Last updated

BrexitPresidency of Donald TrumpSmartphoneArab Spring2010s in LGBT rightsSyrian Civil WarIslamic State of Iraq and the LevantHiggs Boson2010s
From left, clockwise: Pro-Europeanists protest Brexit , the withdrawal of the UK from the EU; Donald Trump is elected U.S. President in 2016 during a period of intensifying political polarization in the U.S.; Digital and mobile technologies such as the smartphone rise to mainstream adoption; LGBT acceptance increases in many parts of the world; the Higgs boson is detected by the Large Hadron Collider and later confirmed to exist in 2013; The rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant saw swathes of Iraqi and Syrian territory fall under the proto-state's rule; Raqqa in ruins during the Syrian Civil War ; Egyptians celebrate Hosni Mubarak’s resignation during the Arab Spring in 2011
Millennium: 3rd millennium

The 2010s (pronounced "twenty-tens" or "two thousand (and) tens"; [1] [2] shortened to "the '10s") is the current decade in the Gregorian calendar that began on 1 January 2010, and will end on 31 December 2019.

A decade is a period of 10 years. The word is derived from the Ancient Greek: δεκάς, romanized: dekas, which means a group of ten. Other words for spans of years also come from Latin: biennium, triennium, quadrennium, lustrum, century, millennium.

The Gregorian calendar is the calendar used in most of the world. It is named after Pope Gregory XIII, who introduced it in October 1582.



The Arab Spring saw mass unrest in the Arab world early in the decade:
Government overthrown multiple times
Government overthrown
Civil war
Protests and governmental changes
Major protests
Minor protests Other protests and militant action outside the Arab world Arab Spring and Regional Conflict Map.svg
The Arab Spring saw mass unrest in the Arab world early in the decade:
  Government overthrown multiple times
  Government overthrown
  Civil war
  Protests and governmental changes
  Major protests
  Minor protests  Other protests and militant action outside the Arab world

The 2010s 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. Austerity policies particularly affected Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain. Such policies were among factors that led to the 15-M and Occupy movements. Other economic issues, such as inflation and an increase in commodity prices, led to unrest in many lower-income countries. Unrest in some countries – particularly in the Arab world – evolved into socioeconomic crises triggering revolutions in Kyrgyzstan, Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and Yemen, as well as civil wars in Libya and Syria, in a widespread phenomenon commonly referred to in the Western world as the Arab Spring, with repercussions from the conflicts continuing into the 2020s.

Financial crisis of 2007–2008 Global financial crisis

The financial crisis of 2007–2008, also known as the global financial crisis and the 2008 financial crisis, was a severe worldwide economic crisis considered by many economists to have been the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s, to which it is often compared.

Great Recession Early 21st-century global economic decline

The Great Recession was a period of general economic decline (recession) observed in world markets during the late 2000s and early 2010s. The scale and timing of the recession varied from country to country. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has concluded that it was the most severe economic and financial meltdown since the Great Depression and it is often regarded as the second worst downturn of all time.

European debt crisis Multi-year debt crisis in multiple EU countries, since late 2009

The European debt crisis is a multi-year debt crisis that has been taking place in the European Union since the end of 2009. Several eurozone member states were unable to repay or refinance their government debt or to bail out over-indebted banks under their national supervision without the assistance of third parties like other eurozone countries, the European Central Bank (ECB), or the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The United States continued to retain its global superpower status while an assertive 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 a potential 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. 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. In Africa, South Sudan broke away from Sudan and mass protests and various coups d'état saw longtime strongmen deposed. Meanwhile, Europe experienced a migrant crisis and Russia annexed Crimea.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.

Superpower Very powerful nation

A superpower is a state with a dominant position characterized by its extensive ability to exert influence or project power on a global scale. This is done through the combined-means of economic, military, technological and cultural strength as well as diplomatic and soft power influence. Traditionally, superpowers are preeminent among the great powers.

The Chinese Dream is a term popularized after 2013 within Chinese society that describes a set of personal and national ethos and ideals in China and the Government of China. It is used by journalists, government officials, and activists to describe the role of the individual in Chinese society as well as the goals of the Chinese nation.

Smartphones, tablets, and other IoT devices surged in popularity during the 2010s, allowing easy access to the internet and mass media via mobile apps, social networking, and videotelephony. Growing sophistication and prevalence of IoT devices also spawned new debates over privacy, censorship, and over-dependence Wikipedia iPhone App.jpg
Smartphones, tablets, and other IoT devices surged in popularity during the 2010s, allowing easy access to the internet and mass media via mobile apps, social networking, and videotelephony. Growing sophistication and prevalence of IoT devices also spawned new debates over privacy, censorship, and over-dependence

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 5G 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. The website's editor-in-chief, Julian Assange, was temporarily granted political asylum by Ecuador, while Edward Snowden blew the whistle on global surveillance, raising awareness on the role governments and private entities have in mass surveillance and information privacy.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.

Cloud computing Form of Internet-based computing that provides shared computer processing resources and data to computers and other devices on demand

Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage and computing power, without direct active management by the user. The term is generally used to describe data centers available to many users over the Internet. Large clouds, predominant today, often have functions distributed over multiple locations from central servers. If the connection to the user is relatively close, it may be designated an edge server.

Data processing is, generally, "the collection and manipulation of items of data to produce meaningful information." In this sense it can be considered a subset of information processing, "the change (processing) of information in any manner detectable by an observer."

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. Combating pollution and climate change continued to be major global environmental concerns as protests, initiatives, and legislation garnered substantial media attention. Major natural disasters included the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, the Nepal earthquake of 2015, the 2018 Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami, and the devastating hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, Haiyan (Yolanda) and Sandy.

