in the early 1980s, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, became a treatable condition, though only one case had been cured.[474] With good treatment patients can generally expect normal lives and lifespans. However, as of 2011 only some 5 million of the 12 million afflicted have access to such treatment.[474]


Event Date Description
West African Ebola virus epidemic December 2013 – June 2016 An outbreak of the ebola virus, the worst of its kind in history, killed more than 11,300 people in West Africa.[475] In August 2014, the World Health Organization declared it a public health emergency of international concern. On 14 January 2016, the WHO has declared the epidemic to be over, despite continuing small flare-ups.[476]
Zika virus epidemic April 2015 – November 2016 A zika virus spreads rapidly throughout Latin America,[477] with imported cases being reported worldwide.[478][479]
Middle East respiratory syndrome outbreak in South Korea May–July 2015 An outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome in South Korea caused over thirty deaths. Thousands were quarantines.[480]
2017 Australian measles outbreak September 2017 – present An outbreak of measles in the Australian state of Victoria and later, New South Wales. At one point in September 2017, 10 or more cases were diagnosed in one week in Victoria. The outbreak was spread from Melbourne to parts of Sydney in October 2017.

Science and technology[]

List of years in science
  • ... 2000
  • 2001
  • 2002
  • 2003
  • 2004
  • 2005
  • 2006 ...
  • 2007
  • 2008
  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • ... 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020 ...
  • Art
  • Archaeology
  • Architecture
  • Literature
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Science +...

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


Significant scientific developments[]

These are the 10 most significant scientific developments each year based on the annual Breakthrough of the Year award of the American Association for the Advancement of Science journal Science. The top entry per year was named the Breakthrough of the Year; the remaining nine were named as runners-up.

  • 2010: The first quantum machine.[481]
    • Synthetic biology - scientists create synthetic genome, replacing a bacterium's DNA so that it produced new set of proteins.[482]
    • Scientists sequence the genome of Neanderthals, using the bones of three female Neanderthals.[482]
    • Two successful trials of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis.[482]
    • Exome sequencing of rare disease genes.[482]
    • Major advances in molecular dynamics simulations.[482]
    • Quantum simulator are developed.[482]
    • Genetic sequencing becomes quicker and less expensive, as illustrated in 1000 Genomes Project and other next-generation genomics projects.[482]
    • Researchers discovery method to reprogram cells using RNA.[482]
    • Advances in development of knockout rat used in laboratory experiments.[482]
  • 2011: HIV treatment as prevention (HPTN 052)[483]
    • Scientists publish findings of 25143 Itokawa samples collected by the Hayabusa space probe.[484]
    • Paleoanthropologists publish findings strongly indicating archaic human admixture with modern humans.[484]
    • Researchers capture full structure of photosystem II, with potential applications for clean energy.[484]
    • Astronomers see pristine clouds of hydrogen, giving new information about the chemical evolution of the universe.[484]
    • Further developments in microbiota/gut flora research.[484]
    • The first phase III clinical trial of the RTS,S malaria vaccine, sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline and the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, are published.[484]
    • Further discoveries about exoplanets, including six large planets orbiting Kepler-11; HAT-P-6b; planets orbiting two stars, and free-floating planets.[484]
    • Developments in designer zeolites.[484]
    • Developments in research of cellular senescence.[484]
  • 2012: Discovery of the Higgs boson.[485]
    • The Denisovan genome is sequenced.[486]
    • Zinc-finger nuclease genome engineering.[486]
    • Neutrino mixing angle.[486]
    • ENCODE research project.[486]
    • Curiosity rover lands on Mars.[486]
    • X-ray laser is used to image protein structure for the first time.[486]
    • Advances in brain–computer interfaces.[486]
    • Majorana fermions are discovered.[486]
    • For the first time, eggs from embryonic stem cells are used to give birth to live mice.[486]
  • 2013: Cancer immunotherapy.[487]
    • CRISPR gene-editing technique.[488]
    • CLARITY brain-imaging technique.[489]
    • Derivation of stem cells from cloned human embryos.[490]
    • Growth of pluripotent stem cells into organoids.[491]
    • Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope traces cosmic ray particles to their origin in supernovae debris clouds.[492]
    • Advances in perovskites solar cell materials.[493]
    • Rat experiments indicate that sleep helps to restore the brain.[494]
    • Research developments on gut flora and its importance to human health.[495]
    • Development of immunogen for respiratory syncytial virus.[496]
  • 2014: Rosetta comet mission.[497]
    • Evolutionary biologists publish landmark research on transition from dinosaurs to birds.[498]
    • Research published indicating that "blood or blood components" (specifically GDF11) "from a young mouse can rejuvenate an old mouse's muscles and brain."[498]
    • Advances in robots that cooperate with one another[498]
    • Development of TrueNorth chip, containing 5.4 billion transistors, by IBM.[498]
    • Radiocarbon dating shows that Maros cave art at Sulawesi, Indonesia, was about four times as old as previously thought, with the "oldest hand stencil is at least 39,900 years old and the animal paintings at least 35,400" years old.[498]
    • Two methods are developed for growing cells that resemble human beta cells, advancing research toward possible future type 1 diabetes treatments.[498]
    • Researches discover ways to "manipulate specific memories in mice using optogenetics" techniques.[498]
    • Launch of a record 75 CubeSat boxes, used in space research, in a single year.[498]
    • Researchers engineer E. coli bacteria in the lab "to incorporate two additional letters into their genetic alphabet"[498]
  • 2015: CRISPR genome-editing method[499]
    • Homo naledi
    • Ebola vaccine
    • Psychology replication
    • Pluto (New Horizons spacecraft)
    • Paleo-indians DNA
    • Mantle plumes
    • Opiate pathway in yeast
    • Lymphatic system in the central nervous system
    • Bell's theorem experiment
  • 2016: The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory makes the first observation of gravitational waves, fulfilling Einstein's prediction[500]
    • Proxima Centauri b, an Earth-mass planet in the habitable zone of its star, is discovered in the Alpha Centauri system
    • AlphaGo versus Lee Sedol: AlphaGo, an artificial intelligence system created by Google's DeepMind, defeats the world's top human Go champions
    • Researchers discover that removing senescent cells from mice increases the mice's longevity and health
    • Researchers publish work showing that three nonhuman great ape species (chimpanzees, bonobos, and orangutans) can tell when someone holds a false belief, an advancement in the theory of mind and study of animal cognition
    • Computational biologists make advances in the study of protein design, which has many potential applications
    • Researches develop method to produce mouse eggs developed entirely in lab cell cultures
    • Major genomic studies conclude that almost all living humans (Eurasians and Aboriginal Australians alike) originate from a single group of modern humans who left Africa about 50,000 to 60,000 years ago
    • Oxford Nanopore Technologies markets the world's first handheld nanopore sequencing device
    • Researchers create metamaterial lens

