The 2010s (pronounced “twenty-tens” or “two thousand and tens”, shortened to 10s and or The Teens) was a decade of the Gregorian calendar that began on January 1, 2010, and ended on December 31, 2019.
The decade began amid a global financial crisis and subsequent international recession dating from the late 2000s. The resulting European sovereign-debt crisis became more pronounced early in the decade and continued to affect the possibility of a global economic recovery. Economic issues, such as austerity, inflation, and an increase in commodity prices, led to unrest in many countries, including the 15-M and Occupy movements. Unrest in some countries – particularly in the Arab world – evolved into socioeconomic crises triggering revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, and Bahrain as well as civil wars in Libya, Syria, and Yemen in a widespread phenomenon commonly referred to as the Arab Spring. Shifting social attitudes saw LGBT rights and female representation make substantial progress during the decade, particularly in the West and parts of Asia and Africa.
The United States continued to retain its global superpower status while China, along with launching vast economic initiatives and military reforms, sought to expand its influence in the South China Sea and in Africa, solidifying its position as an emerging global superpower; global competition between China and the U.S. coalesced into a “containment” effort and a trade war. Elsewhere in Asia, the Koreas improved their relations after a prolonged crisis and the War on Terror continued as Osama bin Laden was assassinated by U.S. forces in a raid on his compound in Pakistan as a part of the U.S.’s continued military involvement in many parts of the world. The rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant extremist organization in 2014 erased the borders between Syria and Iraq, resulting in a multinational intervention that also saw the demise of its leader. In Africa, South Sudan broke away from Sudan, and mass protests and various coups d’état saw longtime strongmen deposed. Meanwhile, a global populist wave in the USA and UK brought Donald Trump (a businessman and former Reality television host, hosting The Apprentice (American TV series)) into the White House and Brexit. The European Union experienced a migrant crisis in the middle of the decade and the historic United Kingdom EU membership referendum followed by withdrawal negotiations during its later years. Russia attempted to assert itself in international affairs annexing Crimea in 2014.
Information technology progressed, with smartphones becoming widespread. The Internet of things saw substantial growth during the 2010s due to advancements in wireless networking devices, mobile telephony, and cloud computing. Advancements in data processing and the rollout of 4G broadband allowed data and information to disperse among domains at paces never before seen while online resources such as social media facilitated phenomena such as the Me Too movement and the rise of slacktivism and online call-out culture. 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. Edward Snowden blew the whistle on global surveillance, raising awareness on the role governments and private entities have in mass surveillance and information privacy.
Global warming became increasingly noticeable through new record temperatures in different years and extreme weather events on all continents. The CO2 concentration rose from 390 to 410 PPM over the decade. At the same time, combating pollution and climate change continued to be major concerns, as protests, initiatives, and legislation garnered substantial media attention. Particularly, the Paris Agreement (2015) was adopted and a global climate youth movement was formed. Major natural disasters included the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, the Nepal earthquake of 2015, the 2018 Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami, and the devastating hurricanes Washi (Sendong), Sandy, Bopha (Pablo), Haiyan (Yolanda), Harvey, Irma, Maria, Florence, Michael, and Idai.
Superhero and animated films became box office leaders, with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Frozen and Despicable Me franchises being the most prominent of that decade. Cable providers saw a decline in subscriber numbers as cord cutters switched to lower cost online streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and Disney+. Globalism and an increased demand for variety and personalization in the face of music streaming services such as Spotify created many subgenres. Dance, hip-hop, and pop music surged into the 2010s, with EDM achieving mass commercial success. Digital music sales topped CD sales in 2012. The video game industry continued to be dominated by Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft; Minecraft became the best-selling game of all time. The best-selling book of this decade was Fifty Shades of Grey.
The prominent wars of the decade include:
14 May 1948OngoingConflict between Jewish and Arab communities in Israel and the West Bank have been ongoing since 1948. 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
- War in Afghanistan
- Iraq conflict
- Drone strikes in Pakistan
- American intervention in Somalia
- American intervention in Libya
11 September 2001Motivated 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.2011 military intervention in Libya19 March 201131 October 2011Following United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, a NATO-led coalition launched an air campaign against Muammar Gaddafi‘s government in the Libyan Civil War.Russian military intervention in Ukraine
20 February 2014OngoingAfter 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 Russian-backed separatist forces.International military intervention against ISIL13 June 2014In 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 led by the United States, France, Russia, and Muslim states and with aid from dozens of countries were formed to help fight the militants. By December 2017, ISIL had lost all of its territory in Iraq and 95% of its territory in Syria, and was militarily and territorially defeated on 23 March 2019.Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen26 March 2015During the Yemeni Civil War, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and other countries invaded parts of Yemen in order to depose the Houthi-controlled government.Turkish involvement in the Syrian Civil War
- Operation Euphrates Shield
- Turkish military operation in Idlib Governorate
- Operation Olive Branch
- 2019 Turkish offensive into north-eastern Syria
24 August 2016During the Syrian Civil War, Turkey invaded parts of northern Syria in order to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and the Syrian Democratic Forces, fostering and funding the Syrian National Army of the Syrian Interim Government, culminating in its 2019 offensive into northeastern Syria in which over 300,000 civilians were displaced and dozens more killed, prompting a controversial reaction worldwide in response to reported human rights violations and resettlement of Kurds which has been viewed as possible ethnic cleansing.2018 Armenian–Azerbaijani clashes20 May 201827 May 2018Clashes in former no man’s land in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, an exclave of Azerbaijan, led to Azerbaijan reoccupying Günnüt and several other strategic villages and positions.2019 India–Pakistan border skirmishes26 February 201922 March 2019After a suicide car bombing on 14 February 2019 where 40 Indian security personnel are killed, 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. Also involved was Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistani militant group that took responsibility for the bombing and the purported target of Indian attacks.Civil warsNameStart dateEnd dateDescriptionColombian Armed Conflict27 May 1964OngoingLow-intensity and asymmetrical 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 historic ceasefire signed 23 June 2016. Though the peace deal was initially rejected by voters in October, a revised deal was successfully and unanimously passed by the Congress on 30 November 2016, bringing an end to much of the fighting that had been going on for almost 50 years.War in North-West Pakistan16 March 2004Since 2004, Pakistan has been fighting an insurgency by various armed militant groups aligned with the Taliban or ISIL in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa along its border with Afghanistan. The violence has killed at least 61,549 people since and over 6 million displaced, gutting the nation’s economy and resources. By 2014, however, casualties from terrorist and militant attacks had dropped by around 40%, in spite of rampant massacres such as the 2014 Peshawar school massacre, which led to 156 deaths.Insurgency in Paraguay27 August 2005Since 2005, Paraguay has been fighting a low-level insurgency by various Marxist-Leninist armed militant groups in the country, including the Paraguayan People’s Army, the Armed Peasant Association, and the Army of Marshal López. Between 2005 and 2014, at least 50 have died alongside 28 kidnappings and 85 “violent acts,” concentrated in the highly populated northeastern departments of Amambay, Caaguazú, Canindeyú, Concepción, and San Pedro. Exact numbers vary, but the conflict is estimated to have caused a cumulative 111 deaths by 2020, most of which have been insurgents, local ranchers, and police officers.Mexican Drug War11 December 2006Following a rise in criminal violence as a result of increasingly influential drug trafficking in the country, Mexican President Felipe Calderón declared a war on drugs on 11 December 2006. Since the start of the war, the death toll from drug violence has sharply increased, with a death toll of nearly 300,000 over 60,000 missing, and 39,000 unidentified bodies in morgues. Arrests of key cartel leaders led to increasing violence as cartels, who dominate the billion-dollar illegal drug industry, fought for control of trafficking routes into the United States. The conflict has also emphasized corruption and human rights abuses, with bribery, drug smuggling, kidnapping, and protection of drug cartels being widely reported among government officials.War in Somalia31 January 2009In 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 and military intervention on the part of the United States. Al-Shabaab made a resurgence in 2016, when AMISOM and Kenyan forces were subject to multiple