LGBT rights by country or territory Wikimedia list article

Rights affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people vary greatly by country or jurisdiction — encompassing everything from the legal recognition of same-sex marriage to the death penalty for homosexuality.

Women in government participation of women in governments

Women in government in the modern era are generally underrepresented in most countries worldwide. In many of these countries, women have had inadequate opportunities in social participation, especially in striving for political rights and power in the government and different institutions. This historical tendency still persists, although women are increasingly being politically elected to be heads of state and government.

Climate change Change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns for an extended period

Climate change occurs when changes in Earth's climate system result in new weather patterns that last for at least a few decades, and maybe for millions of years. The climate system comprises five interacting parts, the atmosphere (air), hydrosphere (water), cryosphere, biosphere, and lithosphere. The climate system receives nearly all of its energy from the sun, with a relatively tiny amount from earth's interior. The climate system also gives off energy to outer space. The balance of incoming and outgoing energy, and the passage of the energy through the climate system, determines Earth's energy budget. When the incoming energy is greater than the outgoing energy, earth's energy budget is positive and the climate system is warming. If more energy goes out, the energy budget is negative and earth experiences cooling.

Politics and wars


The prominent wars of the decade include:

International wars

NameStart dateEnd dateDescription
Israeli–Palestinian conflict 14 May 1948OngoingConflict between Jewish and Arab communities in Israel and the West Bank have been ongoing since 1948. [3] After Israel occupied the West Bank, it began making settlements there, which has been an obstacle to the peace process. [4] 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. [5]
War on Terror 11 September 2001
  • 7 October 2001
  • 20 March 2003
Motivated by the September 11 attacks, the United States and other governments started a large scale effort to eliminate terrorism. [6] With support from NATO, the United States invaded Taliban-controlled Afghanistan and overthrew the government. [7] Two years later, on the pretext that the government of Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, [8] the United States and a coalition of partners invaded Iraq and overthrew Hussein, [9] after which the U.S. occupied the country. [10] However, insurgencies remained active in both countries, long after the invasions. [11]
Russian military intervention in Ukraine 20 February 2014After 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. [12] In the months that followed, demonstrations in Donbass escalated into an armed conflict between the government of Ukraine and Russia-backed separatist forces.
Military intervention against ISIL 13 June 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 [13] and made Raqqa its capital. [14] Various international coalitions were formed to help fight the militants. [15] [16] By December 2017, ISIL had lost much of its former territory, and Russian troops were withdrawn from Syria. [17]
The war-torn ruins of Donetsk International Airport in late December 2014 Ruins of Donetsk International airport (16).jpg
The war-torn ruins of Donetsk International Airport in late December 2014
In red: the area controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) proto-state in December 2014 Territorial control of the ISIS - 12-31-2014.svg
In red: the area controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) proto-state in December 2014
Devastation in Mosul's old city after recapture from ISIL in 2017 Mosul in ruins after war.jpg
Devastation in Mosul's old city after recapture from ISIL in 2017

Civil wars

NameStart dateEnd dateDescription
Colombian Armed Conflict 27 May 1964OngoingFighting 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. [18] Since 2012, both groups have been in peace talks with the government, with FARC and the government signing a ceasefire in 2016. [19]
War in North-West Pakistan 16 March 2004Since 2004, Pakistan has been fighting an insurgency by various armed militant groups in the country. [20] The violence has killed almost 57,000 people since, [21] with over 3 million more affected. [22] By 2014, however, casualties from terrorist and militant attacks had dropped by around 40%. [23]
Mexican Drug War 11 December 2006Following a rise in criminal violence as a result of drug trafficking in the country, Mexican President Felipe Calderón declared a war on drugs in December 2006. [24] Since the start of the war, the death toll from drug violence had sharply increased. [25] Arrests of key cartel leaders led to increasing violence as cartels fought for control of trafficking routes into the United States. [26] [27] [28]
War in Somalia 31 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 [29] and subsequently retook several towns across the country. [30] Since then, the government has attempted to clean out the remaining Al-Shabaab strongholds with help from AMISOM soldiers. [31]
Boko Haram insurgency 26 July 2009The Boko Haram insurgency began when the jihadist rebel group started an armed rebellion against the government of Nigeria. [32] In 2015, the group pledged alliance to ISIL. [33] It has since been called the world's deadliest terrorist group. [34] [35]
Northern Mali conflict 16 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, [36] and declared it to be the independent state of Azawad. [37] However, shortly afterward, various Islamists groups took over Northern Mali from the Tuaregs and imposed sharia law on the region. [38]
Iraqi Civil War 1 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. [39] [40] On 9 December 2017, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced victory over ISIL, [41] though others warned to expect ISIL to continue the fight by other means. [42]
Second Libyan Civil War 16 May 2014OngoingFollowing the factional violence that engulfed Libya after the fall of Muammari 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.
Yemeni Civil War 19 March 2015Preceded by a decade-long Houthi insurgency, [43] 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. [44]
Philippine Drug War 30 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. It has caused 3,000 deaths. [45]
French Rafale fighter jets operating over Mali in 2013 during the Northern Mali Conflict Two French Air Force Rafale fighter aircraft, below, prepare to break formation after refueling with a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft with the 351st Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron over Mali 130423-F-DT859-086.jpg
French Rafale fighter jets operating over Mali in 2013 during the Northern Mali Conflict
Peshmerga T-55 tank outside Kirkuk on 19 June 2014. Iraqi Kurdistan played a significant role in combatting ISIL during the Iraqi Civil War Peshmerga on a T-55-Tank outside Kirkuk in Iraq..jpg
Peshmerga T-55 tank outside Kirkuk on 19 June 2014. Iraqi Kurdistan played a significant role in combatting ISIL during the Iraqi Civil War
Saudi and Emirati soldiers in Yemen, June 2016. Saudi Arabia intervened in the Yemeni Civil War in 2015 Saudi soldier from the First Brigade Airborne near to Emirates soldier.jpg
Saudi and Emirati soldiers in Yemen, June 2016. Saudi Arabia intervened in the Yemeni Civil War in 2015

