File:2010s collage v21.png|From left, clockwise: Anti-government protests during the Arab Spring; Crimea is annexed by Russia in 2014; ISIS/ISIL perpetrates terrorist attacks and captures territory in Syria and Iraq; climate change awareness and the Paris Agreement; the first image of a black hole; Obergefell v. Hodges legalizes same-sex marriage in the United States; increasing use of digital and mobile technologies; the UK votes to leave the EU.|420x420px|thumb rect 0 0 400 400 Arab Spring rect 400 0 800 400 Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation rect 800 0 1200 400 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant rect 0 400 600 800 Brexit rect 600 400 1200 800 Paris Agreement rect 0 800 400 1200 Smartphone rect 400 800 800 1200 Obergefell v. Hodges rect 800 800 1200 1200 Black hole The 2010s (pronounced "twenty-tens", shortened to "the '10s") was a decade of the Gregorian calendar that began on 1 January 2010, and ended on 31 December 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 organisation 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. In the US, Donald Trump became president. 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, woke culture and online call-out culture. Online nonprofit organisation 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. Superhero films (most notably the Marvel Cinematic Universe) and animated films became box office leaders in the decade's cinema industry. 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 personalisation 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''.

Politics and conflicts

Major conflicts

The prominent wars of the decade include:

International wars

Civil wars

Revolutions and major protests

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

Arab Spring

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 recognised the importance of social media for organising and have shut down certain sites or blocked Internet service entirely, especially in the times preceding a major rally. Governments have also scrutinised or suppressed discussion in those forums through accusing content creators of unrelated crimes or shutting down communication on specific sites or groups, such as through Facebook.

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.

Terrorist attacks

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

Political trends

International relations

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 centre. In 2018, global military spending reached the highest it has been since 1988, late Cold War levels, largely fuelled by increased defence 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 defence spending and continued to modernise 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 organisation. 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.

Western polarisation

Socio-political polarisation increased as conservatives and social liberals clashed over the role and size of government and other social, economic and environmental issues in the West. In the United States, polls showed a divided electorate regarding healthcare reform, immigration, gun rights, taxation, job creation, and debt reduction. *Jamrisko, Michelle
"Political polarisation affects economic views"
''Salon''. Associated Press, 2013. Web. 7 January 2015. * * * *
In Europe, movements protesting increasing numbers of refugees and migrants from Islamic countries developed, such as the English Defence League and Pegida. The trend of polarisation in the West was partially influenced by the prevalence of identity politics, both left-wing and right-wing, among activist movements. 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 in the West due to Drastically increased migration and corresponding crime and amongst both the right and left general disatistcation with Western government and Media responses to certain issues. 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.

Antiestablishment politics

Populism in politics saw a widespread surge throughout the decade, with many politicians and various political movements expressing populist sentiments and utilising 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 centre-right and centre-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 centre-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. Centre-left, neoliberal and traditional social democratic parties often lost their vote share to more socialist or democratic socialist alternatives, especially in Europe. This happened most completely in Greece, where PASOK was replaced by Syriza as the main left-wing party. Other far-left parties which rose in prominence included Podemos in Spain and La France Insoumise in France. In the two-party systems of the English-speaking world, these challenges mainly came from within the established parties of the left, with Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Party and Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour Party pushing for more left-wing policies. The political establishment was also challenged in many countries by protest movements, often organised through new social media platforms. These included the various Arab Spring protests, the Occupy movement, and the yellow vests movement.

Democracy and authoritarianism

Countries which democratised 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). Democratic backsliding occurred in countries such as Hungary, Venezuela, and Turkey. 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.

Prominent political events


''Coups d'état'' against ruling governments during the decade include: The following tables of events is listed by the region and by chronological order. The prominent political events include, but are not limited to:





World leaders

: 2010201120122013201420152016201720182019

Assassinations and attempts

Prominent assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts include:


Non-natural disasters


File:Katastrofa w Smoleńsku.jpg|On 10 April 2010 a Tupolev Tu-154 aircraft of the Polish Air Force crashed in Russia with the Polish President Lech Kaczynski and 95 other passengers including many senior officials File:Boeing 777-200ER Malaysia AL (MAS) 9M-MRO - MSN 28420 404 (9272090094).jpg|For over 15 months it was unclear what exactly happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 until at the end of July 2015 a few remnants of the plane swept to the shores of the island of Réunion