attacks and raids, to which American and Somali forces responded with increasingly intense airstrikes, weakening Al Shabaab’s territorial prominence in the years following. The conflict has cost anywhere from 300,000 to 500,000 lives and has devastated Somalia’s infrastructure and humanitarian resources.Boko Haram insurgency26 July 2009Sparked by long-standing conflict between Nigeria‘s Christian and Muslim communities, 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, becoming the world’s deadliest terrorist group by 2015. The conflict has killed over 37,500 people and displaced another 2.5 million, driving 244,000 Nigerian refugees into neighboring states. Insurgents were severely weakened in 2015 when Nigerian forces drove them into Sambisa Forest, causing bitter infighting. However, they made a resurgence in 2018 and 2019, with human rights violations; massacres; and mass child kidnappings, exploitation, and torture continuously posing a threat to civilians.Northern Mali conflict16 January 2012In 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.South Sudanese Civil War15 December 201322 February 2020Iraqi Civil War1 January 20149 December 2017The 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.Second Libyan Civil War16 May 201424 October 2020Following the factional violence that engulfed Libya after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, a second civil war broke out among rival factions seeking control of the territory and oil of Libya. The conflict at the beginning was mostly between the House of Representatives (HoR) government that was controversially elected in 2014, also known as the “Tobruk government”; and the rival General National Congress (GNC) government, also called the “National Salvation Government“, based in the capital Tripoli, established after Operation Odyssey Dawn and the failed military coup. A permanent ceasefire agreement in all areas of Libya became effective from 24 October 2020, ending the war.Yemeni Civil War19 March 2015OngoingPreceded 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 War30 June 2016Following 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. As of 2020 it has caused about 6000 deaths.Marawi crisis23 May 201723 October 2017Anglophone Crisis9 September 2017OngoingIslamist insurgency in Mozambique5 October 2017Iraqi insurgency9 December 2017War in CatatumboJanuary 2018
Revolutions and major protests
EventDateCountryEventsKyrgyz Revolution of 20106 April 2010 – 14 December 2010Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev fled Bishkek amid fierce anti-government riots as the opposition seized control.Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy movement17 September 2011 – c. 2013Hundreds of protesters marched into the financial district of Wall Street in New York City, beginning the Occupy Wall Street movement.Rojava revolution19 July 2012 – ongoingA sub-conflict of the Syrian Civil War.Euromaidan and the 2014 Ukrainian revolution21 November 2013 – 23 February 2014Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych fled the country following violent protests in the capital, Kyiv. The opposition-controlled Verkhovna Rada voted to remove him as president.Abkhazian Revolution27 May 2014 – 1 June 2014In a quick turn of events, the President of the breakway republic, Alexander Ankvab, was ousted from power after the government building was stormed.2014 Burkinabé uprising28 October 2014 – 3 November 20142015–16 protests in Brazil15 March 2015 – 31 July 2016In 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“.Burundian unrest (2015–18)26 April 2015 – 17 May 2018Burundi faces unrest as President Pierre Nkurunziza sought a third term in office, resulting in hundreds killed and thousands more fleeing the country.2018–19 Gaza border protests30 March 2018 – 27 December 2019Protests against the Blockade of the Gaza Strip, with 183 protesters killed.2018 Armenian revolution31 March 2018 – 8 May 2018Various political and civil groups led by member of parliament Nikol Pashinyan staged anti-government protests in Armenia. Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan resigned on 23 April 2018. Nikol Pashinyan was elected Prime Minister on 8 May 2018.2018 Bangladesh road-safety protests29 July 2018 – 1 September 2018Nation-wide protests mainly by students after reckless driving caused deaths of two High School Students.Yellow vests movement17 November 2018 – ongoingFrance 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.Sudanese Revolution19 December 2018 – 12 September 2019Amid mass protests, Omar al-Bashir is deposed as President of Sudan in a coup d’état, after nearly 30 years in office.2019–20 Hong Kong protests9 June 2019 – ongoingMass protests take place in Hong Kong against an extradition bill that many observed would subject Hong Kong residents and those passing through the city to de facto jurisdiction of Chinese Communist Party courts. Despite Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announcing the bill to be “dead” after weeks of mass protests, waves of localized demonstrations continued, some resulting in violent clashes between police, pro-democracy activists, local residents, and Triad members.2019 Ecuadorian protests3 October 2019 – 14 October 2019On 3 October 2019, taxi, bus and truck drivers came out in protest against the planned fuel subsidy abolition and austerity measures announced by President Lenín Moreno. The government seat was relocated from Quito to Guayaquil and a state of emergency was declared following violent protests.2019 Chilean protests14 October 2019 – 18 March 2020On 14 October 2019, a period of mass protests and violent unrest began in Chile. The protests were initially in response to a fare hike on the Santiago Metro, but the scope of the protestors’ demands has since expanded.2019 Bolivian protests21 October 2019 – 21 November 2019Following a disputed election, protests forced Evo Morales, the president since 2006, to resign and flee to Mexico. The new president, Jeanine Áñez, continued to face opposition from pro-Morales protestors.
The Arab Spring was a series of anti-government protests, uprisings, and armed rebellions that spread across much of the Islamic world in the early 2010s. It began in response to oppressive regimes and a low standard of living, starting with protests in Tunisia. In the news, social media has been heralded as the driving force behind the swift spread of revolution throughout the world, as new protests appear in response to success stories shared from those taking place in other countries. In many countries, the governments have also recognized the importance of social media for organizing and have shut down certain sites or blocked Internet service entirely, especially in the times preceding a major rally. Governments have also scrutinized or suppressed discussion in those forums through accusing content creators of unrelated crimes or shutting down communication on specific sites or groups, such as through Facebook.
NameStart dateEnd dateDescriptionTunisian Revolution18 December 201014 January 2011Amidst 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 201125 January 201111 February 20112011 Bahraini uprising14 February 201118 March 2011Hamad 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.Libyan Civil War15 February 201113 October 2011Facing 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 War15 March 2011OngoingProtests 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.Nuclear proliferation
- On 8 April 2010, the United States and Russia signed a treaty in Prague, Czech Republic agreed 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 (the JCPOA), allowing the United Nations to lift sanctions immediately. However, on 8 May 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.
- On 1 February 2019, The US formally suspended the Russo-American Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), and Russia did the same on the following day in response. The US formally withdrew from the treaty on 2 August 2019.
- The United States initiated a renovation of its nuclear weapon arsenal.
The most prominent terrorist attacks committed against civilian populations during the decade include, but are not limited to:
EventDateCountryDeathsInjuriesRef.2010 Lakki Marwat suicide bombing1 January 2010105100+2010 Moscow Metro bombings29 March 2010401022011 Mumbai bombings13 July 201126130+2011 Norway attacks22 July 201177319+2011 Mogadishu bombing4 October 2011100110+Boston Marathon bombing15 April 20133264Zamboanga City siege9 September 201322070Westgate shopping mall attack21 September 2013671752014 Kunming attack1 March 201435143May 2014 Ürümqi attack22 May 20144390Camp Speicher massacre12 June 20141,566–2014 Sydney hostage crisis15 December 20143182014 Peshawar school massacre16 December 20141481142015 Baga massacre3–7 January 2015150+–January 2015 Île-de-France attacks7–9 January 201520222015 Sana’a mosque bombings20 March 2015142351Garissa University College attack2 April 2015152792015 Ramadan attacks26 June 2015Various403336+2015 Beirut bombings12 November 2015432402015 Ankara bombings10 October 2015109400+2015 Metrojet crash31 October 2015224–November 2015 Paris attacks13 November 20151314132015 San Bernardino attack2 December 201514222016 Brussels bombings22 March 201635300+Orlando nightclub shooting12 June 201649532016 Istanbul airport attack28 June 201645236July 2016 Baghdad bombings3 July 20163402462016 Nice truck attack14 July 2016874342016 Berlin truck attack19 December 20161256Istanbul nightclub shooting1 January 201739702017 Westminster attack22 March 20176492017 St. Petersburg Metro bombing3 April 201715642017 Stockholm truck attack7 April 20175142017 Camp Shaheen attack21 April 2017140+160+Manchester Arena bombing22 May 201722592017 London Bridge attack3 June 201711482017 Barcelona attacks17–18 August 20171615214 October 2017 Mogadishu bombings14 October 20175873162017 New York City truck attack31 October 20178122017 Sinai mosque attack24 November 20173111222018 Strasbourg attack11 December 2018511Christchurch mosque shooting15 March 201951492019 Sri Lanka Easter bombings21 April 2019269500+2019 El Paso shooting3 August 20192224December 2019 Mogadishu bombing28 December 201985140+Political trendsInternational relations
BRICS, a supranational economic cooperative comprising five major emerging national economies—Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa—grew to represent over 3.1 billion people, or about 41 percent of the world population by 2015.