Nobel Prize Winners of Decade[]

Year Physics Chemistry Physiology
or Medicine
Literature Peace Economics
2010 Geim, AndreAndre Geim;
Novoselov, KonstantinKonstantin Novoselov[501]
Heck, Richard F.Richard F. Heck;
Negishi, Ei-ichiEi-ichi Negishi;
Suzuki, AkiraAkira Suzuki[502]
Edwards, Robert G.Robert G. Edwards[503] Vargas Llosa, MarioMario Vargas Llosa[504] Xiaobo, LiuLiu Xiaobo[505][F] Diamond, Peter A.Peter A. Diamond;
Mortensen, Dale T.Dale T. Mortensen;
Pissarides, Christopher A.Christopher A. Pissarides[506]
2011 Perlmutter, SaulSaul Perlmutter;
Riess, Adam G.Adam G. Riess;
Schmidt, BrianBrian Schmidt[507]
Shechtman, DanDan Shechtman[508] Beutler, BruceBruce Beutler;
Hoffmann, Jules A.Jules A. Hoffmann;
Steinman, Ralph M.Ralph M. Steinman[509]
Tranströmer, TomasTomas Tranströmer[510] Sirleaf, Ellen JohnsonEllen Johnson Sirleaf;
Gbowee, LeymahLeymah Gbowee;
Karman, TawakelTawakel Karman[511]
Sargent, Thomas J.Thomas J. Sargent;
Sims, Christopher A.Christopher A. Sims[512]
2012 Haroche, SergeSerge Haroche;
J. Wineland, DavidDavid J. Wineland[513]
Kobilka, Brian K.Brian K. Kobilka;
Lefkowitz, Robert J.Robert J. Lefkowitz[514]
Gurdon, John B.John B. Gurdon;
Yamanaka, Shinya Shinya Yamanaka[515]
Yan, MoMo Yan[516] Union, EuropeanEuropean Union[517] Roth, Alvin E.Alvin E. Roth;
Shapley, Lloyd S.Lloyd S. Shapley[518]
2013 Englert, FrançoisFrançois Englert;
Higgs, Peter W.Peter W. Higgs[519]
Karplus, MartinMartin Karplus;
Levitt, MichaelMichael Levitt;
Warshel, AriehArieh Warshel[520]
Rothman, James E.James E. Rothman;
Schekman, Randy W.Randy W. Schekman;
Südhof, Thomas C.Thomas C. Südhof[521]
Munro, AliceAlice Munro[522] for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, OrganisationOrganisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons[523] Fama, Eugene F.Eugene F. Fama;
Hansen, Lars PeterLars Peter Hansen;
Shiller, Robert J.Robert J. Shiller[524]
2014 Akasaki, IsamuIsamu Akasaki;
Amano, HiroshiHiroshi Amano;
Nakamura, ShujiShuji Nakamura[525]
Betzig, EricEric Betzig;
Hell, StefanStefan Hell;
Moerner, WilliamWilliam Moerner[526]
O'Keefe, JohnJohn O'Keefe;
Moser, May-BrittMay-Britt Moser;
Moser, EdvardEdvard Moser[527]
Modiano, PatrickPatrick Modiano[528] Satyarthi, KailashKailash Satyarthi;
Yousafzai, MalalaMalala Yousafzai[529]
Tirole, JeanJean Tirole[530]
2015 Kajita, TakaakiTakaaki Kajita;
McDonald, Arthur B.Arthur B. McDonald[531]
Lindahl, TomasTomas Lindahl;
Modrich, Paul L.Paul L. Modrich;
Sancar, AzizAziz Sancar[532]
Campbell, William C.William C. Campbell;
Ōmura, SatoshiSatoshi Ōmura;
Youyou, TuTu Youyou[533]
Alexievich, SvetlanaSvetlana Alexievich[534] National Dialogue Quartet, TunisianTunisian National Dialogue Quartet[535] Deaton, AngusAngus Deaton[536]
2016 Michael Kosterlitz, JohnJohn Michael Kosterlitz;
J. Thouless, DavidDavid J. Thouless;
Duncan M. Haldane, F.F. Duncan M. Haldane[537]
L. Feringa, BernardBernard L. Feringa;
Fraser Stoddart, J.J. Fraser Stoddart;
Sauvage, Jean-PierreJean-Pierre Sauvage[538]
Ohsumi, YoshinoriYoshinori Ohsumi[539] Dylan, BobBob Dylan[540] Manuel Santos, JuanJuan Manuel Santos[541] Hart, OliverOliver Hart;
Holmström, BengtBengt Holmström[542]


Technological Trends[]

A self-balancing board.

