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The 2010s began amid a global financial crisis dating from the late 2000s. The European sovereign-debt crisis, which stemmed from these economic problems, became more pronounced and continued to affect the possibility of a global economic recovery. Austerity policies particularly affected Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain. Such policies were among factors that led to the 15-M and Occupy movements. Other economic issues, such as inflation and an increase in commodity prices, led to unrest in many lower-income countries. Unrest in some countries—particularly in the Arab world—evolved into socio-economic crises triggering revolutions in Kyrgyzstan, Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and Yemen, as well as civil war in Libya and Syria, in a widespread phenomenon—commonly referred to in the Western world as the Arab Spring—with the repercussions from the revolutions continuing as of May 2019.
Sitting world leaders such as Hugo Chávez, Muammar Gaddafi and Kim Jong-il all, among others, died in office, as did former leaders Fidel Castro, Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, Helmut Kohl and George H. W. Bush. Major natural disasters included the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, the Nepal earthquake of 2015, the 2018 Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami, and the devastating hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, Haiyan (Yolanda) and Sandy. Other major international events this decade include the Northern Iraq offensive and the November 2015 Paris attacks.
The decade saw the continuation of United States military involvement, both in direct combat and through foreign bases, in many parts of the world, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, the Sahara, the Horn of Africa, the Philippines, the Caribbean and Central America. In 2011, the U.S. Navy SEALS assassinated Osama bin Laden in a raid on his Abbottabad compound, bookmarking the continued War on Terror. The rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant extremist organization in 2014 and 2015 erased the borders between Syria and Iraq, resulting in a multinational intervention against them. In east Asia, the Koreas improved their relations, while a more assertive China attempted to expand its influence in the South China Sea and in Africa.
Widespread use and interconnectedness of mobile networked devices and mobile telephony, internet websites and resources, and social networking became a de facto standard in digital communication during the 2010s. Online nonprofit organization WikiLeaks gained international attention for publishing classified information on topics including Guantánamo Bay, Syria, the Afghan and Iraq wars, and United States diplomacy. The website's editor-in-chief, Julian Assange, was granted political asylum by Ecuador, while the United States accused Chelsea Manning of leaking classified information and conducted a court-martial. Elsewhere, Edward Snowden blew the whistle on NSA global surveillance.
Beginning in 2016, much of the Western world began to experience a political backlash against globalization, especially immigration policy and free-trade agreements. This trend grew more evident after the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom and the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. The increase in economic inequality in developed countries was also an important discussion topic along the decade. Elsewhere, populist sentiment rose in Asian countries in the late 2010s, particularly in Southeast Asia and India.
Politics and wars
The prominent wars of the decade include:
|Name||Start date||End date||Description|
|Israeli–Palestinian conflict||14 May 1948||Ongoing||Since 1948, conflict between Jewish and Arab communities in Israel and the West Bank has continued to this day. After Israel occupied the West Bank, it began making settlements there, which has been an obstacle to the peace process. 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.|
|War on Terror||11 September 2001
||Motivated by the September 11 attacks, the United States and other governments started a large scale effort to eliminate terrorism. With support from NATO, the United States invaded Taliban-controlled Afghanistan and overthrew the government. Two years later, on the pretext that the government of Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, the United States and a coalition of partners invaded Iraq and overthrew Hussein, after which the U.S. occupied the country. However, insurgencies remained active in both countries, long after the invasions.|
|Russian military intervention in Ukraine||20 February 2014||After the fall of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, Russian soldiers took control of strategic positions in the Ukrainian territory of Crimea and subsequently annexed the region after a controversial referendum. In the months that followed, demonstrations in Donbass escalated into an armed conflict between the government of Ukraine and Russia-backed separatist forces.|
|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 and made Raqqa its capital. Various international coalitions were formed to help fight the militants. By December 2017, ISIS had lost much of its former territory, and Russian troops were withdrawn from Syria.|
|Name||Start date||End date||Description|
|Colombian Armed Conflict||27 May 1964||Ongoing||Fighting between the Colombian government, left-wing guerrillas, and various paramilitary factions had been ongoing since 1964. However, at the start of the decade, only two major groups remained, FARC and ELN. Since 2012, both groups have been in peace talks with the government, with FARC and the government signing a ceasefire in 2016.|
|War in North-West Pakistan||16 March 2004||Since 2004, Pakistan has been fighting an insurgency by various armed militant groups in the country. The violence has killed almost 57,000 people since, with over 3 million more affected. By 2014, however, casualties from terrorist and militant attacks had dropped by around 40%.|
|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. Since the start of the war, the death toll from drug violence had sharply increased. Arrests of key cartel leaders led to increasing violence as cartels fought for control of trafficking routes into the United States.|
|War in Somalia||31 January 2009||In 2009, Al-Shabaab, an Islamist militant group, began waging an insurgency against the newly formed Transitional Federal Government. In 2011, the federal government captured Mogadishu and subsequently retook several towns across the country. Since then, the government has attempted to clean out the remaining Al-Shabaab strongholds with help from AMISOM soldiers.|
|Boko Haram insurgency||26 July 2009||The Boko Haram insurgency began when the jihadist rebel group started an armed rebellion against the government of Nigeria. In 2015, the group pledged alliance to ISIL. It has since been called the world's deadliest terrorist group.|
|Northern Mali conflict||16 January 2012||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, and declared it to be the independent state of Azawad. However, shortly afterward, various Islamists groups took over Northern Mali from the Tuaregs and imposed sharia law on the region.|
|Iraqi Civil War||1 January 2014||9 December 2017||The civil war began with the conquest of Fallujah, Mosul, Tikrit and major areas of northern Iraq by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Various nations provided aid in the form of airstrikes, troops and intelligence. On 9 December 2017, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced victory over ISIL, though others warned to expect ISIL to continue the fight by other means.|
|Yemeni civil war||19 March 2015||Ongoing||Preceded by a decade-long Houthi insurgency, the Yemeni Civil War began between two factions: the then-incumbent Yemeni government, led by Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, and the Houthi militia, along with their supporters and allies. Both claim to constitute the Yemeni government.|
|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.|
|Name||Start date||End date||Description|
|Libyan Civil War||15 February 2011||13 October 2011||Facing protests against his 42-year rule, Muammar Gaddafi refused to step down and sent in the military to brutally quell protests. As a result, many army units defected to the opposition and protests soon turned into an armed rebellion. With international help, the rebels captured Tripoli, and eventually Sirte, Gaddafi's hometown and last outpost, where he was killed.|
|Syrian Civil War||15 March 2011||Ongoing||Protests erupted in Syria against President Bashar al-Assad's rule, with police and the army sent in to crack down on protesters. They later morphed into war after army officers defected to the opposition, forming the Free Syrian Army (FSA). The war allowed for Islamic extremist groups like Al-Nusra Front and ISIL to temporarily take control of vast amounts of territory.|
Coups d'état against ruling governments during the decade include:
|Nigerien coup d'état||18 February 2010|||
|Malian coup d'état||21 March 2012|||
|Guinea-Bissau coup d'état||12 April 2012|||
|Egyptian coup d'état||3 July 2013|||
|Thai coup d'état||22 May 2014|||
|Yemeni coup d'état||21 September 2014|||
|Turkish coup d'état attempt||15 July 2016|||
|Zimbabwean coup d'état||14 November 2017|||
|Gabon coup d'état attempt||7 January 2019|||
|Sudanese coup d'état||11 April 2019|||
The most prominent terrorist attacks committed against civilian populations during the decade include, but not limited to:
- 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. The treaty went into force on 5 February 2011 after it was ratified by both nations.
- In 2015, Iran and other world powers agreed to trade sanctions relief for explicit constraints on Iran's contentious nuclear program, including allowing the inspections of nuclear facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). On 16 January 2016 the IAEA confirmed that Iran had complied with the agreement, allowing the United Nations to lift sanctions immediately. However, on May 8, 2018, United States President Donald Trump announced the United States was withdrawing from the deal.
- On 7 July 2017, the United Nations passed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the first legally binding international agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons, with the goal of leading towards their total elimination. It has been signed by 58 nations.
- Throughout the decade, North Korea expanded its nuclear capabilities, performing alleged nuclear tests in 2013 and 2016, which governments responded by placing international sanctions on the country. In response North Korea has threatened the United States, South Korea and Japan with pre-emptive nuclear strikes. However, in 2018, North Korea suggested that they may disarm their nuclear arsenal after negotiations with the United States.
|Map of Latin America showing countries with centre-left, left-wing or socialist governments (red) and centre-right, right-wing or conservative governments (blue) in 2011 (left) and 2018 (right).|
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. In 2018, global military spending reached the highest its been since 1988, late Cold War levels, largely fueled by increased defense spending by China and the United States, whose budgets together accounted for half of the world's total military spending.