File:NotreDame20190415QuaideMontebello (cropped).jpg|View of Notre-Dame Cathedral on fire as seen from Quai de Montebello in Paris



Natural disasters

Earthquakes and tsunamis

Tropical cyclones


Floods, avalanches, and mudslides

Volcanic eruptions

Droughts, heat waves, and wildfires


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[[E-commerce spurred advancements in [[Delivery drone">drone delivery and transformed parts of the services and retail sectors 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. 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, United States stock prices reached record highs. Another consequence 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. 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. 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 conomicgrowth 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 aluminium, which has drawn some economic retaliation. By the end of the decade, in North American and some Western European domestic economies, consumer-level purchasing habits had shifted significantly, a partial consequence of the Great Recession's impact on discretionary incomes and a shifting breadwinner model. The so-called "retail apocalypse" had commenced as consumers increasingly resorted to online shopping and e-commerce, accelerating the decline of brick-and-mortar retail and the continued decline of indoor shopping malls. The transitioning retail industry and popularity of online shopping facilitated economic phenomena such as bricks and clicks business models, pop-up and non-store retailing, drone delivery services, ghost restaurants, and a quickly maturing online food ordering and delivery service sector. 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 favourability in the 2010s. By 2016, only about 2 percent of the value transacted in Sweden was by cash, and only about 20 percent of retail transactions were in cash. Fewer than half of bank branches in the country conducted cash transactions. 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''. *2010: The first quantum machine *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


Robotics, particularly drones, had a wide use and application. Electric car technology and sales showed considerable growth. As well as electric cars, sustainable space launch technologies were spearheaded by Elon Musk.

Cyber security and hacking

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

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, 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.


File:Netflix 2015 logo.svg|Netflix, a streaming 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. File:Unicorn Silly Bandz Macro July 09, 2010.jpg|Silly Bandz, a piece of pop culture and fashion wear in the early 2010s. File:WestJet Boeing 737-8CT C-GWSV.jpg|The film ''Frozen'' (2013) spawned a wide use of its characters and music in popular culture. File:The Big Bang Theory, Apartment 4A (5020600302).jpg|One of the sets used in the television show ''The Big Bang Theory'', which was popular in the 2010s. File:Fidget spinner red, cropped.jpg|The fidget spinner, one of the most popular toys of the decade. They gained popularity in 2017. File:Nintendo-3DS-AquaOpen.png|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. Its flagship title was ''Super Mario 3D Land''. File:iphone 3GS-1.jpg|A smartphone, which were popular and new gadgets in the 2010s. Smartphones could be used to play games, make telephone calls, and check the internet. File:Wii-console.jpg|The Nintendo Wii was a popular gaming console in the 2010s which influenced the Microsoft Kinect and PlayStation Move. One of the most critically acclaimed games of the decade ''Super Mario Galaxy 2'' released on this console. File:Wikipedia meme vector version.svg|An example of an internet meme with a main centrepiece/joke and top/bottom text. Internet memes became of cultural significance in the 2010s. Popular memes included Nyan Cat, Trollface, Pepe the Frog and Dat Boi. File:Minecraft Diamond Sword.jpg|A Diamond Sword from the popular game ''Minecraft''. In the 2010s, cosplay pulled in more of a crowd as people dressed up as their favourite TV show characters, video game characters, etc. and went to conventions. Items like the Diamond Sword could be used in cosplay. File:Instagram icon.png|Social media like Instagram took off by the mid-/late 2010s and was used to share images and talk with friends. File:Red self-balancing two-wheeled board with a person standing on it.png|A self-balancing scooter. These devices, though they weren't mainstream, attracted much attention and curiosity around 2015 on the internet. File:No selfie sticks sign, Museum of Brisbane, 2015.jpg|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. File:Macklemore at the Super Bowl XLVIII (cropped).jpg|Wavy hair and the growing of beards became trends. Fashion-wise, the 2010s supported more formal and colourful 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. File:Pokémon GO gathering.jpg|An image of people playing the mobile game ''Pokémon Go'' on their cellphones in a group. File:Oculus-Rift-CV1-Headset-Front.jpg|During the late 2010s, first-generation virtual reality took off, and inspired films like Steven Spielberg's ''Ready Player One''. File:Playstation 4 Controller.png|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. File:Ramona Flowers (6087927274).jpg|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 e-girl aesthetic seen in the late 2010s, 2018–2019. Many e-girls had short, possibly coloured hair (pink/blue), and posted pictures of themselves online. E-girls showed a step away from the striped shirts and casual/formal nature of the early/mid-2010s. File:Juul flavour multipack (cropped).jpg|In the late 2010s vaping became popular. Some people would purchase and smoke e-cigarettes, or the more expensive Juul brand. Vape flavours 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". File:Vaporwave for China.jpg|Vaporwave was a 2010s music genre that attracted attention. It consisted of remixing and stylising electronic sounds/music with often distinct album covers. Lo-fi hip hop was also new and grew a following. File:Do the Dab.jpg|A group of teens dabbing, a gesture which was popular around 2015–2016. File:Bruno Mars portrait.jpg|Bruno Mars, one of the decade's most popular artists known for hits such as "Uptown Funk", a step away from hits released in the earlier part of the 2010s like "Pumped Up Kicks" and "Somebody That I Used to Know". File:Nyan cat 250px frame.PNG|Nyan Cat became a internet meme in 2011. File:Kesha AMAs 2019 (cropped).png|Kesha was the first artist to reach number-one on the ''Billboard'' Hot 100 in the 2010s. File:IPad Pro 11 mockup.png|The iPad was introduced in 2010. File:Angry Birds logo 2015.png|Angry Birds was popular in the early 2010s.