Intel Compute Stick

  • 22nm, 14nm and 10nm semiconductor device fabrication
  • 3D printed firearms
  • 3D printing and 3D scanner
  • 4DX motion-enhanced films
  • 4G and 5G cellular communication
  • 4K and 8K resolution
  • 7th and 8th generation of video game consoles
    • Nintendo Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, Switch
    • Sony PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4
    • Microsoft Xbox 360, Xbox One
  • Academic databases search engines
  • Action camera types like GoPro
  • Affordable internet initiatives
  • Ambient intelligence
  • Artificial intelligence
    • IBM Watson and DeepMind AlphaGo
  • Autonomous robotic vacuum cleaners improvements
  • Anonymous communication
  • Autonomous car
  • Battery electric vehicle (BEV)
  • Big data and Data processing
  • Biometrics expansion
  • BitTorrent expansion
  • Blockchain records
  • Brain–computer interface (BCI) new devices
  • C++14 and C++17
  • Camera phone per megapixel improvements
  • Chatbots and Software agent
  • Cloud computing on-demand like Amazon Web Services
  • Cloud gaming providers
  • Collaborative consumption
  • Computer-generated imagery (CGI)
  • Cryptanalysis improvements
  • Cryptocurrency like Bitcoin and Ethereum
  • Curved screen
  • CUDA v5.3 architecture graphics
  • Cyber-physical system concept
  • Cyberwarfare and Security
  • Datafication
  • Deep web (non-indexed pages) and Dark web (hidden pages)
  • Digital collaboration
  • Digital modeling and fabrication
  • Digital preservation
  • Digital projectors
  • Distributed computing and database
  • Distributed generation and Cogeneration
  • Document automation
  • Downloadable content (DLC)
  • D-Wave 2X quantum machine
  • Dynamic packaging travel technology
  • Educational programming languages
  • Educational video websites
  • Electric and Hybrid vehicles
  • Energy harvesting improvements
  • English Wikipedia – reaching over 5 million articles
  • E-sports popularity
  • Electronic cigarettes
  • ePaper, eReaders and eBooks
  • Fabrication laboratory (Fab Lab) culture
  • Femtocell base station
  • Fiber to the premises like Google Fiber
  • Fidget spinner and Cube
  • Financial software (Fintechs)
  • Flexible electronics
  • General-purpose computing on graphics processing units (GPGPU)
  • Generation IV reactor R&D funding
  • Geotagging
  • Global distribution system (GDS)
  • Global surveillance programs
  • Goal-line technology
  • GNSS software-defined receiver
  • Graphene production techniques
  • Great buildings like:
    • Apple Park and Tesla Gigafactory 1
  • Health informatics
  • High-frequency trading
  • HP Prime a graphing calculator
  • Home automation
    • Indoor positioning system, Home energy monitor and Lighting control
  • Home electronic health (eHealth)
    • Home automation for the elderly and disabled
  • Hoverboard introduction
  • Hydrogen economy improvements
  • Infrastructure (IaaS) and Platform (PaaS) as a service
  • Industry 4.0 and Industrial big data
  • Intelligent personal assistant expansion
  • Internet activism
  • Internet banking
  • Internet of Things (IoT) and Ubiquitous computing
  • Java SE9 revision
  • LED displays increase
  • Lithium-ion capacitor
  • Low-power electronics
  • Major operating system upgrades including:
    • Windows 7, 8/8.1, and 10
    • Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Lion, OS X Mountain Lion, Mavericks, Yosemite, El Capitan, macOS Sierra, and High Sierra (for Macs)
  • Massive open online courses (MOOCs)
  • Memristor electronic component
  • Metadata usage
  • Microconsole popularity
  • Minecraft-like video games
  • Multiplayer online battle arena games (MOBA games)
  • Music streaming services
  • Miniaturized satellite
  • Mobile apps
  • Mobile computing including:
    • Tablets, Ultrabooks and Sticks
  • Mobile operating system types
    • Android, largest installed base of any mobile OS
  • Mobile payment
  • Mobile robots
  • Modular smartphones
  • Molecular gastronomy
  • Motion detection devices
  • Musical Instrument Digital Interface capabilities
  • Neuromorphic engineering projects
  • Network intelligence
  • Predictive analytics and User behavior
  • Object recognition improvements
  • Online crowdsourcing and funding
  • Online dating service
  • Online encyclopedia
  • Online new social media
  • Online platforms for collaborative consumption
  • Online pornography with ~30% of internet data[543]
  • Online professional networking sites
  • Online research community
  • Open source ecology
  • Open-source software
  • Personal genomics reduction costs
  • Personal robots improvements
  • Personalized medicine
  • Physical Internet
  • Portable drinking water products
  • Power-line communication standards
  • Private spaceflight
  • Public-key cryptography
  • Reusable launch systems for space travel
  • Robot-assisted surgery
  • Robotic mapping software
  • Route planning software
  • Science 2.0
    • e-Science and Open science
  • Selfie sticks
  • Service 4.0
    • Digital marketing and E-commerce expansion
  • Single-board microcontroller popularity
  • Small satellite
  • Smart, connected products:
    • Antenna, Environment, Speaker, Objects and TV
  • Smart glass windows
  • Smart grid and Smart meter
  • Smarter Planet
  • Soccer robot popularity
  • Social networking service expansion
  • Solar aircraft
  • Solid-state drive (SSD) reduction costs
  • Speech recognition improvements
  • Stereoscopic video game (S-3D video games) improvements
  • Streaming media and platforms
  • TED conferences
  • Telerobotics and Telemedicine
  • Terabit Ethernet
  • Tesla Powerwall battery
  • Universal Serial Bus 3.1
  • User-generated content
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles (aerial drones)
    • Drone racing
  • Unicorn (finance) start-ups
  • Vehicular communication systems
  • Video hosting service
  • Virtual assistants like:
    • Siri, Cortana, Alexa, Google Assistant, and Bixby
  • Virtual community growing
  • Virtual engineering
  • Virtual instrumentation
  • Virtual reality
    • VR photography and Omnidirectional camera
  • Wearable computers, including:
    • Smartglasses, Smartwatch and Smartbands
  • Robot construction kits and visual interfaces
  • Software digital distribution
  • Softmodem
  • Space-based economy
  • Supercomputer power of 93 petaflops (Sunway TaihuLight)
  • Super Wi-Fi
  • Web analytics services
  • Web recommender system
  • Water management systems
  • Web mining
  • Wikis popularity
  • Wireless sensor network
  • Wind and Solar energy incentives
  • YouTube
  • Youtubers