Socio-political polarization increased as conservatives and social liberals clashed over the role and size of government and other social, economic and environmental issues in the West. In the United States, polls showed a divided electorate regarding healthcare reform, immigration, gun rights, taxation, job creation, and debt reduction. In Europe, movements protesting increasing numbers of refugees from Islamic countries developed, such as the English Defence League and Pegida. The trend of polarization in the West was partially influenced by the prevalence of identity politics, both left-wing and right-wing, among activist movements. Beginning around 2011, far-left and progressive concepts such as social inequality, the progressive stack and adequate minority representation proliferated notably among feminist and social justice groups, particularly in North America and Western Europe. Around the middle of the decade, phenoms such as white nationalism, identitarianism and emboldened feelings of nativism also saw a marked reemergence among far-right discourse in the West. There were also increased calls for egalitarianism, including between the sexes, and some scholars assert that a fourth wave of feminism began around 2012, with a primary focus on intersectionality.
Populism in politics also saw a widespread surge throughout the decade, with many politicians and various political movements expressing populist sentiments and utilizing populist rhetoric. This included conservative wave phenomenon in Latin America and neo-nationalism in Europe and North America. Notable examples of populist movements included the Tea Party movement, Occupy Wall Street, Brexit, Black Lives Matter, and the alt-right. Examples of populist country leaders were just as extensive, with Donald Trump, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Hugo Chávez, Matteo Salvini, Jair Bolsonaro, Rodrigo Duterte, and others, left and right-wing, described as such.
Prominent political events
This table of events is listed by the region and by chronological order. The prominent political events include, but are not limited to:
|Tunisian Revolution||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.|||
|Egyptian revolution of 2011||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.|||
|South Sudanese independence referendum, 2011||9 July 2011||A referendum was held in Southern Sudan on whether the region should remain part of Sudan. An overwhelming majority voted in favour of separation and formed the new country of South Sudan.|||
|Northern Mali conflict||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.|||
|Death of Nelson Mandela||5 December 2013||Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid activist and President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, died.|||
|Nigerian general election, 2015||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.|||
|Burundian unrest (2015–present)||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.|||
|Gambian presidential election, 2016||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.|||
|Resignation of Jacob Zuma||14 February 2018||Jacob Zuma resigns as President of South Africa, after nine years in power.|||
|Resignation of Abdelaziz Bouteflika||2 April 2019||Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigns as President of Algeria amid widespread protests, after nearly two decades in office.|||
|Ousting of Omar al-Bashir||11 April 2019||Amid mass protests, Omar al-Bashir is deposed as President of Sudan in a coup d'état, after nearly 30 years in office.|||
|Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act||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.|||
|Celebration of Mexican political anniversaries in 2010||15 September 2010||Mexico celebrated the 200th anniversary of its Independence and 100th anniversary of its Revolution.|||
|Brazilian presidential election, 2010||31 October 2010||Dilma Rousseff was elected as the first female President of Brazil.|||
|Occupy Wall Street||17 September 2011||Hundreds of protesters marched into the financial district of Wall Street in New York City, beginning the Occupy Wall Street movement.|||
|Impeachment of Fernando Lugo||22 June 2012||On 21 June the Chamber of Deputies voted 76 to 1 to impeach Lugo, and the Senate removed him from office the following day, by 39 votes to 4, resulting in Vice President Federico Franco, who had broken with Lugo, becoming President.|||
|Mexican general election, 2012||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.|||
|United States presidential election, 2012||6 November 2012||Barack Obama was re-elected President of the United States, defeating Republican nominee Mitt Romney.|||
|Death of Hugo Chávez||5 March 2013||Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez died at the age of 58 after governing the country for 14 years.|||
|2015–16 protests in Brazil||15 March 2015 – 31 July 2016||In 2015 and 2016, a series of protests in Brazil denounced government corruption and the presidency of Dilma Rousseff, being the largest popular mobilizations in the country since the beginning of the "New Republic".|||
|Obergefell v. Hodges||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.|||
|Canadian federal election, 2015||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.|||
|Impeachment of Dilma Rousseff||12 May 2016||The Brazilian Senate votes to open the impeachment process against President Dilma Rousseff and suspend her from office while the trial takes place, as the Vice President Michel Temer, assumes the presidential powers and duties as Acting President of Brazil.|||
|Colombian peace process||23 June 2016||The government of Colombia and FARC rebels signed a ceasefire, officially ending over 50 years of conflict between the two.|||
|United States presidential election, 2016||8 November 2016||Republican nominee Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States, defeating former U.S. Secretary of State and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. He became the first President without prior diplomatic or military experience.|||
|Death of Fidel Castro||25 November 2016||Former President of Cuba and revolutionary leader Fidel Castro dies at the age of 90.|||
|2017 Venezuelan constitutional crisis||23 March 2017||The Supreme Tribunal of Justice of Venezuela took over legislative powers of the National Assembly and removed its members' immunity, most of whom belonged to the opposition. Constitutional Assembly elections were held on 30 July 2017 to elect the members of a new Constitutional Assembly.|||
|Inauguration of Miguel Díaz-Canel||19 April 2018||Miguel Díaz-Canel is sworn in as President of Cuba, marking the first time since 1959 that Cuba has had a president other than Fidel or Raúl Castro.|
|Mexican general election, 2018||1 July 2018||Andrés Manuel López Obrador won the historic Mexican general election, bringing the National Regeneration Movement for new prominence for the first time without any political rule like Institutional Revolutionary Party and National Action Party.|
|Brazilian presidential election, 2018||28 October 2018||Jair Bolsonaro was elected President of Brazil, marking the first time that the country is ruled by the far-right since the start of the New Republic in 1985. The election also interrupted 4 victories of the Workers' Party in a row.|||
|Death of George H. W. Bush||30 November 2018||Former president of the United States George H. W. Bush dies at the age of 94.|||
|2019 Venezuelan presidential crisis||10 January 2019||On 10 January 2019, the opposition-majority National Assembly declared that incumbent Nicolás Maduro's 2018 reelection was invalid and declared its president, Juan Guaidó, to be acting president of the nation. Maduro's government states that the crisis is a "coup d'état led by the United States to topple him and control the country's oil reserves."|||
|Kyrgyz Revolution of 2010||7 April 2010||Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev fled Bishkek amid fierce anti-government riots as the opposition seized control.|||
|Myanmar general election, 2010||7 November 2010||Thein Sein was elected President of Myanmar, the first civilian President of the country since 1962.|||
|2011 Bahraini uprising||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.|||
|Death of Kim Jong-il||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.|||
|Japanese general election, 2012||26 December 2012||The Liberal Democratic Party, led by Shinzō Abe, won a landslide victory in Japan's general election.|||
|North Korea and weapons of mass destruction||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.|||
|Indian general election, 2014||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.|||
|Indonesian presidential election, 2014||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.|||
|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.|||
|Pope Francis's 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.|||
|Death of King Abdullah||23 January 2015||Abdullah, the King of Saudi Arabia from 2005 to 2015, died and is replaced by King Salman.|||
|Death of Lee Kuan Yew||23 March 2015||Founding Prime Minister of Singapore who ruled from 1959 to 1990, highly regarded as the founding father of the nation, died from pneumonia at the age of 91.|||
|India–Bangladesh enclaves||6 June 2015||India and Bangladesh officially ratified their 1974 agreement to exchange enclaves along their border.|||
|Taiwanese general election, 2016||16 January 2016||Tsai Ing-wen was elected President of Taiwan, the first woman to hold the position.|||
|Philippine presidential election, 2016||9 May 2016||Rodrigo Duterte was elected President of the Philippines.|||
|Death of Bhumibol Adulyadej||13 October 2016||Bhumibol Adulyadej, the King of Thailand from 1946 to 2016, died and replaced by his son, Vajiralongkorn.|||
|Impeachment of Park Geun-hye||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.|||
|South Korean presidential election, 2017||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.|||
|2018 Armenian protests||12 April 2018||Various political and civil groups led by member of parliament Nikol Pashinyan staged anti-government protests in Armenia. Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan resigned on April 23, 2018. Nikol Pashinyan was elected Prime Minister on 8 May 2018.|||
|Malaysian general election, 2018||9 May 2018||The opposition-led Pakatan Harapan coalition, led by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, secures a parliamentary majority in the Malaysian Parliament, ending the 61-year rule of the Barisan Nasional coalition and leading to the pardon of Anwar Ibrahim.|||
|2018 North Korea–United States Singapore Summit||12 June 2018||United States President and North Korea's Supreme Leader, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, formally meet, the first time any leader of their respective countries met.|||