China was increasingly called a superpower in the early 2010s, including at the 2011 meeting between President Hu Jintao and United States President Barack Obama. China overtook the U.S. 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 U.S. by the late 2050s. In 2018, global military spending reached the highest it has 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. In 2019, the Lowy Institute Asia Power Index, which measures the projections of power in the Indo-Pacific, called both China and the United States the superpowers of the 21st century, citing immense influence in almost all eight indexes of power.
Along with China, a Vladimir Putin-led Russia also steadily increased its defense spending and continued to modernize its military capabilities throughout the decade, including the development of the T-14 Armata main battle tank and the fifth-generation Sukhoi Su-57 jet fighter. Russia also flexed its power projection capabilities, particularly demonstrated during the 2014 annexation of Crimea and its interventions in eastern Ukraine and the Syrian Civil War; Wagner Group had a significant presence in both conflicts. Russia also notably waged information warfare campaigns against its geopolitical foes, including interfering in the 2016 U.S. elections via hacking and leaking emails of U.S. political party leadership and by spreading disinformation via the Internet Research Agency. Other alleged Russian intelligence operations included the Skripal poisonings and the Montenegrin coup plot, both of which were attributed by some to the Unit 29155 organization. Collectively, these activities—and the Western-led efforts to combat the influence of Russian oligarchs and political interests—have been referred to as the Second Cold War.
The European Union went through several crises. The European debt crisis caused severe economic problems to several eurozone member states, most severely Greece. The 2015 migration crisis led to several million people entering the EU illegally in a short period of time. There was a significant rise in the vote shares of several eurosceptic parties, including the League in Italy, Alternative for Germany, and the Finns Party in Finland. As a result of a referendum, the United Kingdom became the first member state in the EU’s history to initiate proceedings for leaving the Union.
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 combating social inequality and economic inequality proliferated in the Western world and elsewhere. Around the middle of the decade, phenoms such as white nationalism, identitarianism and emboldened feelings of nativism 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 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-nationalist fervor in Europe and North America. The 2019 European Parliament election saw the highest voter turnout in two decades and saw relatively moderate center-right and center-left parties suffer significant losses to less moderate far-right, environmentalist, and both pro-EU and eurosceptic parties, who made notable gains. Notable examples of 2010s 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, Narendra Modi, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Hugo Chávez, Matteo Salvini, Jair Bolsonaro, Rodrigo Duterte, Boris Johnson and others, left and right-wing, described as such.
Related to the rise of populism and protests movements was the decline of traditional political parties. In Europe, pasokification described the loss of vote share experienced by traditional center-left or social democratic parties. In France, specifically, the collapse of traditional parties was especially notable, with Emmanuel Macron‘s La République En Marche! winning a majority in its first election in 2017.
Center-left, neoliberal and traditional social democratic parties often lost their vote share to more socialist or democratic socialist alternatives, especially in Europe. This happened most completely in Greece, where PASOK was replaced by Syriza as the main left-wing party. Other far-left parties which rose in prominence included Podemos in Spain and La France Insoumise in France. In the two-party systems of the English-speaking world, these challenges mainly came from within the established parties of the left, with Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Party and Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour Party pushing for more left-wing policies.
The political establishment was also challenged in many countries by protest movements, often organised through new social media platforms. These included the various Arab Spring protests, the Occupy movement, and the yellow vests movement.
Countries which democratized fully or partially during the decade included Angola, which reformed under João Lourenço; Armenia, which went through a revolution; Ecuador, which reformed under Lenín Moreno; Ethiopia; and Malaysia, where the ruling party lost the first election since independence.
Long-term dictators ousted from power included Muammar Gaddafi of Libya (after 42 years), Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe (37 years), Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen (33 years), Omar al-Bashir of Sudan (30 years), Hosni Mubarak of Egypt (29 years), and Ben Ali of Tunisia (23 years).
The Arab Winter refers to the resurgence of authoritarianism, absolute monarchies and Islamic extremism evolving in the aftermath of the Arab Spring protests in Arab countries. The term “Arab Winter” refers to the events across Arab League countries in the Mid-East and North Africa, including the Syrian Civil War, the Iraqi insurgency and the following civil war, the Egyptian Crisis, the Libyan Crisis and the Crisis in Yemen. Events referred to as the Arab Winter include those in Egypt that led to the removal of Mohamed Morsi and the seizure of power by General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in an anti-Muslim Brotherhood campaign.
In 2018, China‘s National People’s Congress approves a constitutional change that removes term limits for its leaders, granting Xi Jinping the status of “leader for life“. Xi is the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (de facto leader).
Sitting world leaders such as Hugo Chávez, Muammar Gaddafi, Kim Jong-il, Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Lech Kaczyński, Islam Karimov and Tunisia‘s first freely elected president, Beji Caid Essebsi, all died in office, as did former leaders Fidel Castro, Lee Kuan Yew, Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, Robert Mugabe, Giulio Andreotti, Francesco Cossiga, Jacques Chirac, Helmut Schmidt, Helmut Kohl, Mohamed Morsi, Ariel Sharon, Shimon Peres, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Václav Havel, Malcolm Fraser, Bob Hawke, B. J. Habibie, Yasuhiro Nakasone, Alan García, Jorge Rafael Videla, Néstor Kirchner, Fernando de la Rúa, Patricio Aylwin, Itamar Franco, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and George H. W. Bush.
Coups d’état against ruling governments during the decade include:
EventDateCountryRef.Nigerien coup d’état18 February 2010Malian coup d’état21 March 2012Guinea-Bissau coup d’état12 April 2012Egyptian coup d’état3 July 2013Thai coup d’état22 May 2014Yemeni coup d’état21 September 2014Turkish coup d’état attempt15 July 2016Zimbabwean coup d’état14 November 2017Gabon coup d’état attempt7 January 2019Sudanese coup d’état11 April 2019Amhara coup d’état attempt22 June 2019
The following tables of events is listed by the region and by chronological order. The prominent political events include, but are not limited to:
AfricaEventCountryDateDescriptionReferences2011 South Sudanese independence referendum9 July 2011A 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.Death of Nelson Mandela5 December 2013Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid activist and President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, died.2014 Tunisian presidential election21 November 2014Beji Caid Essebsi won the first regular presidential election following the Tunisian Revolution against outgoing president Moncef Marzouki. He became Tunisia’s fifth president and first freely elected head of state in the Arab world.2015 Nigerian general election29 March 2015Muhammadu 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.2016 Gambian presidential election1 December 2016Adama 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 Zuma14 February 2018Jacob Zuma resigns as President of South Africa, after nine years in power.Resignation of Abdelaziz Bouteflika2 April 2019Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigns as President of Algeria amid widespread protests, after nearly two decades in office.Khartoum massacre3 June 2019Security forces of the Transitional Military Council, the military junta ruling Sudan following the ousting of Omar al-Bashir, massacre over 100 people at a sit-in protest amid mass protests in Khartoum. The massacre prompts the African Union to suspend Sudan’s participation until civilian rule is reestablished in the country.2019 Tunisian presidential election13 October 2019Conservative academic Kais Saied wins more than 70% of the votes, defeating businessman Nabil Karoui. He became Tunisia’s sixth president and second freely elected head of state in the Arab world.AmericasEventCountryDateDescriptionReferencesPatient Protection and Affordable Care Act23 March 2010President 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.2010 Brazilian presidential election31 October 2010Dilma Rousseff was elected as the first female President of Brazil.2010 Midterm elections and Tea Party movement2 November 2010The Republicans become the dominant party with a majority of the seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and gain seats in the U.S. Senate. This was seen as due to a tide of Libertarian support amongst the U.S. populace exemplified in the Tea Party.2011 Canadian federal election2 May 2011Stephen Harper, leader of the Conservative Party, is re-elected in Canada’s federal election, with a majority government.2011 Argentine general election23 October 2011Front for Victory candidate and President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner wins a second term as President of Argentina, defeating Socialist candidate Hermes Binner by 54% of votes.Impeachment of Fernando Lugo22 June 2012On 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.2012 Mexican general election1 July 2012Enrique Peña Nieto won the Mexican general election, bringing the Institutional Revolutionary Party back to prominence for the first time since 2000.2012 