Technological Milestones[]

Category Date Event Ref.
Information 2010 Apple Inc. launched the iPad, its first tablet computer, which offers multi-touch interaction. The iPad became an immediate bestseller and only months after its release became the best selling tech product in history. [544]
Information 2010 Sales for PCs decline in favor of tablet computers and laptop convertibles. [545]
Information 2011 The supply of IPv4 internet addresses was exhausted. An early period of transition to IPv6 continued during 2011. [546]
Information 2011 More than 2 billion people used the Internet. [547]
Information 2011 One billion mobile broadband users predicted and 4.6 billion people worldwide were subscribed to mobile phones. [548]
Information 2011 Americans spent more time using mobile apps than using the World Wide Web. [549]
Information 2012 Samsung overtook Nokia for the first time as the largest mobile phone maker in the world. [550]
Information 2012 Tablet and smartphone sales overtook netbooks. [551]
Information 2012 Google Chrome became the world's most used web browser, replacing Internet Explorer. [552]
Information 2012 The Wikimedia Foundation started developing Wikidata, its first new project in six years. [553]
Information 2013 In developed countries smartphones sales surpassed feature phones. [554]
Information 2013 Streaming media and rental kiosk services such as Netflix and Redbox forced video rental chains such as Blockbusters to close. [555]
Information 2014 Transparent display screens, 3D glass pyramid holograms and curved touchscreen displays entered the market.
Software 2011 Collaborative source code sharing website GitHub became the world's most popular open source hosting site. [556]
Software 2011 Oracle sued Google over the use of Java-related technology in Google's popular Android operating system. Google won the lawsuit on 26 May 2016, citing fair use. [557][558]
Software 2012 Following an unprecedented internet protest and blackout campaign, the widely criticized Stop Online Piracy Act bill was temporarily withdrawn in the US Congress. [559]
Software 2012 The controversial Cybercrime Prevention Act in the Philippines was adopted. [560]
Medicine 2011 Life extension began to be considered. [561]
Medicine 2013 Google created Calico in order to research ways to combat aging. [562]
Medicine 2015 The Philippines became the first Asian country to approve the sale of the world's first dengue vaccine, the Dengvaxia. [563]
Space 2011 NASA announced that its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured photographic evidence of possible liquid water on Mars during warm seasons.
Space 2011 The United States' Space Shuttle program officially ended following its last mission, STS-135, flown by Space Shuttle Atlantis. [564]
Space 2012 SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft became the first private commercial spacecraft to successfully attach to the International Space Station, the first commercial spacecraft to rendezvous with another spacecraft. [565]
Space 2012 NASA landed the Curiosity rover in Gale crater on Mars. [566]
Space 2013 The Chinese Chang'e 3 landed on the Moon, the first Lunar landing in 37 years. [567]
Space 2014 The Philae probe from the Rosetta spacecraft landed successfully on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. [568]
Space 2014 The Orion spacecraft completed its first test flight, an unmanned orbital and reentry flight. [569]
Space 2015 NASA's Dawn probe entered orbit around Ceres, becoming the first spacecraft to visit a dwarf planet. [570][571]
Space 2015 NASA announced that liquid water had been found on Mars. [572]
Space 2015 NASA's New Horizons probe became the first spacecraft to reach Pluto, completing its main mission. [573]
Space 2015 SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket successfully landed after a launch, making it the first rocket to successfully return and perform a vertical landing. [574]
Space 2016 The ESA and Roscomos launched the joint ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter on a mission to Mars. [575]
Space 2016 Diwata-1 was launched to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the Cygnus spacecraft on a supply mission. [576]
Space 2016 NASA's Juno spacecraft enters orbit around Jupiter and begins a 20-month survey of the planet. [577]
Space 2016 Solar Impulse 2 becomes the first solar-powered aircraft to circumnavigate the Earth. [578]
Space 2016 Proxima Centauri b is discovered as closest exoplanet to Earth that may be habitable. [579]
Space 2016 NASA launches OSIRIS-REx, its first asteroid sample return mission. The probe will visit Bennu and is expected to return with samples in 2023. [580][581]
Space 2018 SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket successfully performs its first flight. Designed to carry humans to the Moon and Mars, as of its launch it was the most powerful rocket in operation. [582]
Transportation 2011 Google developed the world's first self-driving car to be licensed for use on public roads. [583]
Transportation 2013 Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk proposed the Hyperloop mass transit system. Multiple companies joined in the opportunity to develop the concept. [584][585]
Transportation 2015 Automaker Volkswagen is alleged to have been involved in worldwide rigging of diesel emissions tests, affecting an estimated 11 million vehicles globally. [586][587][588]