|Abdication of Muhammad V of Kelantan||6 January 2019||Muhammad V of Kelantan abdicates the federal throne as the 15th monarch of Malaysia, making him the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong to do so.|||
|2019 India–Pakistan standoff||26 February 2019||The Indian Air Force launches airstrikes on purported terrorist camps in Muzaffarabad and Chakothi areas of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, and Balakot in mainland Pakistan, leading to said standoff.|||
|2019 North Korea–United States Hanoi Summit||27–28 February 2019||United States President and North Korea's Supreme Leader, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, formally meet, the second time any leader of their respective countries met.|||
|Kim–Putin meetings||25 April 2019||North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un meets with Russian president Vladimir Putin on Russky Island after being invited to hold talks.|||
|Abdication of Akihito||30 April 2019||Akihito, the Emperor of Japan from 1989 to 2019, abdicated and replaced by his son, Naruhito.|||
|Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton||29 April 2011||A television audience of an estimated two billion people watched the wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine Middleton.|||
|Resignation of Silvio Berlusconi||16 November 2011||The longest-serving Prime Minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi, resigned in November 2011, after a sexual allegation scandal, a financial crisis and public protests. The economist Mario Monti was appointed new Prime Minister, at the head of a technocratic cabinet.|||
|Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II||6 February 2012||Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, which marked the 60th anniversary of her accession.|||
|French presidential election, 2012||22 April 2012||François Hollande was elected as the new President of France, becoming the first socialist president of the country in 17 years.|||
|Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and Papal inauguration of Pope Francis||28 February 2013 - 13 March 2013||Benedict XVI resigned as pope, the first to do so since Gregory XII in 1415, and the first to do so voluntarily since Celestine V in 1294. On 13 March, after a papal conclave, Jorge Mario Bergoglio is inaugurated as Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pope, the first pope from the Americas, and the first non-European Pope in over 500 years.|||
|Italian presidential election, 2013||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.|||
|2014 Ukrainian revolution||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.|||
|Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation||18 March 2014||Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine following an internationally unrecognized referendum on the status of the region.|||
|Scottish independence referendum, 2014||18 September 2014||In a referendum called by the governing Scottish National Party, Scotland voted to remain in the United Kingdom, with 55.3% of votes against independence while 44.7% voted in favour.|||
|Abdication of Juan Carlos I of Spain||19 June 2014||King Juan Carlos I of Spain abdicated in favour of his son, Felipe VI.|||
|Irish constitutional referendums, 2015||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.|||
|Adoption of the Paris Agreement||12 December 2015||A historic agreement aimed at keeping global warming below 2 °C compared to pre-industrial levels and reducing greenhouse gas emissions is adopted by all 195 UNFCCC member states.|||
|United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, 2016||23 June 2016||In a referendum held in the United Kingdom on whether or not to continue being a member of the European Union, 52% of voters chose to leave it. Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation afterwards, being succeeded by Theresa May.|||
|Austrian presidential election, 2016||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.|||
|French presidential election, 2017||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.|||
|2017 Spanish constitutional crisis||6 September 2017||Political conflict sparks between the Spanish and the Catalan governments over the 2017 Catalan independence referendum. It still went ahead, with 91% supporting independence within Catalonia. On 27 October, Catalonia declares independence from Spain but it is not recognised by any sovereign nation, while Madrid imposes direct rule for 6 months.|||
|Italian general election, 2018||4 March 2018||The centre-right alliance, in which the right-wing populist League emerged as the main political force, won a plurality of seats in the Chamber of Deputies and in the Senate, while the anti-establishment Five Star Movement became the party with the largest number of votes. After months of negotiations, the two populist parties, M5S and League, formed a government.|||
|Russian presidential election, 2018||18 March 2018||Presidential elections were held in Russia on 18 March 2018. Incumbent Vladimir Putin won reelection for his second consecutive (fourth overall) term in office with 77% of the vote.|||
|Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle||19 May 2018||Prince Harry marries former American actress Meghan Markle, an event watched by hundreds of millions of people worldwide.|||
|World War I centenary||11 November 2018||Many nations around the world, particularly ones in Europe and the Commonwealth, along with the United States, celebrate the ending of the World War I centenary with Armistice Day, Veterans Day, and Remembrance Day ceremonies, speeches, parades, and memorials.|||
|Yellow vests movement||1–8 December 2018||France experiences its worst civil unrest since the protests of 1968 due to the yellow vests movement. Protests in Paris morph into riots, with hundreds of people injured and thousands arrested. Over 100 cars are burned and numerous tourist sites are closed.|||
Notable world leaders
- Note: Names of world leaders shown below in bold have remained in power continuously throughout the decade (as of May 2019).
Assassinations and attempts
Prominent assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts include:
|1 January 2011||Reynaldo Dagsa, Philippine Barangay official from Caloocan, was assassinated by two men during New Year's Eve.|
|8 January 2011||Federal judge John Roll and 5 others were killed and 13 more were injured in a shooting near Tucson. The apparent target, U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, was critically injured in the head.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|20 October 2011||Muammar Gaddafi, Libya's ousted leader, was shot to death in Sirte.|
|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.|
|9 October 2012||Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani Women's rights activist was the victim of an assassination attempt by the Taliban in Pakistan.|
|6 February 2013||Chokri Belaid, Tunisian opposition leader of the Democratic Patriots' Unified Party, was fatally shot.|
|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.|
|25 January 2015||Zulkifli Abdhir, suspected member of Jemaah Islamiyah, was killed in a police operation in Mamasapano, Philippines.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|16 June 2016||Jo Cox, British MP, was shot and stabbed to death by a Neo-Nazi white supremacist 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.|
|19 December 2016||Andrei Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, was killed in a gun attack at an art gallery in Ankara.|
|1 January 2017||Emmanuel Niyonkuru, the Burundian environment minister, was shot dead in the nation's capital, Bujumbura.|
|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.|
|14 June 2017||Republican congressmen were fired upon by James T. Hodgkinson, a left-wing activist from Illinois, during practice ahead of the annual Congressional Baseball Game in Alexandria, Virginia. Only Hodgkinson died, in a shootout with police officers.|
|16 October 2017||Isnilon Hapilon, Emir of ISIS in Southeast Asia and leader of Abu Sayyaf, was killed in a military operation in Marawi City, which rescued 17 hostages.|
|4 March 2018||Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent, was poisoned alongside his daughter Yulia in the city of Salisbury with a Novichok agent.|
|2 July 2018||Antonio Halili, the former Mayor of Tanauan, Batangas was assassinated by an unidentified gunman while attending a flag raising ceremony together with around 300 government employees and newly elected barangay officials.|
|2 October 2018||Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Arabian dissident and journalist for The Washington Post, was assassinated in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.|
|22 December 2018||Rodel Batocabe, Philippine party–list representative, was assassinated in a gift giving event for senior citizens in Daraga, Albay.|
|13 January 2019||Paweł Adamowicz, Polish Mayor of the city of Gdańsk, was stabbed during a live charity event in Gdańsk by a former inmate. He died the following day.|
|Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409||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.|||
|2010 Polish Air Force Tu-154 crash||10 April 2010||Polish President Lech Kaczyński and dozens of Polish government and military officials were among 96 people killed when their plane crashed near Smolensk, Russia.|||
|Afriqiyah Airways Flight 771||12 May 2010||Afriqiyah Airways Flight 771 crashed on a runway at Tripoli International Airport in Libya, killing all but one of the 104 passengers and crew.|||
|Air India Express Flight 812||22 May 2010||Air India Express Flight 812 overshot the runway at Mangalore International Airport in India, killing 158 people, with eight surviving.|||
|Airblue Flight 202||28 July 2010||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.|||
|Dana Air Flight 992||3 June 2012||Dana Air Flight 992 crashed in the Nigerian city of Lagos, killing all 153 people aboard. 10 people on the ground also perished.|||
|Asiana Airlines Flight 214||6 July 2013||Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed at San Francisco airport killing 3 and injuring 181 people.|||
|Malaysia Airlines Flight 370||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.|||
|Malaysia Airlines Flight 17||17 July 2014||Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine and crashed near the Ukrainian-Russian border, killing all 298 people on board, making it the deadliest airliner shoot down in history.|||
|Air Algérie Flight 5017||24 July 2014||Air Algérie Flight 5017 crashed in southern Mali, killing all 116 passengers and crew.|||
|Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501||28 December 2014||Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 crashed in the Java sea after an attempt to avoid heavy thunderstorms, leaving all 162 people dead.|||
|Germanwings Flight 9525||24 March 2015||Germanwings Flight 9525 crashed in the French Alps, killing all 150 on board.|||
|2015 Indonesian Air Force Lockheed C-130 Hercules crash||30 June 2015||A Lockheed C-130 Hercules operated by the Indonesian Air Force crashed into a crowded residential neighborhood in Medan shortly after take-off from Soewondo Air Force Base, killing 143 people including 22 on the ground, making it the deadliest crash in Indonesian Air Force peacetime history.|||
|Metrojet Flight 9268||31 October 2015||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.|||
|LaMia Flight 2933||29 November 2016||A chartered Avro RJ85 plane carrying 77 people, including the Chapecoense football team, crashes near Medellín, Colombia. Six of the passengers survived. The 2016 Copa Sudamericana Finals were suspended, and Atlético Nacional, Chapecoence's to be opponents, gave them the trophy out of respect.|||
|2016 Russian Defence Ministry Tupolev Tu-154 crash||25 December 2016||A Tupolev Tu-154 crashes near Sochi, Russia, killing all 92 people on board, including 64 members of the Alexandrov Ensemble.|||
|Iran Aseman Airlines Flight 3704||18 February 2018||Iran Aseman Airlines Flight 3704 crashes in the Zagros Mountains, en route from Tehran to Yasuj. All 65 passengers and crew members perish.|||
|Cubana de Aviación Flight 972||18 May 2018||Cubana de Aviación Flight 972 crashes shortly after take-off near José Martí International Airport in Havana, killing 112 and leaving only one survivor.|||
|Lion Air Flight 610||29 October 2018||Lion Air Flight 610 crashes off the coast of Java, with 189 passengers on board.|||
|Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302||10 March 2019||Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 bound for Nairobi, crashes shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa killing all 157 people on board.|||
|Aeroflot Flight 1492||5 May 2019||Aeroflot Flight 1492 makes a hard landing, causing fire and partial destruction at Sheremetyevo International Airport, Moscow, killing 41 of the 78 people on board.|||
|2010 Copiapó mining accident||13 October 2010||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.|||
|2013 Savar building collapse||24 April 2013||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.|||
|2015 Tianjin explosions||12 August 2015||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.|||
|Mecca crane collapse||11 September 2015||A crane toppled over at Mecca, killing 111 people, weeks before the official Hajj pilgrimage.|||
|2015 Mina stampede||24 September 2015||A stampede during the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, killed at least 2,236 people, making it the deadliest Hajj disaster in history.|||
|Bento Rodrigues dam disaster||5 November 2015||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.|||
|Tham Luang cave rescue||23 June – 10 July 2018||Twelve boys and their football coach are successfully rescued from the flooded Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Thailand, following a 17-day ordeal that gained worldwide attention.|||
|Ponte Morandi Collapse||14 August 2018||Part of the Morandi Bridge collapses after a violent storm in Genoa, Italy, causing 43 fatalities. Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio and transport minister Danilo Toninelli blame private company Autostrade per l'Italia.|||
|2019 Xiangshui chemical plant explosion||21 March 2019||A major explosion at a chemical plant in Xiangshui, Jiangsu, China, kills at least 64 people and injures more than 600 others. Its powerful impact registered as an artificial earthquake.|||
|Comayagua prison fire||14–15 February 2012||A fire at the National Penitentiary in Comayagua, Honduras killed 361 people.|||
|Kiss nightclub fire||27 January 2013||242 people were killed in a fire at a nightclub in Santa Maria, Brazil.|||
|Grenfell Tower fire||14 June 2017||A fire ignited by a faulty refrigerator in a London council estate tower block spread to almost the entirety of the building causing 72 deaths and over 70 injuries.|||
|2018 Kemerovo fire||25 March 2018||At least 64 people die in a fire at a shopping and entertainment complex in the Russian city of Kemerovo.|||
|2018 Valencia, Venezuela fire||28 March 2018||At least 78 people die in a fire in the police headquarters of Valencia, Venezuela.|||
|National Museum of Brazil fire||2 September 2018||A fire destroys the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro. No one was injured, but 90 percent of the collection has been destroyed.|||
|2019 Dhaka fire||20 February 2019||A major fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh kills at least 78 people.|||
|Notre-Dame de Paris fire||15 April 2019||A major fire at the Notre-Dame Cathedral destroyed most of its roof, and its upper walls were severely damaged; extensive damage to the interior was prevented by its stone vaulted ceiling, which largely contained the burning roof as it collapsed. 3 injuries were reported, but there were no confirmed deaths.|||
|Costa Concordia disaster||13 January 2012||The Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia hit a reef and partially capsized off the coast of Isola del Giglio, Italy, killing 32 people.|||
|Sinking of MV Sewol||16 April 2014||South Korean ferry MV Sewol capsized while en route to Jeju, killing 295 people, mostly secondary school students from Danwon High School.|||
|Sinking of Dong Fang Zhi Xing||1 June 2015||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.|||
|Sinking of the MV Nyerere||20 September 2018||The MV Nyerere capsizes on Lake Victoria, killing at least 227 passengers.|||
|Deepwater Horizon oil spill||20 April 2010||An explosion on BP's Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig, operating in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, left eleven crewmen dead and resulted in a fire that sank the rig and caused a massive oil spill, becoming the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.|||
|Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster||11 March 2011||A magnitude 9.0 earthquake off the coast of Sendai caused a tsunami that severely damaged the Fukushima Daiichi and Fukushima Daini nuclear power plants. The damage resulted in the worst nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl disaster, contaminating the entire area.|||
|Flint water crisis||25 April 2014||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.|||
|2010 Haiti earthquake||12 January 2010||A 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti, causing widespread destruction in Port-au-Prince. Haitian authorities believe that the disaster killed between 200,000 and 250,000 people and over three million more were affected by the quake. The earthquake is so far the deadliest disaster in the decade.|||
|2010 Chile earthquake||27 February 2010||An 8.8 magnitude earthquake occurred in Chile, triggering a tsunami across the Pacific and killing 497. One of the largest earthquakes in recorded history, this rare megathrust earthquake likely shifted Earth's axis and slightly shortened its days.|||
|2010 Baja California earthquake||4 April 2010||A 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Mexicali and Baja, killing three and injuring more than two hundred. US border towns in Imperial Valley, California were affected.|||
|2010 Yushu earthquake||13 April 2010||A 6.9 magnitude earthquake occurred in western China, killing at least 2,200 and injuring more than 12,000.|||
|February 2011 Christchurch earthquake||22 February 2011||A 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 185 people.|||
|2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami||11 March 2011||A 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit near Sendai, Japan. It created a 30 feet (9.1 m) high tsunami, leaving 15,893 dead, 2,565 missing and over 150,000 displaced. It was the largest earthquake to hit Japan in 140 years.|||
|2011 Van earthquake||23 October 2011||A 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck the Turkish city of Van, leaving over 604 dead and thousands more injured.|||
|April 2015 Nepal earthquake||25 April 2015||A massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal killed at least 8,857 people and injured tens of thousands more.It is the worst disaster to hit Nepal in decades.|||
|May 2015 Nepal earthquake||12 May 2015||A second major earthquake hit Nepal, measuring 7.3 on the moment magnitude scale, killing 218 more people.|||
|2016 Ecuador earthquake||16 April 2016||A 7.8 earthquake struck near Muisne, Ecuador, killing over 673 people and displacing at least 25,000 more.|||
|August 2016 Central Italy earthquake||24 August 2016||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.|||
|2017 Central Mexico earthquake||19 September 2017||A 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck near the city of Puebla. Coincidentally, it was also the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, which was commemorated with a national seismic alert drill, just two hours before the real earthquake struck, which left 360 dead and over 6,000 injured.|||
|2018 Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami||28 September 2018||A magnitude 7.5 earthquake hits Sulawesi, Indonesia, causing a tsunami that kills at least 2,256 people and injures more than 540 others.|||
|2018 Sunda Strait tsunami||22 December 2018||A tsunami hits the Sunda Strait, Indonesia, killing at least 430 people and injuring nearly 1,500.|||
|Typhoon Megi||18 October 2010||Typhoon Megi, known in the Philippines as Super Typhoon Juan, hit the Philippines, killing at least 69 and causing US$709 million in damage.|||
|Tropical Storm Washi||16 December 2011||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.|||
|Hurricane Sandy||25 October 2012||Various||Hurricane Sandy caused immense destruction in Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and the United States, leaving at least 233 dead. It became the largest Atlantic tropical storm ever.|||
|Typhoon Bopha||2 December 2012||Typhoon Bopha, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Pablo, struck the Philippines, killing at least 650 people and leaving millions more homeless.|||
|Typhoon Haiyan||7 November 2013||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.|||
|Typhoon Melor||13 December 2015||Typhoon Melor, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Nona, hits the Philippines, killing 42 and causing $136 million in damages.|||
|Cyclone Winston||20 February 2016||Cyclone Winston struck Fiji, killing 44 people and causing $1.4 billion in damages, making it the costliest tropical cyclone in South Pacific history.|||