United States presidential election6 November 2012Barack Obama was re-elected President of the United States, defeating Republican nominee Mitt Romney.Death of Hugo Chávez5 March 2013Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez died at the age of 58 after governing the country for 14 years.Obergefell v. Hodges26 June 2015Same-sex marriage was legalized in all 50 U.S. states due to a landmark decision by the Supreme Court of the United States.2015 Canadian federal election19 October 2015The Liberal Party, led by Justin Trudeau, won Canada’s federal election, defeating the Conservative Party in the country’s longest election in a century.2015 Argentine general election22 November 2015Cambiemos candidate and Buenos Aires Mayor Mauricio Macri became the President of Argentina, defeating Front for Victory candidate Daniel Scioli via ballotage by 51% of votes2015 Venezuelan parliamentary election6 December 2015The Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) won majority seats of the Venezuelan National Assembly, defeating the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and its wider alliance, the Great Patriotic Pole (GPP) for the first time since 1999.Impeachment of Dilma Rousseff12 May 2016The 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.2016 United States presidential election8 November 2016Republican 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 Castro25 November 2016Former First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and revolutionary leader Fidel Castro dies at the age of 90.2017 Venezuelan constitutional crisis29 March 2017The Supreme Tribunal of Justice of Venezuela took over legislative powers of the National Assembly and removed its members’ immunity, most of whom belonged to the opposition. The decision was reversed a few days later following domestic and international condemnation of the court’s actions.Inauguration of Miguel Díaz-Canel19 April 2018Miguel Díaz-Canel is sworn in as President of the State Council of Cuba, marking the first time since 1959 that Cuba has had a prime minister or a president other than Fidel or Raúl Castro.2018 Mexican general election1 July 2018Andrés Manuel López Obrador won the historic Mexican general election, bringing the National Regeneration Movement for new prominence for the first time without any political rule like Institutional Revolutionary Party and National Action Party.2018 Brazilian general election28 October 2018Jair Bolsonaro was elected President of Brazil, marking the first time that the country is ruled by the right since the start of the New Republic in 1985. The election also interrupted 4 victories of the Workers’ Party in a row.Death of George H. W. Bush30 November 2018Former president of the United States George H. W. Bush dies at the age of 94.Venezuelan presidential crisis10 January 2019On 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.”2019 Peruvian constitutional crisis30 September 2019On 30 September 2019, President Martín Vizcarra dissolved the Congress of Peru on 30 September 2019. Congress responded by declaring Vizcarra’s presidency suspended and appointed Vice President Mercedes Aráoz as interim president, moves that were largely seen as null and void.2019 Canadian federal election21 October 2019Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party, is re-elected in Canada’s federal election, albeit with a minority government.2019 Argentine general election27 October 2019Peronist candidate Alberto Fernández of Frente de Todos is elected President of Argentina, defeating President Mauricio Macri of Juntos por el Cambio by 48% of votes.2019 Bolivian political crisis10 November 2019Bolivian president Evo Morales resigns following 19 days of protests after the disputed 2019 Bolivian general election and following calls for his resignation by the military.Impeachment of Donald Trump18 December 2019United States president Donald Trump is impeached by the House of Representatives on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.AsiaEventCountryDateDescriptionReferences2010 Myanmar general election7 November 2010Thein Sein was elected President of Myanmar, the first civilian President of the country since 1962.Death of Kim Jong-il17 December 2011Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il of North Korea died after governing the country for 17 years. His son, Kim Jong-un, succeeded him.2012 Japanese general election26 December 2012The Liberal Democratic Party, led by Shinzō Abe, won a landslide victory in Japan’s general election.North Korea and weapons of mass destruction11 March 2013The 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.2014 Indian general election12 May 2014The Bharatiya Janata Party, led by Narendra Modi, won a landslide victory in India’s general election, the first time a single party gained a majority on its own since 1984.2014 Indonesian presidential election9 July 2014Joko Widodo won Indonesia’s presidential election, becoming the first president not to be from the country’s political elite or military.Pope Francis’s visit to the Philippines18 January 2015An 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 Abdullah23 January 2015Abdullah, the King of Saudi Arabia from 2005 to 2015, died and was succeeded by King Salman.Death of Lee Kuan Yew23 March 2015Founding 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 2015India and Bangladesh officially ratified their 1974 agreement to exchange enclaves along their border.2016 Taiwanese general election16 January 2016Tsai Ing-wen was elected President of Taiwan, the first woman to hold the position.2016 Philippine presidential election9 May 2016Rodrigo Duterte was elected President of the Philippines.Death of Bhumibol Adulyadej13 October 2016Bhumibol Adulyadej, the King of Thailand from 1946 to 2016, died and was succeeded by his son, Vajiralongkorn.Impeachment of Park Geun-hye10 March 2017South 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.2017 South Korean presidential election9 May 2017Moon 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 Malaysian general election9 May 2018The 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 2018United 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 Kelantan6 January 2019Muhammad 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 North Korea–United States Hanoi Summit 27–28 February 2019United 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 2019North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un meets with Russian president Vladimir Putin on Russky Island after being invited to hold talks.Abdication of Akihito30 April 2019Akihito, the Emperor of Japan from 1989 to 2019, abdicated and was succeeded by his son, Naruhito.2019–20 Persian Gulf crisis 5 May 2019The Persian Gulf region saw tensions between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran escalate in mid-2019. The crisis saw oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz sabotaged and seized, drone shootdowns, and efforts by the U.S. and United Kingdom to pursue military patrols to protect shipping in the gulf.2019 Koreas–United States DMZ Summit 30 June 2019United States President, North Korea‘s Supreme Leader and South Korea‘s President, Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in, formally meet at an impromptu summit at the Korean Demilitarized Zone. The summit saw the first time a sitting U.S. president stepped into North Korea since the Korean War.EuropeEventCountryDateDescriptionReferencesResignation of Silvio Berlusconi16 November 2011The 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 II6 February 2012Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, which marked the 60th anniversary of her accession.2012 French presidential election22 April 2012François 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 Francis28 February – 13 March 2013Benedict 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.Death of Margaret Thatcher8 April 2013Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990, died.2013 Italian presidential election20 April 2013Amid 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.Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation18 March 2014Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine following an internationally unrecognized referendum on the status of the region.2014 Scottish independence referendum18 September 2014In 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 Spain19 June 2014King Juan Carlos I of Spain abdicated in favour of his son, Felipe VI.2015 Irish constitutional referendums23 May 2015The 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 Agreement12 December 2015A 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.2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum23 June 2016In 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.2016 Austrian presidential election4 December 2016Independent green Alexander Van der Bellen narrowly beat the far-right Freedom Party of Austria candidate Norbert Hofer in a repeat of the 2016 Austrian presidential election after the first election was annulled.2017 French presidential election7 May 2017En 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.Death of Helmut Kohl16 June 2017Helmut Kohl, former Chancellor of Germany from 1982 to 1998 (of West Germany 1982–1990 and of the reunited Germany 1990–1998), dies at the age of 87.2017 Spanish constitutional crisis6 September 2017Political conflict sparks between the Spanish and the Catalan governments over the 2017 Catalan independence referendum. It still went ahead, with 91% of voters supporting independence within Catalonia, with unionists and Spain opposing the vote. On 27 October, Catalonia declares independence from Spain but it is not recognized by any sovereign nation, while Madrid imposes direct rule for 6 months.2018 Italian general election4 March 2018The 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.2018 Russian presidential election18 March 2018Presidential 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.2019 European Parliament election23–26 May 2019The first European Parliamentary election following the European migrant crisis and the vote for Brexit saw large anti-establishment gains by the Greens-European Free Alliance and by Right-Wing Eurosceptic Parties within Identity and Democracy and European Conservatives and Reformists, such as League in Italy, Alternative for Germany, and National Rally in France. Other populist gains were seen in the success of the Brexit Party in the United Kingdom and the Five Star Movement in Italy.2019 Conservative Party leadership election7 June – 22 July 2019The Conservative Party of the United Kingdom voted for Boris Johnson to be the party’s new leader and prime minister following the resignation of Theresa May on 24 May 2019, the party’s first contested leadership election since 2005.2019 United Kingdom general election12 December 2019After an extended period of political deadlock over how to proceed with leaving the European Union an early general election took place in the United Kingdom in which the pro-withdrawal Conservative party won a sizeable majority of seats effectively guaranteeing Brexit would take place in January the following year.World leaders2010 – 2011 – 2012 – 2013 – 2014 – 2015 – 2016 – 2017 – 2018 – 2019Assassinations and attempts