Aging population[]

Percentage of world population over 65

The 2010s are the decade in which most baby boomers in developed nations are to retire, putting pressure on pension programs and other safety net programs. Many countries reported declining fertility rates in their 2010 censuses.[589] The consequences of an aging society were felt hardest in Europe and Japan, which were the first to experience substantial population decline.[590][591]

Over 20% of Japan's population is over the age of 65, making it the most elderly nation.[592] As a result, Japan examined alternative solutions for elder care, including robots.[593][594] In the United States, proposals for revising Medicare and Social Security proliferated, including raising the age of retirement or adjusting benefit amounts. Opponents instead wanted to increase benefit levels.[595] In 2010, France debated and raised the retirement age from 60 to 62, despite widespread demonstrations in opposition.[596] A few years later the threshold was lowered back to 60.[597]


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


Event Date Description Media
Celebration of Mexican political anniversaries in 2010 15 September 2010 Mexico celebrated the 200th year anniversary of its Independence and 100th anniversary of its Revolution.[598]
Federal District buildings seen from rooftop restaurant.jpg
Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton 29 April 2011 A television audience of an estimated two billion people[599] watched the wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine Middleton.[600]
All smiles Wedding of Prince William of Wales and Kate Middleton.jpg
Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II 6 February 2012 Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, which marked the 60th anniversary of her accession.[601]
Queen at the Diamond Jubilee.JPG
Papal inauguration of Pope Francis 13 March 2013 Pope Francis became the first non-European Pope in over 500 years.[602]
Papa Francisco recién elegido 2.jpg
Canonization of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II 27 April 2014 Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II were canonized.[603]
Canonization of Ioannes XXIII and Ioannes Paulus II (10).jpg
Iglesia ni Cristo centennial celebration 27 July 2014 Approximately 2 million members of the Iglesia ni Cristo joined the worship rites held at the Philippine Arena for its centennial celebration.[604]
JfBulacanCiudaddeVictoria9871PhlArenaStadiumfvf 13.JPG
Pope Francis' visit to the Philippines 18 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.[605][606][607]
Papal Visit to the Philippines January 18 2015.jpg
60th death anniversary of Elpidio Quirino 29 February 2016 The remains of the late President Elpidio Quirino, the sixth president of the Philippines, are transferred from the Manila South Cemetery in Makati to the Heroes' Cemetery in Taguig to mark his 60th death anniversary.[608]
Tomb of President Quirino.JPG

LGBT rights[]

Plaintiffs celebrate outside the Supreme Court on 26 June 2015 following same-sex marriage legalization in the United States nationwide.

During the 2010s, acceptance of LGBT people slowly increased in many parts of the world.[609][610]

In June 2011 the United Nations Human Rights Council passed the UN's first-ever motion condemning discrimination against gays, lesbians and bisexuals commissioning a report on the issue.[611] The report was issued in December 2011.[612] During an ABC News interview in 2012, Barack Obama expressed his support for gay marriage, becoming the first US President to do so.[613] Although many nations allowed gays and bisexuals to serve in their militaries, a major milestone came in September 2011 when the US abolished its "Don't ask, don't tell" policy.[614][615] In 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law that criminalized expression of homosexuality.[616] St. Petersburg drafted its own ban on homosexual expression, and banned pride events as well.[617] Marriage for same-sex couples was an ongoing debate in many nations, while over eighteen nations legalized same-sex marriage.[618][619][620][621][622]

In 2015, Ireland became the first nation to legalize same-sex marriage via referendum.[623] In 2017, Leo Varadkar became Ireland's first openly gay Taoiseach,[624] joining the ranks of other nation's first openly gay and lesbian heads of state in the 2010s.

In April 2015, former olympic athlete Caitlyn Jenner came out as a transwoman, and was subsequently called the most famous openly transgender person in the world.[625][626][627] Organizations such as the Girl Scouts[628] and the Episcopal Church announced acceptance of transgender people[629] in the 2010s. In 2016, the Obama administration issued guidance that clarified Title IX protections for transgender students. The Obama administration's guidance for protection of transgender students was rescinded in early 2017 by the Trump administration.[630]

On 30 June 2016, United States Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced the end of the ban on transgender people serving in the United States Armed Forces.[631] On 26 July 2017, President Donald Trump announced that transgender people would no longer be allowed to serve in the military, citing "tremendous medical costs" and "disruption."[632] On 29 August, Secretary of Defense James Mattis clarified that currently serving transgender personnel would be allowed to continue serving while a panel of experts conducted a study on the impact of transgender personnel.[633]

In 2011, the German Constitutional Court ruled that requiring transgender individuals to undergo sex reassignment surgery before changing legal gender is unconstitutional.[634]

Youth culture[]


Aerosol (vapor) exhaled by an e-cigarette user.

Widespread internet use has been around for younger people's entire lives.[635] The youth of the 2010s were called the "best-behaved generation on record." In May 2014, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported that teenage pregnancies and their uses of drugs and alcohol reached record lows.[636] A 2013 survey showed that the rate of teen smoking dropped to 15.7%, the rate of teenagers having unprotected sex dropped to 34% and the rate of teenagers participating in a physical fight dropped to 25%, much lower than their counterparts 22 years earlier.[637] E-cigarette and smokeless tobacco use among teenagers rose.[638]



File:Burj Khalifa.jpg

The Burj Khalifa, the tallest building when completed in 2010.