|Hurricane Harvey||23 August 2017||Hurricane Harvey slams into southeastern Texas after reorganizing over the Gulf of Mexico, causing catastrophic flooding and billions in damages. It became the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Total damage from the hurricane was estimated at $198 billion, making it the costliest natural disaster ever in the United States.|||
|Hurricane Irma||30 August 2017 – 16 September 2017||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.|||
|Hurricane Maria||16 September 2017 – 3 October 2017||Hurricane Maria is regarded as the worst natural disaster on record in Dominica, and caused catastrophic damage and a major humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico. The third costliest Atlantic hurricane to date, it caused catastrophic damage and thousands of fatalities across the northeastern Caribbean, compounding recovery efforts in areas still damaged from Hurricane Irma just two weeks prior.|||
|Typhoon Mangkhut||15 September 2018||Typhoon Mangkhut, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Ompong, hits northern Luzon, triggering deadly landslides and killing at least 95 people.|||
|2011 Super Outbreak||25–28 April 2011||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.|||
|21–26 May 2011 tornado outbreak sequence||21 May 2011||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.|||
|2019 Nepal tornado||31 March 2019||A tornado struck the Bara and Parsa districts of Nepal, killing 28 and injuring 1,176 people. It is the first officially recorded tornado in Nepalese history.|||
|2010 Pakistan floods||July 2010||Flooding occurred in Pakistan after record monsoon rains, killing at least 1,600 people, thousands were rendered homeless, and more than thirteen million people were affected. Estimates from rescue service officials suggest the death toll might have reached 3,000.|||
|January 2011 Rio de Janeiro floods and mudslides||11 January 2011||Floods and mudslides killed 903 people across the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.|||
|2013 Alberta floods||19 June 2013||Massive flooding occurred in Alberta, becoming the province's worst flooding in decades.|||
|2015 Afghanistan avalanches||24 February 2015||An avalanche killed 310 people and wounded over 129 in Panjshir Province, Afghanistan.|||
|2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull||20 March 2010||Eruptions of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland caused unprecedented disruption to international air travel, rendering transatlantic flight impossible and closing airways across much of Europe. The event was the largest air traffic shut-down since World War II.|||
|2010 eruptions of Mount Merapi||Early November 2010||Mount Merapi erupted in Indonesia, killing 353 people and grounding flights across Southeast Asia, becoming the largest eruption from the mountain in a century.|
|2018 lower Puna eruption||3 May 2018||A lava flow erupted in Hawai'i from Kīlauea's east rift zone, causing lots of damage and resulting in evacuation orders.|
|2018 Volcán de Fuego eruption||3 June 2018||Volcán de Fuego erupted in Guatemala killing at least 190 people, the deadliest eruption in Guatemala since 1929.|
|2011–17 California drought||December 2011 – March 2017||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.|||
|2015 Indian heat wave||24 May 2015||A heatwave in Southern India resulted in over 2,500 deaths.|||
|2015 Pakistani heat wave||20 June 2015||A related heatwave hit neighbouring Pakistan, killing over 2,000 people in Karachi alone.|||
|2016 Fort McMurray wildfire||1 May 2016||A wildfire began southwest of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. On 3 May, it swept through the community, destroying more than 2,400 homes and buildings and forcing the largest wildfire evacuation in Alberta's history. The wildfire is the costliest disaster in Canadian history.|||
|2018 Camp Fire||8–25 November 2018||A wildfire began in Northern California that eventually became the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history to date. It was also the deadliest wildfire in the United States since the Cloquet fire in 1918, and among the list of deadliest wildfires, it was the sixth-deadliest U.S. wildfire overall, killing 85 people and injuring 17.|||
In 2010, China became the second largest global economy, surpassing Japan. Japan also saw a rating downgrade the following year due to debt burden. 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. In August 2011, the S&P downgraded the United States' credit rating from triple AAA to AA-plus. That same year, a Gallup poll in 2011 found that more than half of Americans believed the country was still in a recession.
Despite the Eurozone debt crisis, the American Dow Jones Industrial Average had its longest stretch of gains since the late 1990s tech boom. However, economic issues, including inflation and an increase in commodity prices, sparked 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. Global oil production in 2014 reached an historic peak, reaching 93 million barrels/day. 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.
From 12 June 2015, the Shanghai Stock Exchange lost a third of the value of A-shares within one month, known as the 2015–16 Chinese stock market turbulence. India became the fastest growing major economy of the world in 2015, surpassing China. In 2018, fears of a yield curve inversion preceding a US recession as the Federal Reserve raised interest rates sends inflation higher in several Emerging Markets, including Argentina, where interest rates hit 40% and an IMF bail out was issued.
In the West, particularly North America, consumer-level purchasing habits shifted significantly, a partial consequence of the Great Recession's impact on discretionary incomes and a shifting breadwinner model. The "retail apocalypse" commenced as more frugal consumers increasingly resorted to online shopping and e-commerce, accelerating the decline of brick-and-mortar retail and the continued decline of indoor shopping malls. The transitioning retail industry and popularity of online shopping facilitated economic phenomena such as bricks and clicks business models, pop-up and non-store retailing, drone delivery services, ghost restaurants, and a quickly maturing online food ordering and delivery service sector.
Cyber security and hacking
|Afghan War documents leak||25 July 2010||WikiLeaks published more than 90,000 internal U.S. military logs of the War in Afghanistan. The documents revealed numerous cover-ups and absence of trials for captured or killed Taliban members by the coalition.|
|Stuxnet||August 2010||A malicious computer worm was responsible for causing substantial damage to Iran's nuclear program. Although neither country has admitted responsibility, the worm is now generally acknowledged to be a jointly built American-Israeli cyberweapon.|
|Iraq War documents leak||22 October 2010||Wikileaks disclosed nearly 392,000 U.S. Army field reports of the Iraq War, the largest leak in the history of the U.S. military. It documented multiple cases of misconduct, abuse of power against civilians and other war crimes by U.S. authorities in the country. The leaks also showed that Iran was involved in the war by supplying Shiite militias with deadly weapons.|
|The Offshore leaks||April 2013||A report disclosed details of 130,000 offshore accounts, with some observers calling it one of the biggest hit against international tax fraud of all time. The report originated from the Washington D.C. investigative journalism nonprofit, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).|
|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. Leaks also revealed covert actions against German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and have damaged diplomatic relations in Europe and Brazil.|
|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. The attack was suspected to have originated from China but it remains unclear if it was or not.|
|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. 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.|
|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. The leaks revealed information of various prominent figures being involved in hidden financial dealings within tax havens and companies doing business with terrorist organizations and governments under international sanctions.|
|Yahoo! data breach||22 September 2016||Yahoo Inc. reported that account information for up to 500 million users in 2014 had been hacked, compromising personal data from the accounts, including names, addresses, passwords, telephone numbers and possibly encrypting other information. Further, the statement claimed that the hacker was no longer in Yahoo's system and that the company was fully cooperating with law enforcement.|
|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.|
|Vault 7||7 March 2017||WikiLeaks began to publish a series of files that detail the capabilities of the United States Central Intelligence Agency to perform electronic surveillance and cyber warfare, such as the ability to compromise cars, smart TVs, web browsers, and the operating systems of most smartphones and computers, 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. The attack spread by multiple methods, including phishing emails and on unpatched systems as a computer worm. The attack was described by Europol as unprecedented in scale, affecting large companies such as Telefónica and parts of Britain's National Health Service.|
|Paradise Papers||5 November 2017||A set of 13.4 million confidential electronic documents relating to offshore investments. The documents originate from the offshore law firm Appleby, the corporate services providers Estera and Asiaciti Trust, and business registries in 19 tax jurisdictions. At 1.4 terabytes in size, this is second only to the Panama Papers, it is the second biggest data leak in history.|
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 two cases have been cured. With good treatment patients can generally expect normal lives and lifespans. However, as of 2011[update] only some 5 million of the 12 million afflicted have access to such treatment.
|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. 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.|
|Zika virus epidemic||April 2015 – November 2016||A zika virus spreads rapidly throughout Latin America, with imported cases being reported worldwide.|
|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 quarantined.|
Science and technology
These are the 10 most significant scientific developments of each year, based on the annual Breakthrough of the Year award of the American Association for the Advancement of Science journal Science. The top entry per year was named the Breakthrough of the Year (in bold); the remaining nine were named as runners-up.