Arab Spring

NameStart dateEnd dateDescription
Libyan Civil War 15 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. [46] [47] As a result, many army units defected to the opposition and protests soon turned into an armed rebellion. [48] With international help, the rebels captured Tripoli, [49] and eventually Sirte, Gaddafi's hometown and last outpost, where he was killed. [50]
Syrian Civil War 15 March 2011OngoingProtests erupted in Syria against President Bashar al-Assad's rule, with police and the army sent in to crack down on protesters. [51] [52] They later morphed into war after army officers defected to the opposition, forming the Free Syrian Army (FSA). [53] The war allowed for Islamic extremist groups like Al-Nusra Front and ISIL to temporarily take control of vast amounts of territory.
Protesters in Tahrir Square during the Egyptian revolution of 2011. Tahrir Square during 8 February 2011.jpg
Protesters in Tahrir Square during the Egyptian revolution of 2011.
Anti-Ghaddafi fighters celebrate during the Libyan Civil War. NTC fighters claim Bani Walid.jpg
Anti-Ghaddafi fighters celebrate during the Libyan Civil War.
Territorial changes of the Syrian Civil War, October 2011 - March 2019. SyrianWarAnimation2011-2019.gif
Territorial changes of the Syrian Civil War, October 2011 – March 2019.


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

Coup détat Sudden deposition of a government

A coup d'état, also known as a putsch (German:), a golpe de estado (Spanish/Portuguese), or simply as a coup, means the overthrow of an existing government; typically, this refers to an illegal, unconstitutional seizure of power by a dictator, the military, or a political faction.

Nigerien coup d'état 18 February 2010 Flag of Niger.svg [54]
Malian coup d'état 21 March 2012 Flag of Mali.svg [55]
Guinea-Bissau coup d'état 12 April 2012 Flag of Guinea-Bissau.svg [56]
Egyptian coup d'état 3 July 2013 Flag of Egypt.svg [57]
Thai coup d'état 22 May 2014 Flag of Thailand.svg [58]
Yemeni coup d'état 21 September 2014 Flag of Yemen.svg [59]
Turkish coup d'état attempt 15 July 2016 Flag of Turkey.svg [60]
Zimbabwean coup d'état 14 November 2017 Flag of Zimbabwe.svg [61]
Gabon coup d'état attempt 7 January 2019 Flag of Gabon.svg [62]
Sudanese coup d'état 11 April 2019 Flag of Sudan.svg [63]
Amhara coup d'état attempt 22 June 2019 Flag of Ethiopia.svg [64]

Terrorist attacks

Two bombs explode near the finish line at the Boston Marathon on 15 April 2013. 1st Boston Marathon blast seen from 2nd floor and a half block away.jpg
Two bombs explode near the finish line at the Boston Marathon on 15 April 2013.
Montage of the November 2015 Paris attacks. Islamic terrorism in Europe spiked following the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in 2014. 13 November 2015 Paris attacks - montage.jpg
Montage of the November 2015 Paris attacks. Islamic terrorism in Europe spiked following the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in 2014.
The ruins of buildings destroyed in the 14 October 2017 Mogadishu bombings, which killed over 500 people. 2017 10 15 VBIED-8 (37666124646).jpg
The ruins of buildings destroyed in the 14 October 2017 Mogadishu bombings, which killed over 500 people.