Postmodernism and green design[639][640] were common architectural themes. "Sustainable design" emphasized natural lighting, green/white roofs, better insulation and other cost-saving features.[641] New urbanism and urban revival influenced urban planning in the United States and other developed countries.[642] However, growth of American suburbs still outpaces urban growth.[643] China and the Middle East led in large-scale development.[644][645][646][647]

New constructions

In 2010, the United Arab Emirates' Burj Khalifa became the tallest man-made structure ever built, standing at 828 m (2,717 ft).[648] The United States' One World Trade Center, completed in 2014, is the tallest building in North America at 1,776 ft (541 m).[649]


In 2015 Excessivism emerged. Trends that began since earlier decades are continuing into this decade are: Pop art, altermodern, cynical realism, the Kitsch movement, post-contemporary, metamodernism, pseudorealism, remodernism, renewable energy sculpture, street art, Stuckism, Superflat, Superstroke, urban art, video game art and virtual art.


South Korean rapper B.I sporting an undercut hairstyle.

The 2010s have been defined by a revival of interwar, austerity era, 1980s (2010–13), early 1990s and skater fashions.[650] In the early 2010s, many late 2000s fashion trends remained popular, especially the indie pop and grunge look which largely draws upon 1960s Mod clothing combined with elements of 1970s garage rock and contemporary alternative fashion. Hipster subculture and the "Thrift Shop" look had a considerable impact upon mainstream fashion. Full-printed T-shirts with diverse patterns (cosmic, clouds, historic architecture, and tribal) trended. In many Western countries, the growing of a full beard became a popular trend among young males in the early to mid-2010s, with some suggesting this was due to the influence of the hipster subculture and the Movember campaign.[651][652] Other facial hair styles such as moustaches and goatees were popular during the most part of the decade. The "undercut", a variation of a crew cut, was popularized by rapper Macklemore in 2013. The style has been embraced by the hip-hop, hipster and punk subcultures.


Styles and Trends Superhero and science fiction films became box office leaders.[653] Animated films in the 2010s remained predominately computer-generated. Traditional animation styles lost favor among older audiences,[654][655][656] although (2D) Anime remained popular.[657]

Technology 3D films gained popularity, led by Avatar in late 2009.[658][659][660] In 2010, Avatar became the first film to gross more than US$2 billion.[661] Other 3D releases were also successful.[662][663] 360-degree video also became widely available with the introduction of consumer virtual reality.

Distribution Movies and television struggled to maintain their position, as online viewing grew rapidly.[664] Internet piracy was a major concern for the industry.[665][666][667] In 2012 Viacom launched a US$1 billion lawsuit against YouTube for copyright infringement.[668] In early 2012, the United States Congress began debating the SOPA and PIPA bills that were heavily lobbied by the entertainment industry.[669]

Most popular In 2010, Toy Story 3 became the first animated film to gross more than US$1 billion worldwide.[670] In 2016, Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) became the third highest-grossing film of all time.[671][672]

Year 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Highest grossing by release year Toy Story 3 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 The Avengers Frozen Transformers: Age of Extinction Star Wars: The Force Awakens Captain America: Civil War
$1.07 Billion[673] $1.34 Billion[674] $1.52 Billion[675] $1.28 Billion[676] $1.10 Billion[677] $2.07 Billion[678] $1.15 Billion[679]

Award winners On 7 March 2010, Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to receive the Academy Award for Best Director for the 2008 film The Hurt Locker.[680]

Award 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Academy Award for Best Picture winners The King's Speech[681] The Artist[682] Argo[683] 12 Years a Slave[684] Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)[685] Spotlight[686] Moonlight[687]
Palme d'Or winners at the Cannes Film Festival Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives[688] The Tree of Life[689] Amour[690] Blue Is the Warmest Colour[691] Winter Sleep[692] Dheepan[693] I, Daniel Blake[694] The Square[695]
César Award for Best Film winners Of Gods and Men[696] The Artist[697] Amour[698] Me, Myself and Mum[699] Timbuktu[700] Fatima[701] Elle[702]
Best films of the Sight & Sound annual poll The Social Network[703] The Tree of Life[704] The Master[705] The Act of Killing[706] Boyhood[707] The Assassin[708] Toni Erdmann[709] Get Out[710]


Gluten-free diets became popular. Fusion cuisine offered a new twist on many traditional food items. An interest in local and organic foods carried over from the mid to late 2000s, prompted from green and sustainable living. There was an increased population of vegetarians and vegans. Spicy foods were popular, sometimes in new ways. Finger foods such as Hors d'oeuvres and Tapas were applied to many desserts and comfort foods. Chipotle's success caused its fast casual made-to-order business model to carry over to many other food categories. Food presentation became more important as social media caused an increase in food photography and sharing. Caffeinated products spilled over to things like gum and mints.

Food trends

File:Bagel mit Avocado, Rucola, Humus und Spiegelei (32039423604).jpg

Bagel with avocado, arugula, humus and fried egg.

  • Avocado products
    • Guacamole
    • Avocado toast
  • Bacon-infused dishes
    • Bacon ice cream
    • Chocolate-covered bacon
    • Maple bacon donuts
    • Baconnaise
    • Bacon salt
  • Coconut oil
  • Edible cookie dough
  • Fried pickles
  • Middle-Eastern cuisine
    • Hummus
    • Tahini sauce
  • Korean barbecue
  • Meat substitutes
    • Cauliflower
    • Eggplant
  • Pretzel buns
  • Ramen
  • Salted caramel flavored products
  • Spices
    • Turmeric
  • Stir-fried ice cream
  • Gourmet tacos
  • Tostones
  • Unicorn food
  • Vegetable chips
  • Quinoa

Beverage trends

A Moscow mule – an example of the savory drink trend.