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 such as cellphones.


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'' 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'', a film which was praised for its visual effects and acting performances, winning several awards. The decade also saw the release of many critically acclaimed films such as ''Her'' and ''Boyhood''.


Cable providers saw a decline in subscriber numbers as cord-cutting viewers switched to lower cost online streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu. On cable television as well as streaming services, a variety of shows gained popularity. Adult animation grew rapidly throughout the decade with shows such as ''Rick and Morty'', ''BoJack Horseman'', ''Bob's Burgers'', among many others. ''Adventure Time'', ''Regular Show'', ''Steven Universe'', ''Gravity Falls'', ''The Amazing World of Gumball'', and ''SpongeBob SquarePants'' were among other cartoons that were popular during the decade. The comedy sitcom ''The Big Bang Theory'', with a strong focus on showcasing 2010s culture and technology, ran through almost the entirety of the decade and for most of the eight years prior to its finale in 2019 was the top sitcom on American television. The Indian sitcom ''Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah'' became the world's longest-running sitcom, with over 2,500 episodes. Children's programming like ''iCarly'' and ''Victorious'' helped obtain viewership on Nickelodeon. The video streaming 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, channels and videos becoming viral on the site. Animated content and reaction videos also became popular on YouTube throughout the decade.


Globalism and an increased demand for variety and personalisation 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.

Video games

The video game industry continued to be dominated by Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft; ''Minecraft'' became the best-selling game of all time in 2019. The popularity of video games increased across the world, as the Wii influenced gaming in the early part of the decade, and the Nintendo 3DS provided 3D gaming through autostereoscopy. The successful Nintendo Wii was followed by the Wii U in 2012, a commercial 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. The Nintendo Switch launched in 2017 and was responsible for bringing Nintendo's success back, the success of the console initially spawned by ''The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild'' and ''Super Mario Odyssey''. The use of iPods, tablets, and cell phones became one of the most popular forms of gaming as the decade progressed with the rise of mobile games, expanding the industry's appeal among less traditional markets such as women and older adults.


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, depicting life from the perspective of a preteen schoolboy, was a success among young audiences and spawned several movies. After a slow start, the books of John Green began to catch on with teen audiences throughout the 2010s.


As the decade drew to a close, some commentators looked back on it as a politically unstable period. An article in the ''New York Times'' stated: "With the rise of nationalist movements and a backlash against globalisation on both sides of the Atlantic, the liberal post-World War II order – based on economic integration and international institutions – began to unravel." It heavily discussed the US presidency of Donald Trump (a reality TV Star and businessman with no political experience at the time of taking office, succeeding Barack Obama) whilst also commenting, "Echoes of Mr. Trump's nationalist populism can be found in Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain's recent electoral victory and the Brexit referendum of 2016, and in the ascent of the far-right President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India. Democracy is under threat in Hungary and Poland. Once fringe right-wing parties with openly racist agendas are rebranding themselves in Sweden and Belgium. And far-right groups in Germany and Spain are now the third-largest parties in those nations' parliaments." 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".

See also

*List of decades


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



Further reading

* Strong, Jason. ''The 2010s: Looking Back At A Dramatic decade'' (2019)

External links

* {{2010s Category:21st century Category:Contemporary history