Prominent assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts include:
DateDescription1 January 2011Reynaldo Dagsa, Philippine Barangay official from Caloocan, was assassinated by two men during New Year’s Eve.8 January 2011Federal judge John Roll and 5 others were killed and 13 more were injured in a shooting near Tucson. The apparent target, U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords, was critically injured in the head.2 May 2011Osama 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 2011Esmael 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 2011Anwar 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 2011Muammar Gaddafi, Libya’s ousted leader, was shot to death in Sirte.4 September 2012Pauline 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 2012Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani women’s rights activist, was the victim of an assassination attempt by the Taliban in Pakistan.6 February 2013Chokri Belaid, Tunisian opposition leader of the Democratic Patriots’ Unified Party, was fatally shot.22 May 2013Lee 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 2015Zulkifli Abdhir, suspected member of Jemaah Islamiyah, was killed in a police operation in Mamasapano, Philippines.27 February 2015Boris Nemtsov, Russian physicist, statesman and opposition politician, was assassinated on the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge, Central Moscow, Russia, within sight of the Kremlin.5 March 2015Mark 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 2015Alison 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 2016Aid al-Qarni, Islamic Muslim scholar, author and activist, was shot injured in an assassination attempt in Zamboanga City in the Philippines.16 June 2016Jo 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.18 June 2016At a rally for Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, British illegal alien, Michael Steven Sandford attempted to assassinate the candidate, grabbing the pistol of a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officer providing security for the event. After waiving his Miranda Rights Sandford claimed that he had wished to kill Trump to prevent him from becoming president.19 December 2016Andrei Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, was killed in a gun attack at an art gallery in Ankara.1 January 2017Emmanuel Niyonkuru, the Burundian environment minister, was shot dead in the nation’s capital, Bujumbura.13 February 2017Kim Jong-nam, eldest son of the late Kim Jong-il, was assassinated by two women in Malaysia with a VX nerve agent.14 June 2017Republican congressmen were fired upon by 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson, a left-wing activist from Illinois, during practice ahead of the annual Congressional Baseball Game in Alexandria, Virginia. Congressman Steve Scalise was shot in the hip, American lobbyist Matt Mika was shot multiple times, legislative aide Zach Barth was shot in the calf and Capitol Police officer Crystal Griner sustained a gunshot wound in the ankle. Only Hodgkinson died, in a shootout with 4 police officers.16 October 2017Isnilon Hapilon, Emir of ISIL in Southeast Asia and leader of Abu Sayyaf, was killed in a military operation in Marawi City, which rescued 17 hostages.4 March 2018Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent, was poisoned alongside his daughter Yulia in the city of Salisbury with a Novichok agent.2 July 2018Antonio 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 2018Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Arabian dissident and journalist for The Washington Post, was assassinated in the Saudi Arabian consulate by the Saudi Government in Istanbul, Turkey.October 2018Cesar Sayoc sends sixteen homemade pipe bombs to various critics of president Donald Trump, including Democratic party members, the CNN world headquarters, and actor Robert De Niro. All packages are infiltrated.22 December 2018Rodel Batocabe, Philippine party–list representative, was assassinated in a gift giving event for senior citizens in Daraga, Albay.13 January 2019Paweł 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.14 September 2019U.S. President Donald Trump confirmed that Hamza bin Laden, the son of Osama bin Laden, had been killed in a United States counterterrorism operation in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region, after he was placed on the SDT list in January 2017.27 October 2019Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIL, was killed during a raid by U.S. special forces in northwestern Syria.DisastersNon-natural disastersAviationEventDateCountryDescriptionReferencesEthiopian Airlines Flight 40925 January 2010Ethiopian 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 crash10 April 2010Polish 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 77112 May 2010Afriqiyah 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 81222 May 2010Air India Express Flight 812 overshot the runway at Mangalore International Airport in India, killing 158 people, with eight surviving.Airblue Flight 20228 July 2010Airblue 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 9923 June 2012Dana 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 2146 July 2013Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed at San Francisco airport killing 3 and injuring 181 people.Malaysia Airlines Flight 3708 March 2014Malaysia 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 1717 July 2014Malaysia 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 501724 July 2014Air Algérie Flight 5017 crashed in southern Mali, killing all 116 passengers and crew.Indonesia AirAsia Flight 850128 December 2014Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 crashed in the Java sea after an attempt to avoid heavy thunderstorms, leaving all 162 people dead.Germanwings Flight 952524 March 2015Germanwings Flight 9525 crashed in the French Alps, killing all 150 on board.2015 Indonesian Air Force Lockheed C-130 Hercules crash30 June 2015A 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 926831 October 2015Metrojet 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 293329 November 2016A chartered Avro RJ85 plane carrying 77 people, including the Chapecoense football team, crashes near Medellín, Colombia. Six of the passengers survived. The 2016 Copa Sudamericana Finals were suspended, and Atlético Nacional, Chapecoense’s to-be opponents, gave them the trophy out of respect.2016 Russian Defence Ministry Tupolev Tu-154 crash25 December 2016A Tupolev Tu-154 crashes near Sochi, Russia, killing all 92 people on board, including 64 members of the Alexandrov Ensemble.Iran Aseman Airlines Flight 370418 February 2018Iran 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 97218 May 2018Cubana 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 61029 October 2018Lion Air Flight 610 crashes off the coast of Java, with 189 passengers on board.Ethiopian Airlines Flight 30210 March 2019Ethiopian 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 14925 May 2019Aeroflot Flight 1492 makes a hard landing, causing fire and partial destruction at Sheremetyevo International Airport, Moscow, killing 41 of the 78 people on board.
GeneralEventDateCountryDescriptionReferences2010 Copiapó mining accident13 October 2010Thirty-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 collapse24 April 2013An 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 explosions12 August 2015Two 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 collapse11 September 2015A crane toppled over at Mecca, killing 111 people, weeks before the official Hajj pilgrimage.2015 Mina stampede24 September 2015A 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 disaster5 November 2015An 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 rescue23 June – 10 July 2018Twelve boys and their football coach are rescued from the flooded Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Thailand, following a 17-day ordeal that gained worldwide attention.Ponte Morandi Collapse14 August 2018Part 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.Tlahuelilpan pipeline explosion18 January 2019A gasoline pipeline exploded in the town of Tlahuelilpan, in the Mexican state of Hidalgo. The blast killed at least 135 people and injured dozens more. Mexican authorities blamed fuel thieves, who had illegally tapped the pipeline.2019 Xiangshui chemical plant explosion21 March 2019A 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.FiresEventDateCountryDescriptionReferencesComayagua prison fire14–15 February 2012A fire at the National Penitentiary in Comayagua, Honduras killed 361 people.2012 Dhaka garment factory fire24 November 2012117 people were confirmed dead in a garment factory fire, and over 200 were injured, making it the deadliest factory fire in the nation’s history.Kiss nightclub fire27 January 2013242 people were killed in a fire at a nightclub in Santa Maria, Brazil.Ghost Ship warehouse fire2 December 201636 were killed in an artists’ live-and-work collective in an Oakland, CA accident due to substandard wiring.Grenfell Tower fire14 June 2017A 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 fire25 March 201860 people die in a fire at a shopping and entertainment complex in the Russian city of Kemerovo.2018 Valencia, Venezuela fire28 March 2018At least 78 people die in a fire in the police headquarters of Valencia, Venezuela.National Museum of Brazil fire2 September 2018A fire destroys the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro. No one was injured, but 90 percent of the collection was destroyed.February 2019 Dhaka fire20 February 2019A major fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh kills at least 78 people.Notre-Dame de Paris fire15 April 2019A 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.