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

2010 Lakki Marwat suicide bombing 1 January 2010 Flag of Pakistan.svg 105100+ [65]
2010 Moscow Metro bombings 29 March 2010 Flag of Russia.svg 40102 [66]
2011 Mumbai bombings 13 July 2011 Flag of India.svg 26130+ [67]
2011 Norway attacks 22 July 2011 Flag of Norway.svg 77319+ [68]
Boston Marathon bombing 15 April 2013 Flag of the United States.svg 3264 [69]
Zamboanga City siege 9 September 2013 Flag of the Philippines.svg 22070 [70]
Westgate shopping mall attack 21 September 2013 Flag of Kenya.svg 67175 [71]
Camp Speicher massacre 12 June 2014 Flag of Iraq.svg 1,566 [72]
2014 Sydney hostage crisis 15 December 2014 Flag of Australia (converted).svg 318 [73]
2014 Peshawar school massacre 16 December 2014 Flag of Pakistan.svg 148114 [74]
2015 Baga massacre 3–7 January 2015 Flag of Nigeria.svg 150+ [75]
January 2015 Île-de-France attacks 7–9 January 2015 Flag of France.svg 2022 [76]
2015 Sana'a mosque bombings 20 March 2015 Flag of Yemen.svg 142351 [77]
Garissa University College attack 2 April 2015 Flag of Kenya.svg 15279 [78]
2015 Ramadan attacks 26 June 2015Various403336+ [79]
2015 Beirut bombings 12 November 2015 Flag of Lebanon.svg 43240 [80]
2015 Ankara bombings 10 October 2015 Flag of Turkey.svg 109400+ [81]
2015 Metrojet crash 31 October 2015 Flag of Russia.svg 224 [82]
November 2015 Paris attacks 13 November 2015 Flag of France.svg 130368 [83]
2015 San Bernardino attack 2 December 2015 Flag of the United States.svg 1422 [84]
2016 Brussels bombings 22 March 2016 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg 35300+ [85]
2016 Orlando nightclub shooting 12 June 2016 Flag of the United States.svg 4953 [86]
2016 Istanbul airport attack 28 June 2016 Flag of Turkey.svg 45236 [87]
July 2016 Baghdad bombings 3 July 2016 Flag of Iraq.svg 340246 [88]
2016 Nice attack 14 July 2016 Flag of France.svg 87434 [89]
2016 Berlin attack 19 December 2016 Flag of Germany.svg 1256 [90]
2017 Istanbul nightclub shooting 1 January 2017 Flag of Turkey.svg 3970 [91]
2017 Westminster attack 22 March 2017 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg 649 [92]
2017 Camp Shaheen attack 21 April 2017 Flag of Afghanistan.svg 140+160+ [93]
2017 Manchester Arena bombing 22 May 2017 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg 2259 [94]
2017 London Bridge attack 3 June 2017 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg 1148 [95]
2017 Barcelona attacks 17–18 August 2017 Flag of Spain.svg 16152 [96]
14 October 2017 Mogadishu bombings 14 October 2017 Flag of Somalia.svg 587316 [97]
2017 New York City truck attack 31 October 2017 Flag of the United States.svg 812 [98]
2017 Sinai mosque attack 24 November 2017 Flag of Egypt.svg 311122 [99]
Christchurch mosque shooting 15 March 2019 Flag of New Zealand.svg 5150 [100]
2019 Sri Lanka Easter bombings 21 April 2019 Flag of Sri Lanka.svg 259500+ [101]

Nuclear proliferation

P5+1 and Iranian negotiators meeting in Geneva for the interim agreement on the Iranian nuclear programme (2013) Iran negotiations about Iran's nuclear.jpg
P5+1 and Iranian negotiators meeting in Geneva for the interim agreement on the Iranian nuclear programme (2013)
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and United States President Donald Trump in 2019. Both leaders are emblematic of a wave of neo-nationalist and globalization-weary conservative populism in the second half of the decade. Encontro com o Senhor Donald Trump, Presidente dos Estados Unidos da America (47422559941).jpg
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and United States President Donald Trump in 2019. Both leaders are emblematic of a wave of neo-nationalist and globalization-weary conservative populism in the second half of the decade.

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. [116] 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. [117] 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. [118] [119]

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. [120] In Europe, movements protesting increasing numbers of refugees from Islamic countries developed, such as the English Defence League and Pegida. [121] [122] 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. [123] Beginning around 2011, far-left and progressive concepts such as social inequality, the progressive stack and adequate minority representation proliferated notably among feminist and social justice groups, particularly in North America and Western Europe. [124] [125] 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. [126] There were also increased calls for egalitarianism, including between the sexes, [127] and some scholars assert that a fourth wave of feminism began around 2012, with a primary focus on intersectionality. [128] [129]

Populism in politics also saw a widespread surge throughout the decade, with many politicians and various political movements expressing populist sentiments and utilizing populist rhetoric. [130] [131] 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. [132] Notable examples of 2010s populist movements included the Tea Party movement, [133] Occupy Wall Street, [134] Brexit, [135] Black Lives Matter, [136] and the alt-right. [137] [138] Examples of populist country leaders were just as extensive, with Donald Trump, [139] Andrés Manuel López Obrador, [140] Hugo Chávez, [141] Matteo Salvini, [142] Jair Bolsonaro, [143] Rodrigo Duterte, [144] Boris Johnson and others, left and right-wing, described as such.

Sitting world leaders such as Hugo Chávez, Muammar Gaddafi, Kim Jong-il and Tunisia's first freely elected president, Beji Caid Essebsi, all died in office, as did former leaders Fidel Castro, Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, Robert Mugabe, Helmut Schmidt, Helmut Kohl and George H. W. Bush.

Prominent political events

This table of events is listed by the region and by chronological order. The prominent political events include, but are not limited to:


Tunisian Revolution Flag of Tunisia.svg 14 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. [145]
2011 South Sudanese independence referendum Flag of South Sudan.svg 9 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. [146]
Northern Mali conflict Flag of Mali.svg 16 January 2012An Islamist revolt in northern Mali threatened to gain control of the country. A coalition, led by France, intervened to assist the Malian government in fighting the militants. [147]
Death of Nelson Mandela Flag of South Africa.svg 5 December 2013 Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid activist and President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, died. [148]
2014 Tunisian presidential election Flag of Tunisia.svg 21 November 2014 Beji 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. [149]
2015 Nigerian general election Flag of Nigeria.svg 29 March 2015 Muhammadu Buhari was elected President of Nigeria, the first time the opposition ever won an election against an incumbent and the first ever peaceful transfer of power in the country. [150]
Burundian unrest (2015–18) Flag of Burundi.svg 26 April 2015 Burundi faces unrest as President Pierre Nkurunziza sought a third term in office, resulting in hundreds killed and thousands more fleeing the country. [151]
2016 Gambian presidential election Flag of The Gambia.svg 1 December 2016 Adama Barrow was elected President of The Gambia, defeating long-time President Yahya Jammeh and ending more than 22 years of authoritarian rule. [152]
Resignation of Jacob Zuma Flag of South Africa.svg 14 February 2018 Jacob Zuma resigns as President of South Africa, after nine years in power. [153]
Resignation of Abdelaziz Bouteflika Flag of Algeria.svg 2 April 2019 Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigns as President of Algeria amid widespread protests, after nearly two decades in office. [154]
Ousting of Omar al-Bashir Flag of Sudan.svg 11 April 2019Amid mass protests, Omar al-Bashir is deposed as President of Sudan in a coup d'état, after nearly 30 years in office. [154]
Khartoum massacre Flag of Sudan.svg 3 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. [155] [156]
A Tunisian Army tank deployed in front of the Cathedral of St. Vincent de Paul in Tunis during the Tunisian Revolution Revolution des Jasmins 05.jpg
A Tunisian Army tank deployed in front of the Cathedral of St. Vincent de Paul in Tunis during the Tunisian Revolution
Nigerian doctors during the Western African Ebola virus epidemic PPE Training (2).jpg
Nigerian doctors during the Western African Ebola virus epidemic
Algerian protesters gather during the 2019 "Smile Revolution" Manifestation contre le 5e mandat de Bouteflika (Blida).jpg
Algerian protesters gather during the 2019 "Smile Revolution"


Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Flag of the United States.svg 23 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. [157]
2010 Brazilian presidential election Flag of Brazil.svg 31 October 2010 Dilma Rousseff was elected as the first female President of Brazil. [158]
2010 Midterm elections and Tea Party movement Flag of the United States.svg 2 November 2010 The Republicans become the dominant party with a major 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. [159]
Occupy Wall Street Flag of the United States.svg 17 September 2011Hundreds of protesters marched into the financial district of Wall Street in New York City, beginning the Occupy Wall Street movement. [160]
Impeachment of Fernando Lugo Flag of Paraguay.svg 22 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. [161]
2012 Mexican general election Flag of Mexico.svg 1 July 2012 Enrique Peña Nieto won the Mexican general election, bringing the Institutional Revolutionary Party back to prominence for the first time since 2000. [162]
2012 United States presidential election Flag of the United States.svg 6 November 2012 Barack Obama was re-elected President of the United States, defeating Republican nominee Mitt Romney. [163]
Death of Hugo Chávez Flag of Venezuela.svg 5 March 2013 Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez died at the age of 58 after governing the country for 14 years. [164]
2015–16 protests in Brazil Flag of Brazil.svg 15 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". [165] [166]
Obergefell v. Hodges Flag of the United States.svg 26 June 2015 Same-sex marriage was legalized in all 50 U.S. states due to a landmark decision by the Supreme Court of the United States. [167]
2015 Canadian federal election Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg 19 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. [168]
Impeachment of Dilma Rousseff Flag of Brazil.svg 12 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. [169]
Colombian peace process Flag of Colombia.svg 23 June 2016The government of Colombia and FARC rebels signed a ceasefire, officially ending over 50 years of conflict between the two. [170]
2016 United States presidential election Flag of the United States.svg 8 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. [171] [172]
Death of Fidel Castro Flag of Cuba.svg 25 November 2016Former President of Cuba and revolutionary leader Fidel Castro dies at the age of 90. [173]
2017 Venezuelan constitutional crisis Flag of Venezuela.svg 23 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. Constitutional Assembly elections were held on 30 July 2017 to elect the members of a new Constitutional Assembly. [174] [175]
Inauguration of Miguel Díaz-Canel Flag of Cuba.svg 19 April 2018 Miguel Díaz-Canel is sworn in as President of Cuba, marking the first time since 1959 that Cuba has had a president other than Fidel or Raúl Castro.
2018 Mexican general election Flag of Mexico.svg 1 July 2018 Andrés Manuel López Obrador won the historic Mexican general election, bringing the National Regeneration Movement for new prominence for the first time without any political rule like Institutional Revolutionary Party and National Action Party.
2018 Brazilian general election Flag of Brazil.svg 28 October 2018 Jair Bolsonaro was elected President of Brazil, marking the first time that the country is ruled by the far-right since the start of the New Republic in 1985. The election also interrupted 4 victories of the Workers' Party in a row. [176]
Death of George H. W. Bush Flag of the United States.svg 30 November 2018Former president of the United States George H. W. Bush dies at the age of 94. [177]
2019 Venezuelan presidential crisis Flag of Venezuela.svg 10 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." [178] [179] [180]
Concerns over social and economic inequality, greed, corruption and the influence of corporations on government led to the rise of the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011 Wallst14occupy.jpg
Concerns over social and economic inequality, greed, corruption and the influence of corporations on government led to the rise of the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011
Miguel Diaz-Canel (left) with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March 2015. Diaz-Canel became the first president of Cuba to not be of the Castro family since Osvaldo Dorticos Miguel Diaz-Canel and Narendra Modi.jpg
Miguel Díaz-Canel (left) with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March 2015. Díaz-Canel became the first president of Cuba to not be of the Castro family since Osvaldo Dorticós
The Venezuelan Crisis saw hyperinflation and climbing hunger, disease, crime and death rates in Venezuela along with massive emigration from the country and escalating unrest Grafica Protestas Venezuela.png
The Venezuelan Crisis saw hyperinflation and climbing hunger, disease, crime and death rates in Venezuela along with massive emigration from the country and escalating unrest