  • Bacon-infused drinks
    • Bacon vodka
    • BLT cocktail
  • Hard cider
  • Cocktails
    • Beer cocktails
    • Bitters cocktails
  • Premium coffee
    • Coffee ice cubes
  • Craft beer and Microbrewery
    • Draught IPA
  • Cold brew coffee and tea
  • Gin
  • Milkshakes with extravagant toppings
  • Milk substitutes
    • Coconut milk
    • Almond milk
  • Mocktails (Low-ABV cocktails)
  • Moscow mules
  • Savory drinks
    • Salted beer and cocktails
    • Spicy drinks and cocktails
  • Shooters
  • Single-serve drinks
    • Bottled cocktails
    • Canned coffee
    • Single-serve wine
  • Soda alternatives
    • Coconut water
    • Sparkling water
  • Tea-infused beer and mixed drinks


Advances in music technology, such as the ability to use 32 or more tracks in real time, changed the sound of many types of music. Globalism and an increased demand for variety and personalization in the face of music streaming services created many subgenres. Dance and pop music surged into the 2010s,[711][712][713] with EDM achieving mass commercial success.[714] EDM, synthpop, indie, and trap see mainstream success throughout the early to mid 2010s. R&B and hip-hop rose to prominence again during the early 2010s and have remained popular forms of music since.[715][716] In 2013, Baauer's "Harlem Shake" was the first Internet meme song to reach the #1 spot on the Billboard Top 100, reflecting a shift in popular culture as Internet memes became mainstream.[717] K-pop (and the rise in popularity of South Korea's entertainment industry due to technological advances) finally mounted into the music scene of the United States with Psy's "Gangnam Style" winning the Billboard Music Award for Top Streaming Song (Video) in 2013.[718] In the early 2010s, dubstep and drumstep, originating in the United Kingdom, rose in popularity globally.[719][720][721] Drumstep is continuing to grow in popularity along with drum and bass. It mirrors the electronic-leaning musical trends elsewhere, while hardstyle is becoming increasingly popular in Australia and North America, with music festivals such as Defqon 1, IQON and The sound of Q-dance.[722][723][724][725]


Digital music sales in 2012 topped CD sales.[726] Music streaming services such as Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora Radio became the preferred music delivery systems, similar to movie and television streaming services such as Netflix.[727]

Most popular

Award 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Billboard's best-performing single Tik Tok Rolling in the Deep Somebody That I Used to Know Thrift Shop Happy Uptown Funk! Love Yourself Shape of You
Kesha Adele Gotye Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Pharrell Williams Mark Ronson Justin Bieber Ed Sheeran

Award winners

Award 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Record of the Year Grammy Winners "Use Somebody"[728] "Need You Now"[729] "Rolling in the Deep"[730] "Somebody That I Used to Know"[731] "Get Lucky"[732] "Stay with Me"[733] "Uptown Funk"[734] "Hello"[735]
Kings of Leon Lady Antebellum Adele Gotye featuring Kimbra Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams Sam Smith Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars Adele


Tom Brady with the Vince Lombardi Trophy following Super Bowl LI, 6 February 2017

  • Usain Bolt became the most successful sprinter in Olympic history, holding world records in the 100 metres, 200 metres and 4 × 100 metres relay.[736]
  • Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian ever after winning his 22nd medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics.[737]
  • The Chicago Cubs won the World Series in 2016, erasing a 108-year championship drought, defeating the Cleveland Indians in Game 7 of the World Series on 3 November 2016.
  • In 2012, London became the first city to host the Olympic Games three times.[738]
  • IRB Sevens World Series expand from 8 to 10 legs, and rugby seven became part of the Olympic program in 2016.
  • The San Francisco Giants won three World Series titles in the first half of the decade.[739]
  • In 2012, the Spain national football team became the first international football team to win three consecutive major tournaments.[740]
  • the Women FIFA World Cup 2015 expand to 24 teams of 23 players each and become the biggest team female sport event.
  • Jason Collins became the first active male professional athlete in a major American professional team sport to publicly come out as gay.[741]
  • Early in the decade, LeBron James led the NBA, playing with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Miami Heat.
  • Manchester City won the Premier League in 2012 becoming the first team to win it besides Manchester United and Chelsea since 2004, and the fifth team overall to win it. It's their first league title since 1968.
  • Atlético Madrid won the 2014 La Liga, becoming the first team besides FC Barcelona and Real Madrid to win La Liga since 2004.
  • Individual transfer fees in association football exceeding £50m became more common, with Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea, Manchester United F.C., AS Monaco and Manchester City all making at least one signing worth £50m or more. Paris Saint-Germain signing of Neymar in 2017 set an all-time record for highest football transfer fee at €222 million (£198 million).[742]
  • The Chicago Blackhawks and the Los Angeles Kings collectively led the NHL in Stanley Cup wins, claiming the trophy 4 out of 5 times in the first half of the decade.
  • On 1 January 2015, Donnie Nietes of the Philippines, became the longest reigning Filipino world boxing champion.
  • On 27 May 2015, football's world governing body FIFA was accused of bribery totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. Fourteen individuals were indicted.[743]
  • In June 2015, Chile national football team won their first Copa América, and repeated the feat the following year.
  • In May 2016, Real Madrid, having won their 10th UEFA Champions League title in May 2014, won their 11th championship since 1956, again beating rivals Atlético in a repeat of the 2014 final.[744]
  • In May 2016, Leicester City became the sixth team to win the Premier League, becoming English league champions for the first time in their 132-year history. Having narrowly survived the threat of relegation in their first year back in the top flight after a 10-year absence the season before, they were massive outsiders at 5000–1.
  • On 19 June 2016, The Cleveland Cavaliers won their 1st championship in the 2016 NBA Finals. The Cavs were the first in the NBA history to come back from a 1–3 series deficit.
  • In July 2016, Portugal national football team won their first UEFA European Championship.
  • New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was awarded his fourth Super Bowl MVP award after defeating the Atlanta Falcons at Super Bowl LI in 2017, overcoming a 25-point deficit, becoming the player with the most Super Bowl MVP awards in NFL history. This was also the first Super Bowl to be held in overtime.[745]
  • The Pittsburgh Penguins repeated as Stanley Cup champions in 2016–17, becoming the first NHL team to accomplish the occupation since the Detroit Red Wings of 1997–98.[746]
  • The National Football League witnessed three teams relocate to three different cities, the St. Louis Rams to Los Angeles, the San Diego Chargers also to Los Angeles, who along with the Rams had previous history in Los Angeles, and the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas.[747]
  • In November 2017, the Houston Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the 2017 World Series. It was the first championship in franchise history, and occurred less than 2 months after Houston was devastated by Hurricane Harvey, providing a large morale boost for the city and its residents.
  • WWE Chairman and CEO, Vince McMahon, announced on 25 January 2018 the return of the XFL with a target relaunch in 2020. The new league will begin with 8 teams, with the promise of less off-field controversies and faster, simpler play in comparison to the rival NFL.[748]