MarineEventDateCountryDescriptionReferencesCosta Concordia disaster13 January 2012The 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 Sewol16 April 2014South Korean ferry MV Sewol capsized while en route to Jeju, killing 295 people, mostly secondary school students from Danwon High School.Sinking of Dongfang zhi Xing1 June 2015The river cruise ship Dongfang zhi Xing capsized in the Yangtze River after being hit by a waterspout, killing 442 people, making it the deadliest maritime disaster in China‘s peacetime history.Sinking of MV Nyerere20 September 2018The MV Nyerere capsizes on Lake Victoria, killing at least 227 passengers.PollutionEventDateCountryDescriptionReferencesDeepwater Horizon oil spill20 April 2010An 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 disaster11 March 2011A 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 crisis25 April 2014The 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.Natural disastersEarthquakes and tsunamisEventDateCountryDescriptionReferences2010 Haiti earthquake12 January 2010A 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti, causing widespread destruction in Port-au-Prince. Haitian authorities believe that the disaster killed between 200,000 and 250,000 people and over three million more were affected by the quake. The earthquake was the deadliest disaster in the decade.2010 Chile earthquake27 February 2010An 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 earthquake4 April 2010A 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 earthquake13 April 2010A 6.9 magnitude earthquake occurred in western China, killing at least 2,200 and injuring more than 12,000.February 2011 Christchurch earthquake22 February 2011A 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 185 people.2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami11 March 2011A 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 earthquake23 October 2011A 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck the Turkish city of Van, leaving over 604 dead and thousands more injured.April 2015 Nepal earthquake25 April 2015A 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 earthquake12 May 2015A second major earthquake hit Nepal, measuring 7.3 on the moment magnitude scale, killing 218 more people.2016 Ecuador earthquake16 April 2016A 7.8 earthquake struck near Muisne, Ecuador, killing over 673 people and displacing at least 25,000 more.August 2016 Central Italy earthquake24 August 2016A 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck Central Italy near Norcia, 75 km (47 mi) southeast of Perugia and 45 km (28 mi) north of L’Aquila, in an area near the tripoint of the Umbria, Lazio, and Marche regions. At least 299 people have been left dead.2017 Central Mexico earthquake19 September 2017A 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 tsunami28 September 2018A 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 tsunami22 December 2018A tsunami hits the Sunda Strait, Indonesia, killing at least 430 people and injuring nearly 1,500.2019 Peru earthquake26 May 2019An 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck in Loreto Region, Peru, killing 2 people and injures more than 30 others.2019 Albania earthquake26 November 2019A 6.4 magnitude earthquake hits Albania near the cities of Durrës and Tirana, killing 51 people and injuring over 3,000 others.Tropical cyclonesEventDateCountryDescriptionReferencesTyphoon Megi18 October 2010Typhoon 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 Washi16 December 2011Tropical 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 Sandy25 October 2012VariousHurricane 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 Bopha2 December 2012Typhoon Bopha, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Pablo, struck the Philippines, killing at least 650 people and leaving millions more homeless.Typhoon Haiyan7 November 2013Typhoon 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.Hurricane Joaquin28 September 2015 – 7 October 2015Hurricane Joaquin was a powerful tropical cyclone that devastated several districts of the Bahamas and caused damage in the Turks and Caicos Islands, parts of the Greater Antilles, and Bermuda.Typhoon Melor13 December 2015Typhoon Melor, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Nona, hits the Philippines, killing 42 and causing $136 million in damages.Cyclone Winston20 February 2016Cyclone Winston struck Fiji, killing 44 people and causing $1.4 billion in damages, making it the costliest tropical cyclone in South Pacific history.Hurricane Matthew28 September 2016 – 9 October 2016Hurricane Matthew caused catastrophic damage and a humanitarian crisis in Haiti, as well as widespread devastation in the southeastern United States. The deadliest Atlantic hurricane since Hurricane Stan in 2005, it caused extensive damage to landmasses in the Greater Antilles, severe damage in several islands of the Bahamas and was responsible for 603 fatalities.Hurricane Harvey23 August 2017Hurricane 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 $125 billion, making it the costliest natural disaster ever in the United States, tied with 2005’s Hurricane Katrina.Hurricane Irma30 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 Maria16 September 2017 – 3 October 2017Hurricane 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 Mangkhut15 September 2018Typhoon Mangkhut, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Ompong, hits northern Luzon, triggering deadly landslides and killing at least 95 people.Hurricane Michael7 October 2018 – 16 October 2018Hurricane Michael was the first Category 5 hurricane to strike the contiguous United States since Andrew in 1992. In addition, it was the third-most intense Atlantic hurricane to make landfall in the contiguous United States in terms of pressure, behind the 1935 Labor Day hurricane and Hurricane Camille of 1969. It was the first Category 5 hurricane on record to impact the Florida Panhandle, and was the fourth-strongest landfalling hurricane in the contiguous United States, in terms of wind speed. Michael was responsible for 74 deaths.Hurricane Dorian24 August 2019 – 10 September 2019 Hurricane Dorian was one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes in years, and also is tied as the strongest landfalling Atlantic hurricane since the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane. Dorian also became the worst natural disaster in all of the Bahamas‘ history, killing over 73 people and causing over US$4.68 billion in damage, with US$3.4 billion of damage in The Bahamas alone after the storm stalled over Grand Bahama at incredible Category 5 intensity. The storm also caused 1.2 billion dollars of damage in the United States after making landfall near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.TornadoesEventDateCountryDescriptionReferences2011 Super Outbreak25–28 April 2011A tornado outbreak in the United States and Canada killed 324 people across six states. At 360 tornadoes, it was the largest and one of the deadliest tornado outbreaks in United States history.21–26 May 2011 tornado outbreak sequence21 May 2011Another U.S. tornado outbreak took place over six days. 178 people were killed, most of which occurred in Joplin, Missouri after an EF5 tornado swept through the city, killing 158 people and injuring at least 1,150.2019 Nepal tornado31 March 2019A 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.Floods, avalanches, and mudslidesEventDateCountryDescriptionReferences2010 Pakistan floodsJuly 2010Flooding 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 mudslides11 January 2011Floods and mudslides killed 903 people across the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.2013 Alberta floods19 June 2013Massive flooding occurred in Alberta, becoming the province’s worst flooding in decades.2014 Southeast Europe floods13–27 May 2014
Between 13 and 18 May 2014 a low pressure cyclone designated “Tamara” and “Yvette” affected a large area of Southeastern and Central Europe, causing floods and landslides. Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina suffered the greatest damage as the rain was the heaviest in 120 years of recorded weather measurements. At least 86 people were killed and hundreds of thousands had been forced from their homes. Assessments of damage range up to 3.5 billion euros for Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina.2015 Afghanistan avalanches24 February 2015An avalanche killed 310 people and wounded over 129 in Panjshir Province, Afghanistan.2015 South Indian floods8 November 2015Heavy rainfall generated by the annual northeast monsoon affected the Coromandel Coast region of the South Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. More than 500 people were killed and over 1.8 million people were displaced. With estimates of damages and losses ranging from nearly ₹200 billion (US$3 billion) to over ₹1 trillion (US$14 billion), the floods were the costliest to have occurred in 2015, and were among the costliest natural disasters of the year.Volcanic eruptionsEventDateCountryDescriptionReferences2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull20 March 2010Eruptions 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 MerapiEarly November 2010Mount 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 eruption3 May 2018A lava flow erupted in Hawai’i from Kīlauea’s east rift zone, causing much damage and resulting in evacuation orders.2018 Volcán de Fuego eruption3 June 2018Volcán de Fuego erupted in Guatemala, killing at least 190 people, the deadliest eruption in Guatemala since 1929.2019 Whakaari/White Island eruption9 December 2019Whakaari/White Island, an active stratovolcano off the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island, erupted, killing 20 people.Droughts, heat waves, and wildfiresEventDateCountryDescriptionReferences2011–17 California droughtDecember 2011 – March 2017The 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 wave24 May 2015A heatwave in Southern India resulted in over 2,500 deaths.2015 Pakistani heat wave20 June 2015A related heatwave hit neighbouring Pakistan, killing over 2,000 people in Karachi alone.2016 Fort McMurray wildfire1 May 2016A 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 Fire8–25 November 2018A 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 17.2019 Amazon rainforest wildfiresJanuary 2019 – October 2019
The 2019 wildfires season saw an unusual surge in the number of fires occurring in the Amazon rainforest and other parts of the Amazon biome contained within the countries of Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Peru during the 2019 Amazonian tropical dry season.2019–20 Australian bushfiresAugust 2019 – June 2020The 2019 Australian bushfire season arrived in the wake of heavy droughts across the country, with fires covering the east coast including the metropolitan confines of Sydney. So far there have been 6 fatalities and hundreds of properties destroyed. Subsequent smoke has covered the city of Sydney, causing toxic air pollution.Economics
Greece and Eurozone’s rise of debt in the early years of the decade
The weighted capital city residential property price index, produced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, since 2003
The 2010s began amidst a global financial crisis that started in the late 2000s. 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. 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. 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, resulting in the Arab Spring.