Kyrgyz Revolution of 2010 Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg 7 April 2010 Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev fled Bishkek amid fierce anti-government riots as the opposition seized control. [181]
2010 Myanmar general election Flag of Myanmar.svg 7 November 2010 Thein Sein was elected President of Myanmar, the first civilian President of the country since 1962. [182]
2011 Bahraini uprising Flag of Bahrain.svg 15 March 2011 Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain, declared a three-month state of emergency as troops from the Gulf Co-operation Council were sent to quell the civil unrest. [183]
Death of Kim Jong-il Flag of North Korea.svg 17 December 2011Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il of North Korea died after governing the country for 17 years. His son, Kim Jong-un, succeeded him. [184]
2012 Japanese general election Flag of Japan.svg 26 December 2012The Liberal Democratic Party, led by Shinzō Abe, won a landslide victory in Japan's general election. [185]
North Korea and weapons of mass destruction Flag of North Korea.svg 11 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. [186]
2014 Indian general election Flag of India.svg 12 May 2014The Bharatiya Janata Party, led by Narendra Modi, won a landslide victory in India's general election, the first time BJP gained a majority since 1984. [187]
2014 Indonesian presidential election Flag of Indonesia.svg 9 July 2014 Joko Widodo won Indonesia's presidential election, becoming the first president to not be from the country's political elite or military. [188]
Pope Francis's visit to the Philippines Flag of the Philippines.svg 18 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. [189]
Death of King Abdullah Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg 23 January 2015 Abdullah, the King of Saudi Arabia from 2005 to 2015, died and was succeeded by King Salman. [190]
Death of Lee Kuan Yew Flag of Singapore.svg 23 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. [191]
India–Bangladesh enclaves Flag of India.svg Flag of Bangladesh.svg 6 June 2015 India and Bangladesh officially ratified their 1974 agreement to exchange enclaves along their border. [192]
2016 Taiwanese general election Flag of the Republic of China.svg 16 January 2016 Tsai Ing-wen was elected President of Taiwan, the first woman to hold the position. [193]
2016 Philippine presidential election Flag of the Philippines.svg 9 May 2016 Rodrigo Duterte was elected President of the Philippines. [194]
Death of Bhumibol Adulyadej Flag of Thailand.svg 13 October 2016 Bhumibol Adulyadej, the King of Thailand from 1946 to 2016, died and was succeeded by his son, Vajiralongkorn. [195]
Impeachment of Park Geun-hye Flag of South Korea.svg 10 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. [196]
2017 South Korean presidential election Flag of South Korea.svg 9 May 2017 Moon Jae-in was elected the 12th President of South Korea, originally scheduled to take place later in the year, the election was moved to early May following the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye. [197]
2018 Armenian protests Flag of Armenia.svg 12 April 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. [198] [199]
2018 Malaysian general election Flag of Malaysia.svg 9 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. [200] [201]
2018 North Korea–United States Singapore Summit Flag of North Korea.svg Flag of the United States.svg 12 June 2018 United States President and North Korea's Supreme Leader, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, formally meet, the first time any leader of their respective countries met. [202]
Abdication of Muhammad V of Kelantan Flag of Malaysia.svg 6 January 2019 Muhammad V of Kelantan abdicates the federal throne as the 15th monarch of Malaysia, making him the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong to do so. [203]
2019 India–Pakistan standoff Flag of India.svg Flag of Pakistan.svg 26 February 2019The 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. [204]
2019 North Korea–United States Hanoi Summit Flag of North Korea.svg Flag of the United States.svg 27–28 February 2019 United States President and North Korea's Supreme Leader, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, formally meet, the second time any leader of their respective countries met. [205]
2019 Hong Kong anti-extradition bill protests Flag of Hong Kong.svg 31 March 2019Mass 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. [206] [207]
Kim–Putin meetings Flag of North Korea.svg Flag of Russia.svg 25 April 2019North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un meets with Russian president Vladimir Putin on Russky Island after being invited to hold talks. [208]
Abdication of Akihito Flag of Japan.svg 30 April 2019 Akihito, the Emperor of Japan from 1989 to 2019, abdicated and was succeeded by his son, Naruhito. [209]
2019 Persian Gulf crisis Flag of Iran.svg Flag of the United States.svg 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. [210]
2019 Koreas–United States DMZ Summit Flag of South Korea.svg Flag of North Korea.svg Flag of the United States.svg 30 June 2019 United 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.
Bahraini security forces during the 2011 Bahraini uprising 2011 Bahraini uprising - March (180).jpg
Bahraini security forces during the 2011 Bahraini uprising
The 2014 Hong Kong protests Umbrella Revolution in Admiralty Night View 20141010.jpg
The 2014 Hong Kong protests
The leader of North Korea Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump during the first North Korea-United States summit in Singapore, June 2018 Kim and Trump shaking hands at the red carpet during the DPRK-USA Singapore Summit.jpg
The leader of North Korea Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump during the first North Korea–United States summit in Singapore, June 2018