- The first quantum machine
- Scientists create synthetic genome
- Scientists sequence the genome of Neanderthals
- Two successful trials of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis
- Exome sequencing of rare disease genes
- Major advances in molecular dynamics simulations
- Quantum simulator are developed
- Genetic sequencing becomes quicker and less expensive, as illustrated in 1000 Genomes Project
- Researchers discovery method to reprogram cells using RNA
- Advances in development of knockout rat used in laboratory experiments
- HIV treatment as prevention (HPTN 052)
- Scientists publish findings of 25143 Itokawa samples collected by the Hayabusa space probe
- Paleoanthropologists publish findings strongly indicating archaic human admixture with modern humans
- Researchers capture full structure of photosystem II, with potential applications for clean energy
- Astronomers see pristine clouds of hydrogen, giving new information about the chemical evolution of the universe
- Further developments in microbiota/gut flora research
- The first phase III clinical trial of the RTS,S malaria vaccine, sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline and the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, are published
- Further discoveries about exoplanets, including six large planets orbiting Kepler-11; HAT-P-6b; planets orbiting two stars, and free-floating planets
- Developments in designer zeolites
- Developments in research of cellular senescence
- Discovery of the Higgs boson
- The Denisovan genome is sequenced
- Zinc-finger nuclease genome engineering
- Neutrino mixing angle
- ENCODE research project
- Curiosity rover lands on Mars
- X-ray laser is used to image protein structure for the first time
- Advances in brain–computer interfaces
- Majorana fermions are discovered
- For the first time, eggs from embryonic stem cells are used to give birth to live mice
- Cancer immunotherapy
- CRISPR gene-editing
- CLARITY brain-imaging technique
- Derivation of stem cells from cloned human embryos
- Growth of pluripotent stem cells into organoids
- Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope traces cosmic ray particles to their origin in supernovae debris clouds
- Advances in perovskites solar cell materials
- Rat experiments indicate that sleep helps to restore the brain
- Research developments on gut flora and its importance to human health
- Development of immunogen for respiratory syncytial virus
- Rosetta comet mission
- Evolutionary biologists publish landmark research on transition from dinosaurs to birds
- Research published indicating that "blood or blood components" (specifically GDF11) "from a young mouse can rejuvenate an old mouse's muscles and brain"
- Advances in robots that cooperate with one another
- Development of TrueNorth chip, containing 5.4 billion transistors, by IBM
- 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
- Two methods are developed for growing cells that resemble human beta cells, advancing research toward possible future type 1 diabetes treatments
- Researches discover ways to "manipulate specific memories in mice using optogenetics" techniques
- Launch of a record 75 CubeSat boxes, used in space research, in a single year
- Researchers engineer E. coli bacteria in the lab "to incorporate two additional letters into their genetic alphabet"
- The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory makes the first observation of gravitational waves, fulfilling Einstein's prediction
- 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
- Cosmic convergence: Neutron star merger (GW170817)
- A cancer drug's broad swipe: FDA's approval pembrolizumab for using in cancer immunotherapy
- Gene therapy: Adeno-associated virus (AAV9)
- Oldest ice core: The Antarctic ice cores that froze 2.7 million years ago
- Biological preprints: bioRxiv
- Human origins: The 300,000-year-old Homo sapiens fossils
- Neutrino detector: COHERENT collaboration's 14.6 kg portable detector
- A new great ape species: Pongo tapanuliensis
- Life at the atomic level: Cryo-electron microscopy
- Pinpoint gene editing: CRISPR tool for DNA and RNA base editing
- Development cell by cell
- Neutrinos from a far-off galaxy
- Researchers have combined some 21 million images of a fruit fly brain into a data set that enables users to determine how each neuron connects with every other neuron
- Ice age impact (Greenland ice sheet)
- An archaic human ‘hybrid’: DNA from a bone fragment of a woman who lived more than 50,000 years ago indicates her mother was a Neanderthal and her father a Denisovan, a distinct group of archaic humans
- Forensic genealogy comes of age as detectives across the U.S. cracked about 20 cold cases, including that of the infamous Golden State Killer
- The first drug based on RNA interference was approved for use in the U.S. and Europe
- Researchers identified traces of cholesterol, a signature of animal life, associated with fossils more than half a billion years old. The feat indicates the fossils, which belong to a mysterious class called Ediacaria, were some of Earth’s earliest animals.
- How cells marshal their contents: Scientists find increasing evidence that cellular components condense into tiny droplets to perform critical functions
- 2011: Life extension began to be considered.
- 2013: Google created Calico in order to research ways to combat aging.
- 2015: The Philippines became the first Asian country to approve the sale of the world's first dengue vaccine, the Dengvaxia.
- 2016: A study in December finds the VSV-EBOV vaccine to be 95-100% effective against the Ebola virus, thus making it the first proven vaccine against the disease.
- 2019: Scientists synthesize hachimoji DNA using four new nucleobases in addition to the four in natural DNA.
- 2011: NASA announced that its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured photographic evidence of possible liquid water on Mars during warm seasons.
- 2011: The United States' Space Shuttle program officially ended following its last mission, STS-135, flown by Space Shuttle Atlantis.
- 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.
- 2012: NASA landed the Curiosity rover in Gale crater on Mars.
- 2013: The Chinese Chang'e 3 landed on the Moon, the first Lunar landing in 37 years.
- 2014: The Philae probe from the Rosetta spacecraft landed successfully on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
- 2014: The Orion spacecraft completed its first test flight, an unmanned orbital and reentry flight.
- 2015: NASA's Dawn probe entered orbit around Ceres, becoming the first spacecraft to visit a dwarf planet.
- 2015: NASA announced that liquid water had been found on Mars.
- 2015: NASA's New Horizons probe became the first spacecraft to reach Pluto, completing its main mission.
- 2015: SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket successfully landed after a launch, making it the first rocket to successfully return and perform a vertical landing.
- 2016: The ESA and Roscosmos launched the joint ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter on a mission to Mars.
- 2016: Diwata-1 was launched to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the Cygnus spacecraft on a supply mission.
- 2016: NASA's Juno spacecraft enters orbit around Jupiter and begins a 20-month survey of the planet.
- 2016: Solar Impulse 2 becomes the first solar-powered aircraft to circumnavigate the Earth.
- 2016: Proxima Centauri b is discovered as closest exoplanet to Earth that may be habitable.
- 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.
- 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.
- 2018: Maya-1, the first Filipino nanosatellite was deployed from the International Space Station.
- 2018: Diwata-2, the second microsatellite under the Philippine Scientific Earth Observation Microsatellite (PHL-Microsat) program has deployed to space.
- 2018: NASA's Kepler mission ends after the spacecraft runs out of fuel.
- 2018: NASA's Dawn mission concludes after it runs out of hydrazine fuel.
- 2019: Chinese probe Chang'e 4 becomes the first human-made object to land on the far side of the Moon.
- 2019: NASA concludes the 15-year Opportunity rover mission after being unable to wake the rover from hibernation.
- 2019: The first image of the supermassive black hole inside galaxy Messier 87 was captured by the Event Horizon Telescope.
"Big Tech" saw an expansion in power and influence in the 2010s, particularly FAANG corporations, which led countries and supranational entities such as the European Union to assert authority over tech domains such as data privacy, copyright, and hate speech, the latter of which helped fuel a debate over tech censorship and free speech online, particularly deplatforming. Increased protectionism and attempts to regulate and localize the internet by national governments also raised fears of cyber-balkanization in the later half of the decade.
- Smartphones maintained their strong popularity throughout the 2010s, along with the arrival of tablets. Apple Inc. launched the iPad in 2010, 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. By the mid-2010s, almost all smartphones were touchscreen-only, and Android and iPhone smartphones dominated the market.
- Social media continuously gained prominence through the convenience of mobile apps, including the services of WhatsApp, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, Tinder, Vine, and TikTok being released throughout the decade. Facebook and Twitter, both of which were released in the 2000s, were still among the most popular social media platforms in the world. Social media offered massive reach to mainstream audiences for both individuals and organizations unseen before, facilitating phenomena such as influencer marketing.
- In the mid-late portion of the decade, 4K resolution has been implemented through high-definition displays and gained traction into more U.S. homes in a much faster adoption rate than that of Full HD (1080p).
- The number of IoT devices increased 31% year-over-year to 8.4 billion in the year 2017 and it is estimated that there will be 30 billion devices by 2020.
- Smart glasses, such as Google Glass, were released during this decade.
- Within the decade, Microsoft released three operating systems: Windows 8 (2012), Windows 8.1 (2013), and Windows 10 (2015).