In 2010, China became the second largest global economy, surpassing Japan. Japan also saw a rating downgrade the following year due to debt burden. In August 2011, the S&P downgraded the United States‘ credit rating from triple AAA to AA-plus following a debt ceiling crisis. Also in 2011, a Gallup poll found that more than half of Americans believed the country was still in a recession. In June 2015, the Shanghai Stock Exchange lost a third of the value of A-shares within one month, an event known as the 2015–16 Chinese stock market turbulence. India became the fastest growing major economy of the world in 2015, surpassing China. In 2018, as the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates, fears of a yield curve inversion preceding a potential U.S. recession sent inflation higher in several emerging markets, including Argentina, where interest rates hit 40% and an International Monetary Fund bail out was issued. In 2019, Singapore supplanted the United States as the world’s most competitive economy, with the U.S. dropping to third, behind Hong Kong.
As a result of the global recession, many central banks instituted a zero interest-rate policy, or close to it. Another form of monetary stimulus was that of quantitative easing. The resulting flood of market liquidity caused a rise in asset prices. As a result, for example, US stock prices reached record highs. Another concequence has been the rise in housing prices in many major world cities. Some of the cities which recorded the most dramatic rises included Sydney, San Francisco, Vancouver, and Auckland.
Global oil production in 2014 reached a historic peak, reaching 93 million barrels/day. In 2018, partially due to a shale boom, the United States overcame Russia and Saudi Arabia in becoming the world’s largest crude oil producer, the first time since 1973. Around the year 2017 is a period seen by some economists as being the new peak of a “goldilocks economy“. The International Monetary Fund’s April 2019 World Economic Outlook stated, “After peaking at close to 4 percent in 2017, global [economic] growth remained strong, at 3.8 percent in the first half of 2018, but dropped to 3.2 percent in the second half of the year.”
In 2018, United States President Donald Trump announced he would put into place new tariffs on some Chinese products, starting the ‘US-China Trade War‘, an economic conflict involving the world’s two largest economies. Trump said the reasoning for the trade war is to punish China for ‘unfair’ trade practices, such as the appropriation of jobs and the theft of American intellectual property. China responded with tariffs of its own, and a cycle began, escalating the conflict to the situation faced today. As part of his ‘America First‘ policy, Trump also announced new tariffs were being placed on countries around the world for various products such as steel and aluminum, which has drawn some economic retaliation.
By the end of the decade, in North American and some Western European domestic economies, consumer-level purchasing habits had shifted significantly, a partial consequence of the Great Recession‘s impact on discretionary incomes and a shifting breadwinner model. The so-called “retail apocalypse” had commenced as consumers increasingly resorted to online shopping and e-commerce, accelerating the decline of brick-and-mortar retail and the continued decline of indoor shopping malls. The transitioning retail industry and popularity of online shopping facilitated economic phenomena such as bricks and clicks business models, pop-up and non-store retailing, drone delivery services, ghost restaurants, and a quickly maturing online food ordering and delivery service sector. This was only further perpetuated by the rise in cryptocurrency throughout the decade, such as Bitcoin. By May 2018, over 1,800 cryptocurrency specifications existed.
In the same vein as cryptocurrency, the trend towards a cashless society continued as non-cash transactions and digital currency saw an increase in favorability in the 2010s. By 2016, only about 2 percent of the value transacted in Sweden was by cash, and only about 20 percent of retail transactions were in cash. Fewer than half of bank branches in the country conducted cash transactions. A report published during the final year of the decade suggested that the percentage of payments conducted in cash in the United Kingdom had fallen to 34% from 63% ten years earlier. The 2016 United States User Consumer Survey Study claimed that 75 percent of respondents preferred a credit or debit card as their payment method while only 11 percent of respondents preferred cash.
Science and technology
Below are the most significant scientific developments of each year, based on the annual Breakthrough of the Year award of the American Association for the Advancement of Science journal Science.
- 2011: HIV treatment as prevention (HPTN 052)
- 2012: Discovery of the Higgs boson
- 2013: Cancer immunotherapy
- 2014: Rosetta comet mission
- 2015: CRISPR genome-editing method
- 2016: The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory makes the first observation of gravitational waves, fulfilling Einstein‘s prediction
- 2017: Cosmic convergence: Neutron star merger (GW170817)
- 2018: Development cell by cell
- 2019: A black hole first imaged.
Cyber security and hacking
EventDateDescriptionAfghan War documents leak25 July 2010WikiLeaks 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.StuxnetAugust 2010A 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 leak22 October 2010WikiLeaks 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 Offshore leaksApril 2013A 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 2013Edward Snowden leaked files through the Guardian newspaper detailing National Security Agency (NSA) privacy policies, including PRISM, the NSA call database, and Boundless Informant.Office of Personnel Management data breach5 June 2015The 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 heist4 February 2016The 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 Papers3 April 201611.5 million confidential documents were leaked from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca that detailed financial and attorney–client information of more than 214,488 offshore companies. The leaks revealed information of various prominent figures being involved in hidden financial dealings within tax havens and companies doing business with terrorist organizations and governments under international sanctions.Yahoo! data breach22 September 2016Yahoo 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.October 2016 Dyn cyberattack21 October 2016A 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.WannaCry ransomware attack12 May 2017A 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 Papers5 November 2017A 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.Health and society
AIDS, a pandemic responsible for killing over 30 million people since its discovery in the early 1980s, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, became a treatable condition, though by the end of the decade only two cases had been cured. With good treatment patients can generally expect normal lives and lifespans. However, as of 2011 only some 5 million of the 12 million afflicted had access to such treatment.
During the 2010s, social changes included increases in life expectancy and fall in birth rate leading to larger proportions of the population being elderly. Putting pressure on pension and other social security programs in developed nations. The environment became a topic of greater public concern around the world. Many parts of the world moved towards greater acceptance of LGBT people often including the legalisation of same-sex marriage. Whilst the internet took an ever greater role in entertainment, communication, politics and commerce, especially for younger people and those living in wealthier countries. In 2011, the world population reached seven billion people.
Netflix, a steaming service which for a fee gave users access to a portfolio of films and television, rose to prominence from around the middle of the 2010s onwards.
Silly Bandz, an iconic piece of pop culture and fashion wear in the early 2010s.
One of the sets used in the television show The Big Bang Theory, which was popular in the 2010s.
President Donald Trump, elected in 2016. Before office, he was a reality TV star and businessman.
The Fidget Spinner, one of the most popular toys of the decade, along with Silly Bandz. They gained popularity in 2017
The Nintendo 3DS, a portable 3D gaming device that contained glasses free 3D, and was released during the height of the 3D fad in the 2010s. It’s flagship title was Super Mario 3D Land.
An iPhone, which were popular and new gadgets in the 2010s. iPhones could be used to play games, make telephone calls, and check the internet.
The Nintendo Wii was a popular gaming console in the 2010s which influenced the Microsoft Kinect and PlayStation Move. The most critically acclaimed game of the decade Super Mario Galaxy 2 released on this console.
An image of Nyan Cat, the title character of the popular 2011 YouTube video. Nyan Cat was a popular internet meme. In the 2010s, internet memes were of cultural significance. Examples of other popular memes in the 2010s include Trollface and Pepe the Frog.
A Diamond Sword from the popular game Minecraft. In the 2010s, cosplay pulled in more of a crowd as people dressed up as their favorite TV show characters, video game characters, etc and went to conventions. Items like the Diamond Sword could be used in cosplay.