Resignation of Silvio Berlusconi Flag of Italy.svg 16 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. [211]
Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II Flag of the United Kingdom.svg 6 February 2012 Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, which marked the 60th anniversary of her accession. [212]
2012 French presidential election Flag of France.svg 22 April 2012 François Hollande was elected as the new President of France, becoming the first socialist president of the country in 17 years. [213]
Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and Papal inauguration of Pope Francis Flag of the Vatican City.svg 28 February – 13 March 2013 Benedict XVI resigned as pope, the first to do so since Gregory XII in 1415, and the first to do so voluntarily since Celestine V in 1294. On 13 March, after a papal conclave, Jorge Mario Bergoglio is inaugurated as Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pope, the first pope from the Americas, and the first non-European Pope in over 500 years. [214] [215]
Death of Margaret Thatcher Flag of the United Kingdom.svg 8 April 2013 Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990, died. [216]
2013 Italian presidential election Flag of Italy.svg 20 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. [217]
2014 Ukrainian revolution Flag of Ukraine.svg 21 February 2014 Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych fled the country following violent protests in the capital, Kiev. The opposition-controlled Verkhovna Rada voted to remove him as president. [218]
Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation Flag of Ukraine.svg 18 March 2014Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine following an internationally unrecognized referendum on the status of the region. [219]
2014 Scottish independence referendum Flag of Scotland.svg 18 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. [220] [221]
Abdication of Juan Carlos I of Spain Flag of Spain.svg 19 June 2014King Juan Carlos I of Spain abdicated in favour of his son, Felipe VI. [222]
2015 Irish constitutional referendums Flag of Ireland.svg 23 May 2015The Republic of Ireland voted to legalize same-sex marriage, becoming the first country to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote. [223]
Adoption of the Paris Agreement Flag of the United Nations.svg 12 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. [224]
2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum Flag of the United Kingdom.svg 23 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. [225] [226]
2016 Austrian presidential election Flag of Austria.svg 4 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. [227]
2017 French presidential election Flag of France.svg 7 May 2017 En Marche! candidate Emmanuel Macron was elected the President of France, replacing incumbent Hollande and defeating National Front candidate Marine Le Pen in the second round of voting. Macron is the youngest president in the history of the French Fifth Republic. [228]
Death of Helmut Kohl Flag of Germany.svg 16 June 2017 Helmut 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. [229]
2017 Spanish constitutional crisis Flag of Spain.svg 6 September 2017Political conflict sparks between the Spanish and the Catalan governments over the 2017 Catalan independence referendum. It still went ahead, with 91% supporting independence within Catalonia. On 27 October, Catalonia declares independence from Spain but it is not recognised by any sovereign nation, while Madrid imposes direct rule for 6 months. [230] [231]
2018 Italian general election Flag of Italy.svg 4 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. [232] [233]
2018 Russian presidential election Flag of Russia.svg 18 March 2018 Presidential elections were held in Russia on 18 March 2018. Incumbent Vladimir Putin won reelection for his second consecutive (fourth overall) term in office with 77% of the vote. [234]
Yellow vests movement Flag of France.svg 1–8 December 2018 France experiences its worst civil unrest since the protests of 1968 due to the yellow vests movement. Protests in Paris morph into riots, with hundreds of people injured and thousands arrested. Over 100 cars are burned and numerous tourist sites are closed. [235]
2019 Conservative Party leadership election Flag of the United Kingdom.svg 7 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. [236]
Pope Francis with U.S. President Barack Obama, 2014 President Barack Obama with Pope Francis at the Vatican, March 27, 2014.jpg
Pope Francis with U.S. President Barack Obama, 2014
28 February 2014: following the removal of pro-Russian Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych from office, Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine Crimea (orthographic projection).svg
28 February 2014: following the removal of pro-Russian Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych from office, Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine
Syrian and Iraqi refugees arriving in Greece. In the 2010s Europe had been severely affected by a huge migration from Africa and Middle East 20151030 Syrians and Iraq refugees arrive at Skala Sykamias Lesvos Greece 2.jpg
Syrian and Iraqi refugees arriving in Greece. In the 2010s Europe had been severely affected by a huge migration from Africa and Middle East

Notable world leaders

Note: Names of world leaders shown below in bold have remained in power continuously throughout the decade (as of September 2019).

Assassinations and attempts

Prominent assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts include:

Osama bin Laden Osama bin Laden portrait.jpg
Osama bin Laden
Muammar Gaddafi Muammar al-Gaddafi 1-1.jpg
Muammar Gaddafi
Malala Yousafzai Malala Yousafzai at Girl Summit 2014.jpg
Malala Yousafzai
Jamal Khashoggi Jamal Khashoggi in March 2018 (cropped).jpg
Jamal Khashoggi
1 January 2011 Reynaldo Dagsa, Philippine Barangay official from Caloocan, was assassinated by two men during New Year's Eve. [237]
8 January 2011 Federal judge John Roll and 5 others were killed and 13 more were injured in a shooting near Tucson. The apparent target, U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, was critically injured in the head. [238]
2 May 2011 Osama bin Laden, the founder and leader of the militant Islamist group Al-Qaeda, was killed in a targeted killing in Abbottabad, Pakistan in an operation conducted by a team of United States Navy SEAL commandos. [239]
15 August 2011 Esmael Mangudadatu, Governor of Maguindanao, was a victim of a car bomb in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat. Two people were killed, including a Maguindanao board member, while six others were wounded. [240]
30 September 2011 Anwar al-Awlaki, a senior talent recruiter, planner and spiritual leader of al-Qaeda, was killed in a targeted killing in the northern al-Jawf province of Yemen, using two US Predator drones fired Hellfire missiles. [241]
20 October 2011 Muammar Gaddafi, Libya's ousted leader, was shot to death in Sirte. [242]
4 September 2012 Pauline Marois, Premier-designate of Quebec, escaped death during her victory speech after Richard Henry Bain opened fire at the Metropolis in Montreal, killing one person and critically injuring another. [243]
9 October 2012 Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani Women's rights activist was the victim of an assassination attempt by the Taliban in Pakistan. [244]
6 February 2013 Chokri Belaid, Tunisian opposition leader of the Democratic Patriots' Unified Party, was fatally shot. [245]
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. [246]
25 January 2015 Zulkifli Abdhir, suspected member of Jemaah Islamiyah, was killed in a police operation in Mamasapano, Philippines. [247]
27 February 2015 Boris Nemtsov, Russian physicist, statesman and opposition politician, was assassinated on the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge, Central Moscow, Russia, within sight of the Kremlin. [248]
5 March 2015 Mark Lippert, United States Ambassador to South Korea, was rushed into hospital after he was attacked by a knife-wielding man identified as Kim Ki-jong at a restaurant attached to Sejong Center in downtown Seoul. [249]
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. [250]
1 March 2016 Aid al-Qarni, Islamic Muslim scholar, author and activist was shot injured in an assassination attempt in Zamboanga City in the Philippines. [251]
16 June 2016 Jo Cox, British MP, was shot and stabbed to death by a Neo-Nazi white supremacist [252] 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. [253]
19 December 2016 Andrei Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, was killed in a gun attack at an art gallery in Ankara. [254]
1 January 2017 Emmanuel Niyonkuru, the Burundian environment minister, was shot dead in the nation's capital, Bujumbura. [255]
13 February 2017 Kim Jong-nam, eldest son of the late Kim Jong-il, was assassinated by two women in Malaysia with a VX nerve agent. [256]
14 June 2017 Republican congressmen were fired upon by James T. Hodgkinson, a left-wing activist from Illinois, during practice ahead of the annual Congressional Baseball Game in Alexandria, Virginia. Only Hodgkinson died, in a shootout with police officers. [257]
16 October 2017 Isnilon Hapilon, Emir of ISIS in Southeast Asia and leader of Abu Sayyaf, was killed in a military operation in Marawi City, which rescued 17 hostages. [258]
4 March 2018 Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent, was poisoned alongside his daughter Yulia in the city of Salisbury with a Novichok agent. [259]
2 July 2018 Antonio Halili, the former Mayor of Tanauan, Batangas was assassinated by an unidentified gunman while attending a flag raising ceremony together with around 300 government employees and newly elected barangay officials. [260]
2 October 2018 Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Arabian dissident and journalist for The Washington Post, was assassinated in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. [261] [262]
22 December 2018 Rodel Batocabe, Philippine party–list representative, was assassinated in a gift giving event for senior citizens in Daraga, Albay. [263]
13 January 2019 Paweł Adamowicz, Polish Mayor of the city of Gdańsk, was stabbed during a live charity event in Gdańsk by a former inmate. He died the following day. [264]