- Mobile apps become commercially available in the early 2010s, along with popular app stores such as Google Play, iOS App Store, and Microsoft Store.
- In 2016, scientists at MIT created the first five-atom quantum computer with the potential to crack the security of traditional encryption schemes.
- Fixstars Solutions created the world's first 13 Terabyte SSD in 2016.
- During the course of the decade, 3D printing, 3D modeling, and 3D scanners became increasingly popular, in which the technologies enabled users to join or solidify certain materials to create a concrete three-dimensional object. The 3D printer industry gained over $7 billion in sales.
- Transparent display screens and curved touchscreen displays entered the market, and slowly gained popularity throughout the decade.
- Throughout the early 2010s, sales for PCs decline in favor of tablet computers and laptop convertibles.
- Cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, gained ground as a digitally alternative way to secure financial transactions, control the creation of additional units, and verify the transfer of assets. Cryptocurrencies also expanded the usage and boundaries of Blockchain.
- The supply of IPv4 internet addresses was exhausted; an early period of transition to IPv6 continued during 2011.
- Smart watches become more widespread in usage, with over 175 million of them sold in 2018.
- Virtual reality took a radical shift in the 2010s, with headsets such as the Oculus Rift gaining popularity. While the device was only capable of rotational tracking, the initial design would later serve as a basis from which the later designs came. Other popular headsets include PlayStation VR, Google Cardboard, HTC Vive, and the Samsung Gear VR.
- In 2011, more than 2 billion people used the Internet, one billion mobile broadband users predicted and 4.6 billion people worldwide were subscribed to mobile phones, and Americans spent more time using mobile apps than using the World Wide Web.
- In 2012, Samsung overtook Nokia for the first time as the largest mobile phone maker in the world, tablet and smartphone sales overtook netbooks, Google Chrome became the world's most used web browser, replacing Internet Explorer, and the Wikimedia Foundation started developing Wikidata, its first new project in six years.
- In 2013 in developed countries, smartphone sales surpassed feature phones, and streaming media and rental kiosk services such as Netflix and Redbox forced video rental chains such as Blockbusters to close.
- The e-cigarette gained popularity within the 2010s, with the JUUL e-cigarette becoming the most popular e-cigarette in the U.S. in 2017 with a market share of over 72%, and Altria becoming the most valuable e-cigarette company in the world by 2018.
- Virtual assistant devices and apps become widely available in the decade, such as Apple's Siri, Amazon Alexa on the Amazon Echo device, Samsung's Bixby, Google Assistant on Google-enabled/Android mobile devices, and text (online chat), especially in an instant messaging app or other app.
- Collaborative source code sharing website GitHub became the world's most popular open source hosting site.
- Oracle sued Google over the use of Java-related technology in Google's popular Android operating system in 2011. Google won the lawsuit on 26 May 2016, citing fair use.
- Following an unprecedented internet protest and blackout campaign, the widely criticized Stop Online Piracy Act bill was temporarily withdrawn in the US Congress in 2012.
- The controversial Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 in the Philippines was adopted.
- Electric and hybrid vehicles start becoming popular in many countries in the Western world during the decade. Notable electric vehicles include the Chevrolet Volt, which became the world's top selling plug-in hybrid of all time with over 100,000 units sold in 2015. Other hybrid vehicles have also been noted such as the Porsche Panamera and BMW i3.
- Drones become increasingly popular, especially in the assistance of making deliveries, aerial photography, and drone racing.
- Self-driving cars, while still in their infancy, have been widely tested throughout the 2010s with significant progress. Google developed Waymo, the world's first self-driving car, to be licensed for use on public roads in 2011. In 2018, a woman in Tempe became the first recorded casualty of an accident involving an autonomous vehicle.
- In 2013, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk proposed the Hyperloop mass transit system. Multiple companies joined in the opportunity to develop the concept.
- Automaker Volkswagen is alleged to have been involved in worldwide rigging of diesel emissions tests in 2015, affecting an estimated 11 million vehicles globally.
- The trend of shared mobility grew significantly during the decade. Carsharing, bike-sharing, and scooter-sharing services saw substantial growth as multiple economic, social and technological factors such as developments in "last mile" transportation helped changed the way people think about modern transportation, particularly in the Western world.
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. The consequences of an aging society were felt hardest in Europe and Japan, which were the first to experience substantial population decline.
Over 20% of Japan's population is over the age of 65, making it the most elderly nation. As a result, Japan examined alternative solutions for elder care, including robots. 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. In 2010, France debated and raised the retirement age from 60 to 62, despite widespread demonstrations in opposition. A few years later the threshold was lowered back to 60.
During the course of the decade, climate change was a growing topic of concern, with more than half of the global population viewing it as a "very serious problem" in 2015 and giving broad support for limits on greenhouse gas emissions to address the issue. Concerns over plastic pollution grew considerably, with the effects of plastic waste on the Earth's environment gaining global awareness particularly in the second half of the decade. In 2012, it was estimated that there was approximately 165 million tons of plastic pollution in the world's oceans. Plastic waste minimisation initiatives were launched around the world, with bans on various plastic products, ranging from plastic bags and straws to plastic cutlery. Plastic pollution was linked to climate change, with a 2019 report warning that by 2050, plastic could emit 56 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions, as much as 14 percent of the earth’s remaining carbon budget.
Threats to biodiversity also gained greater awareness. In its first report since 2005, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) warned in May 2019 that biodiversity loss was "accelerating", with over a million species threatened with extinction.
Renewable energies enjoyed a surge in popularity, due to lower costs and increased efficiency, receiving more investment than traditional fossil fuels. In 2015, Hawaiʻi became the first state in the United States to formally commit to a plan of developing a 100% clean energy grid. In 2018, California's state commission approved a plan requiring solar panels for all residential buildings starting in 2020. In China, as pollution reached critical levels, the government began investing in clean energies to improve the air quality.
During the 2010s, acceptance of LGBT people gradually increased in many parts of the world. Marriage for same-sex couples was an ongoing debate in many nations, while over eighteen nations legalized same-sex marriage.
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. During an ABC News interview in 2012, Barack Obama expressed his support for gay marriage, becoming the first U.S. President to openly do so. Although many nations allowed gays and bisexuals to serve in their militaries, a major milestone came in September 2011 when the U.S. abolished its "Don't ask, don't tell" military policy. In August 2013, New Zealand became the first country in Oceania to allow same-sex couples to marry.
In 2015, Ireland became the first nation to legalize same-sex marriage via referendum. In 2017, Leo Varadkar became Ireland's first openly gay Taoiseach, joining the ranks of other nation's first openly gay and lesbian heads of state in the 2010s. In May 2019, Taiwan became the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage.
Transgenderism asserted itself as a mainstream LGBT topic in the 2010s, particularly in the West. In the United States, organizations such as the Girl Scouts and the Episcopal Church announced acceptance of transgender people in the early half of the 2010s. In April 2015, former olympic athlete Caitlyn Jenner came out as a transgender woman, and was subsequently called the most famous openly transgender person in the world at the time.
However, LGBT rights supporters faced legal obstacles with the implementation of laws curbing expression of homosexuality in Russia and China, as well as in the United States, with the Trump administration's decision to reinstate the ban on transgender people serving in the military and the rescission of protections for transgender students.
Widespread internet use has been around for younger people's entire lives. 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. 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. E-cigarette and smokeless tobacco use among teenagers rose. The psychological effects of social media and the internet on the minds of young people, especially children, became an increasing concern during this decade.
Styles and Trends
Superhero and science fiction films became box office leaders. Animated films in the 2010s remained predominately computer-generated, especially with films such as How to Train Your Dragon, Despicable Me, The Adventures of Tintin, The LEGO Batman Movie, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, Frozen, and Incredibles 2. Traditional animation styles lost favor among older audiences, although (2D) Anime remained popular, especially with the success of Your Name, The Secret World of Arrietty and One Piece: Film Z.
3D films gained popularity, led by Avatar and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs in late 2009. In 2010, Avatar became the first film to gross more than US$2 billion. Other 3D releases were also successful. 360-degree video also became widely available with the introduction of consumer virtual reality.
Movies and television struggled to maintain their position, as online viewing grew rapidly. Internet piracy was a major concern for the industry. In 2012 Viacom launched a US$1 billion lawsuit against YouTube for copyright infringement. In early 2012, the United States Congress began debating the SOPA and PIPA bills that were heavily lobbied by the entertainment industry.