The American soap opera format lost popularity in favor of reality television and daytime talk shows.[749][750] Long-lived but canceled shows All My Children and One Life to Live return in 2013 as online content.[751] Prime-time television serials and Spanish-language telenovelas remain popular globally.[752] A new development in global television is the great popularity of Turkish drama series in parts of Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America.[753][754]

Cable providers saw a decline in subscriber numbers as cord cutters switched to lower cost online streaming services such as Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Video.[755][756] These non-cable, internet-based media streaming services even began producing their own programming.[757] TV sets, such as the Samsung SmartTV, started offering online streaming via television. At the same time, the advent of streaming services has allowed for more serialized television content to rise in popularity which may allow for more complex and longer storytelling. House of Cards became the first online-only web television series to earn major nominations at the Primetime Emmy Awards in 2013.[758]

Award winners

Award 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Primetime Emmy Award for Best Drama Mad Men[759] Mad Men[760] Homeland[761] Breaking Bad[762] Breaking Bad[763] Game of Thrones[764] Game of Thrones[765] The Handmaid's Tale[766]


In 2013 for the first time, the four nominees for the Best Musical Tony Award were all based on movies. 2016 was the first year in which all the musical acting awards were won by performers of color.

Award 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Tony Award for Best Musical Memphis[767] The Book of Mormon[768] Once[769] Kinky Boots[770] A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder[771] Fun Home[772] Hamilton[773] Dear Evan Hansen[774]
Pulitzer Prize for Drama Next To Normal, by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey[775] Clybourne Park, by Bruce Norris[775] Water by the Spoonful, by Quiara Alegría Hudes[775] Disgraced, by Ayad Akhtar[775] The Flick, by Annie Baker[775] Between Riverside and Crazy, by Stephen Adly Guirgis[775] Hamilton, by Lin-Manuel Miranda[775] Sweat, by Lynn Nottage[775]

Video gaming[]

PlayStation 4 was released in the November 2013 and so far it has been the best-selling gaming console of the decade. (40 million units sold worldwide as of May 2016)[776]

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

Cloud gaming, Virtual reality, stereoscopic 3D gaming, and ongoing improvements in graphics were some of the biggest trends. Video game sales declined in the early-2010s, most likely due to the effects of the Great Recession.[777]


The decade began dominated primarily by seventh generation consoles, such as Xbox 360, the PlayStation 3 and Wii.[778]

The Nintendo 3DS, released in early 2011 introduced a glasses-free interface for 3D.[779] The 2D PlayStation Vita was released in 2012. The Wii introduced the sensor bar with compatible sensitive controllers, followed by the PlayStation Move and Kinect. This expanded the video game market to the elderly and those interested in physical therapy.[780][781][782][783]

PC gaming

Games such as The Sims and many of Blizzard's popular titles remained popular on PCs and expanded to other devices.[784][785]

Virtual reality

The first generation oculus rift.

Commercial tethered headsets released for VR gaming include the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, and Sony's PlayStation VR (which requires a PlayStation instead of a PC to run).[786]

Cloud gaming

The OnLive console was released in 2010 becoming the first massively produced cloud gaming-based gaming device.[787] 2012 introduced the first console regarded to be in the eighth generation, the Wii U, followed in late 2013, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. They faced stiff competition from tablet and smartphones.[788][789]

Most popular

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, released in late 2011, made over US$775 million in one-week, matching the highest-grossing films.[790] According to the Entertainment Software Association, the average age of a person who plays video games is 30.[791]

Award winners

Award 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
As the Spike Video Game Awards Red Dead Redemption[792] The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim[793] The Walking Dead[794] Grand Theft Auto V[795]
As The Game Awards Dragon Age: Inquisition[796] The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt[797] Overwatch[798] The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild[799]

See also[]