Social Media like Instagram took off by the Mid-Late 2010s and was used to share images and talk with friends.
A self-balancing scooter. These devices though they weren’t main stream, attracted much attention and curiosity around 2015 on the internet.
Around 2015-2016, Selfie Sticks were a fad. They allowed people to attach their phone to a stick/dock to take pictures from a better angle.
Wavy hair and the growing of beards became trends. Fashion wise, the 2010s supported more formal and colorful outfits. Fashion Items that were popular in the 2010s include cellphones, Fidget Spinners, Silly Bandz, Selfie Sticks, etc. People also wore shirts with references to television shows, video games, and memes on them.
An image of people playing the mobile game Pokémon Go on their cellphones in a group.
During the Late 2010s, First Generation Virtual Reality took off, and inspired films like Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One.
A PlayStation 4 Controller. The PlayStation 4 was released in 2013 and succeeded the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, the seventh generation systems that started out the 2010s.
Someone cosplaying as the character Ramona Flowers from the 2010 movie Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. The fashion of Ramona Flowers and other fictional characters was responsible for igniting the egirl aesthetic seen in the late 2010s, 2018-2019. Many egirls had short, possibly colored hair (pink/blue), and posted pictures of themselves online. egirls showed a step away from the striped shirts and casual / formal nature of the early-mid ’10s.
In the Late 2010s vaping became popular. Some people would purchase and smoke eCigarettes, or the more expensive Juul brand. Vape flavors could be purchased like mint, mango, fruit, and creme. Vaping became controversial and in late 2019 Donald Trump condemned Juuls but said that “not all vaping is bad.”
Vaporwave was a 2010s music genre that attracted attention. It consisted of remixing and stylizing electronic sounds/music with often distinct album covers. LoFi hiphop was also new and grew a following.
A group of teens dabbing, a gesture which was popular around 2015-2016.
Superhero films became box office leaders, especially with the Marvel Cinematic Universe whose Avengers: Endgame became the highest-grossing film of all time, grossing over $2.7 billion worldwide, followed by Avengers: Infinity War, The Avengers and Black Panther. The Lion King (2019 film) became the highest-grossing animated film of all time worldwide while Incredibles 2 became the highest-grossing animated film of all time in North America. Brave became the first film to use the Dolby Atmos sound format. Motion Capture grew in terms of its realism and reach, and was seen in movies like Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One (film). Cable providers saw a decline in subscriber numbers as cord cutters switched to lower cost online streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu. On cable television as well as streaming services, a variety of shows gained popularity. Cartoons such as Rick and Morty, Adventure Time, Gravity Falls, Regular Show, and The Amazing World Of Gumball gained a cult following during the decade. Live Action television saw the rise of shows like The Big Bang Theory, a sitcom that resembled sitcoms of decades prior but had a strong focus on showcasing 2010s culture and technology (Though it wasn’t instantly a success, The Big Bang Theory gained popularity throughout its early seasons spending most of the eight years prior to its finale in 2019 as the top sitcom on American television, eventually reaching the top spot in all television viewership during its 2017–2018 season). The video steaming website YouTube became immensely popular especially among younger people, as videos and channels like Nyan Cat, Fred Figglehorn (FRED), The Annoying Orange, SMOSH, PewDiePie and others attracted millions of views. Animated content and reaction videos also became popular on YouTube throughout the decade. Globalism and an increased demand for variety and personalization in the face of music streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music created many subgenres. Dance, hip-hop, and pop music surged in the 2010s, with EDM achieving mass commercial success in the middle of the decade but falling somewhat into decline by the end. US digital music sales topped CD sales in 2012. The video game industry continued to be dominated by Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft; Minecraft possibly became the best-selling game of all time in 2019. Video Games expanded their status across the world, as the Wii influenced gaming in much of the earlier part of the decade, and the Nintendo 3DS provided true 3D. The successful Nintendo Wii was followed by the Wii U in 2012, a failure. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One released in 2013, and in the United States the PlayStation 4 became the highest selling console of the decade. Super Mario Galaxy 2 for the Nintendo Wii was one of the most critically acclaimed games of the decade winning multiple awards, including a perfect rating of 10/10 by IGN. Gaming on iPods, tablets, and cell phones was also an option in the form of apps like Fruit Ninja, Subway Surfers, Angry Birds, Cut The Rope, Doodle Jump, Candy Crush and Augmented Reality games like Pokémon Go. This was one of the most popular forms of gaming as the decade progressed with the rise of mobile games expanding the industry’s appeal among less traditional markets such as women and older adults. Fashion of the 2010s became more formal, and the fashion of the decade was often defined by gimmicky accessories, like Silly Bandz, the Fidget Spinner, and people’s handheld devices, cell phones, as well as gaming devices like the Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS, the PlayStation Vita, and in the later part of the decade, the Nintendo Switch. In the toy market, “Toys To Life” products became very popular, like Nintendo’s amiibo, Activision’s Skylanders, and Disney’s Disney Infinity, all of which were action figures with NFC chips that synced up to video games to unlock certain things in their respective game or to be of use in game. Funko Pops also became popular among collectors and entertainment fanatics.  The best-selling book of the decade was Fifty Shades of Grey, having sold 15.2 million copies worldwide, and one of the best selling book franchises of the decade was the Diary Of A Wimpy Kid series which depiction of life from the perspective of a preteen schoolboy was a success among young audiences and spawned several movies. 
As the 2010s drew to a close the decade was generally looked back on as a politically unstable period. An article in the New York Times stated ‘With the rise of nationalist movements and a backlash against globalization on both sides of the Atlantic, the liberal post-World War II order — based on economic integration and international institutions — began to unravel’. It heavily discussed the US presidency of Donald Trump (a Reality TV Star and businessman with no political experience at the time of taking office, succeeding Barack Obama) whilst also commenting ‘Echoes of Mr. Trump’s nativist populism can be found in Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain’s recent electoral victory and the Brexit referendum of 2016, and in the ascent of the far-right President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India. Democracy is under threat in Hungary and Poland. Once fringe right-wing parties with openly racist agendas are rebranding themselves in Sweden and Belgium. And far-right groups in Germany and Spain are now the third-largest parties in those nations’ parliaments.’ A December 2019 piece in the guardian argued that the 2010s would be remembered ‘as a time of crises’, elaborating ‘there have been crises of democracy and the economy; of the climate and poverty; of international relations and national identity; of privacy and technology’ the article also noted that in Britain ‘politics since 2010 has often been manic. Parties have hastily changed their leaders and policies; sometimes their entire guiding philosophies. Last week’s general election was the fourth of the decade; the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s had two apiece.’ Similar trends of political unrest were felt beyond the Western world, as suggested in The Asian Review which described the 2010s as a “tumultuous time for Asia, sometimes tragic, sometimes triumphant and never dull.”
US President Donald Trump chatting with American Rapper Kanye West in the Oval Office.
Carlo Frisi, an Italian actor impersonating US President Donald Trump, political related comedy and impersonations of politicians was seen in the 2010s.
Barack Obama, the first African American president of the United States posing with McKayla Maroney, a gymnast.
President Donald Trump giving a speech during the signing of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act. At the end of 2019 the US Space Force would launch.
An image of former US President George H.W. Bush who died in November 2018, and was the only US president to die in the 2010s.
President Donald Trump’s inauguration, which took place on January 20, 2017.
A selfie of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, taken in 2014.
The following articles contain brief timelines which list the most prominent events of the decade:
- Jamrisko, Michelle. “Political polarization affects economic views” Salon. Associated Press, 2013. Web. 7 January 2015.
- Zeke Miller (10 August 2011). “Americans Want Higher Taxes On Wealthy, No Entitlement Reform In ‘Super Committee’ Deal”. Businessinsider.com. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
- “Herman Cain: Obama “Just Doesn’t Have A Clue” On Economic Issues”. RealClearPolitics. 5 September 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
- “Democracy Corps/Women’s Voices. Women Vote Action Fund Frequency Questionnaire” (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 July 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
- “Congressional Favorability Ratings – Rasmussen Reports™”. Rasmussenreports.com. 27 October 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
- Media related to 2010s at Wikimedia Commons