In April-May 2019, Avengers: Endgame grossed over $2.5 billion worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing superhero film of all time and the second highest-grossing movie of all time, only surpassed by 2009's Avatar.
|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||Star Wars: The Last Jedi||Avengers: Infinity War|
|$1.07 Billion||$1.34 Billion||$1.52 Billion||$1.28 Billion||$1.10 Billion||$2.07 Billion||$1.15 Billion||$1.33 Billion||$2.05 Billion|
|Academy Award for Best Picture winners||The King's Speech||The Artist||Argo||12 Years a Slave||Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)||Spotlight||Moonlight||The Shape of Water||Green Book|
|Palme d'Or winners at the Cannes Film Festival||Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives||The Tree of Life||Amour||Blue Is the Warmest Colour||Winter Sleep||Dheepan||I, Daniel Blake||The Square||Shoplifters||Parasite|
|Best films of the Sight & Sound annual poll||The Social Network||The Tree of Life||The Master||The Act of Killing||Boyhood||The Assassin||Toni Erdmann||Get Out||Roma|
The American soap opera format lost popularity in favor of reality television and daytime talk shows. Prime-time television serials and Spanish-language telenovelas remain popular globally. A new development in global television is the great popularity of Turkish drama series in parts of Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Korean dramas continued to enjoy widespread mainstream popularity across Asia. The launch of Korean entertainment channels like Sony ONE and tvN Asia gave access to millions of viewers across parts of East, South and Southeast Asia to watch Korean programs simultaneously with the South Korean broadcast or hours after its broadcast in South Korea.
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. These non-cable, internet-based media streaming services even began producing their own programming. 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.
|Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series||Mad Men||Mad Men||Homeland||Breaking Bad||Breaking Bad||Game of Thrones||Game of Thrones||The Handmaid's Tale||Game of Thrones|
|Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series||Modern Family||Modern Family||Modern Family||Modern Family||Modern Family||Veep||Veep||Veep||The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel|
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, with EDM achieving mass commercial success. 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. 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. 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. In the early 2010s, dubstep and drumstep, originating in the United Kingdom, rose in popularity globally. 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. In 2017, Hip Hop and R&B surpassed Rock and Pop music as the most consumed form of music in the United States.
Digital music sales topped CD sales in 2012. 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.
|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"||"God's Plan"|
|Kesha||Adele||Gotye||Macklemore & Ryan Lewis||Pharrell Williams||Mark Ronson||Justin Bieber||Ed Sheeran||Drake|
|Record of the Year Grammy Winners||"Use Somebody"||"Need You Now"||"Rolling in the Deep"||"Somebody That I Used to Know"||"Get Lucky"||"Stay with Me"||"Uptown Funk"||"Hello"||"24K Magic"||"This is America"|
|Kings of Leon||Lady Antebellum||Adele||Gotye featuring Kimbra||Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams||Sam Smith||Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars||Adele||Bruno Mars||Childish Gambino|
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. According to the Entertainment Software Association, in 2014, the average age of a person who played video games was 30.
The Nintendo 3DS, released in early 2011, introduced a glasses-free interface for 3D. The 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.
Games such as The Sims and many of Blizzard's titles remained popular on PCs and expanded to other devices. The later half of the decade saw the explosive growth of battle royale games such as Bluehole's PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Epic Games' Fortnite Battle Royale.
The increased computing power offered by smartphones and computer tablets reinvigorated the mobile gaming market as features such as the app store widened consumers' opportunities to choose where to download mobile apps. The revamped platform led the mobile gaming market to reach $7.8 billion in revenue in 2012 and $50.7 billion in 2017, occupying 43 percent of the entire global gaming market. Early popular and mainstream mobile games of the decade included Angry Birds, Flappy Bird, Candy Crush Saga, Clash of Clans, Fruit Ninja, and Temple Run.
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).
The OnLive console was released in 2010 becoming the first massively produced cloud gaming-based gaming device. 2012 introduced the first console regarded to be in the eighth generation, the Wii U, followed in late 2013 with Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and in 2017 with the Nintendo Switch. They faced stiff competition from tablet and smartphones.
Postmodernism and green design were common architectural themes. "Sustainable design" emphasized natural lighting, green/white roofs, better insulation and other cost-saving features. New urbanism and urban revival influenced urban planning in the United States and other developed countries. China and the Middle East led in large-scale development.
In 2010, the United Arab Emirates' Burj Khalifa became the tallest man-made structure ever built, standing at 828 m (2,717 ft). The United States' One World Trade Center, completed in 2014, is the tallest building in North America at 1,776 ft (541 m).
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.
- The 2010s have been defined by a revival of interwar, austerity era, 1970s, early 1990s and skater fashions.
- In the early 2010s, many late 2000s fashion trends remained popular, especially the indie pop and emo 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.
- In many Western countries, the growing of a full beard became a popular trend among young males throughout the decade, with some suggesting this was due to the influence of the hipster subculture and the Movember campaign.
- 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 and stayed popular for the rest of the decade. The style has been embraced by the hip-hop, hipster and punk subcultures.
- Items that were significantly fashionable in the 2010s include the fidget spinner, the self-balancing scooter (also known as a "hoverboard"), the selfie stick, and smartwatches.
- Overall, fashion in the 2010s marked a step away from the loose-fitting, ultra casual mode of the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. Dress began to skew slightly more formal, with an emphasis on tighter fitting, sleeker, and simpler clothing. A typifying example of this being the athleisure trend.
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 as a part of green and sustainable living. There was an increase in the number of vegetarians and vegans. Finger foods such as hors d'oeuvres and tapas were applied to many desserts and comfort foods. Food presentation became more important as social media caused an increase in food photography and sharing. In the United States, soda sales dipped in favor of healthier options, such as sparkling water. Energy drink sales experienced substantially higher growth than coffee.
The 2010s also saw significant early stage developments in cultured meat, a form of cellular agriculture whereby animal cells are cultured in order to grow meat without the need to raise and slaughter animals. This technology also saw substantial investment from billionaire entrepreneurs such as Richard Branson.
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.
|Tony Award for Best Musical||Memphis||The Book of Mormon||Once||Kinky Boots||A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder||Fun Home||Hamilton||Dear Evan Hansen||The Band's Visit|
|Pulitzer Prize for Drama||Next to Normal, by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey||Clybourne Park, by Bruce Norris||Water by the Spoonful, by Quiara Alegría Hudes||Disgraced, by Ayad Akhtar||The Flick, by Annie Baker||Between Riverside and Crazy, by Stephen Adly Guirgis||Hamilton, by Lin-Manuel Miranda||Sweat, by Lynn Nottage||Cost of Living, by Martyna Majok|
- Usain Bolt became the most successful sprinter in Olympic history, holding world records in the 100 metres, 200 metres and 4 × 100 metres relay.
- Spain won the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
- India won the 2011 Cricket World Cup by defeating Sri Lanka in the final.
- London became the first city to host the Olympic Games three times in 2012.
- Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian ever after winning his 22nd medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
- The Spain national football team became the first international football team to win three consecutive major tournaments.
- Jason Collins became the first active male professional athlete in a major American professional team sport to publicly come out as gay.
- In 2015, football's world governing body FIFA was accused of bribery totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. Fourteen individuals were indicted.
- The 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup expands to 24 teams of 23 players each and becomes the biggest team female sport event.
- Chile national football team won their first Copa América in 2015 and repeated the feat the following year.
- 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. They were considered massive outsiders at 5000–1.
- The Cleveland Cavaliers won their first championship in the 2016 NBA Finals. The Cavaliers were the first in the NBA history to come back from a 1–3 series deficit.
- The Portuguese national football team won their first UEFA European Championship in 2016.
- The Chicago Cubs won the World Series, erasing a 108-year championship drought, defeating the Cleveland Indians in Game 7 of the World Series on 3 November 2016.
- New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was awarded his fourth Super Bowl MVP award after overcoming a 25-point deficit to defeat the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, 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.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins repeated as Stanley Cup champions in 2016–2017, becoming the first NHL team to accomplish the occupation since the Detroit Red Wings of 1997–98.
- Paris Saint-Germain's signing of Neymar in 2017 sets an all-time record for highest football transfer fee at €222 million (£198 million).
- The 2018 Winter Olympics were held in Pyeongchang County, Gangwon Province, South Korea, from 9 to 25 February.
- WWE Chairman and CEO, Vince McMahon, announced 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.
- In 2018, the Philadelphia Eagles win Super Bowl LII over the New England Patriots 41–33, ending their 57-year championship drought and bringing home their first ever Super Bowl. Nick Foles wins Super Bowl MVP.
- At the start of the 2017–18 NHL season, the Vegas Golden Knights are added to the NHL, comprising of players from all of the other 30 existing teams. Their otherwise impressive inaugural season ended when the Washington Capitals defeated them in the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals to claim their first Stanley Cup in their 44 years of existence.
- France beat Croatia 4–2 to claim their second World Cup title during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
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