Non-natural disasters


Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 25 January 2010 Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 crashed into the Mediterranean Sea shortly after take-off from Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport, killing all 90 people on board. [265]
2010 Polish Air Force Tu-154 crash 10 April 2010 Flag of Russia.svg Polish President Lech Kaczyński and dozens of Polish government and military officials were among 96 people killed when their plane crashed near Smolensk, Russia. [266]
Afriqiyah Airways Flight 771 12 May 2010 Flag of Libya.svg Afriqiyah Airways Flight 771 crashed on a runway at Tripoli International Airport in Libya, killing all but one of the 104 passengers and crew. [267]
Air India Express Flight 812 22 May 2010 Flag of India.svg Air India Express Flight 812 overshot the runway at Mangalore International Airport in India, killing 158 people, with eight surviving. [268]
Airblue Flight 202 28 July 2010 Flag of Pakistan.svg Airblue Flight 202 en route from Karachi to Islamabad crashed in the Margalla Hills near Islamabad, killing all 152 aboard, becoming the deadliest air crash in Pakistan's history. [269]
Dana Air Flight 992 3 June 2012 Flag of Nigeria.svg Dana Air Flight 992 crashed in the Nigerian city of Lagos, killing all 153 people aboard. 10 people on the ground also perished. [270]
Asiana Airlines Flight 214 6 July 2013 Flag of the United States.svg Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed at San Francisco airport killing 3 and injuring 181 people. [271]
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 8 March 2014 Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The bulk of the plane is still missing, with all 239 people on board presumed dead. The first remains of the aircraft were found on 29 July 2015, after they washed ashore on Réunion Island. [272] [273]
Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 17 July 2014 Flag of Ukraine.svg Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine and crashed near the Ukrainian-Russian border, killing all 298 people on board, making it the deadliest airliner shoot down in history. [274]
Air Algérie Flight 5017 24 July 2014 Flag of Mali.svg Air Algérie Flight 5017 crashed in southern Mali, killing all 116 passengers and crew. [275]
Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 28 December 2014 Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 crashed in the Java sea after an attempt to avoid heavy thunderstorms, leaving all 162 people dead. [276]
Germanwings Flight 9525 24 March 2015 Flag of France.svg Germanwings Flight 9525 crashed in the French Alps, killing all 150 on board. [277]
2015 Indonesian Air Force Lockheed C-130 Hercules crash 30 June 2015 Flag of Indonesia.svg A Lockheed C-130 Hercules operated by the Indonesian Air Force crashed into a crowded residential neighborhood in Medan shortly after take-off from Soewondo Air Force Base, killing 143 people including 22 on the ground, making it the deadliest crash in Indonesian Air Force peacetime history. [278]
Metrojet Flight 9268 31 October 2015 Flag of Egypt.svg Metrojet Flight 9268, an Airbus A321 airliner en route to Saint Petersburg from Sharm el-Sheikh, crashes near Al-Hasana in Sinai, killing all 224 passengers and crew on board. [279]
LaMia Flight 2933 29 November 2016 Flag of Colombia.svg A chartered Avro RJ85 plane carrying 77 people, including the Chapecoense football team, crashes near Medellín, Colombia. Six of the passengers survived. The 2016 Copa Sudamericana Finals were suspended, and Atlético Nacional, Chapecoence's to be opponents, gave them the trophy out of respect. [280]
2016 Russian Defence Ministry Tupolev Tu-154 crash 25 December 2016 Flag of Russia.svg A Tupolev Tu-154 crashes near Sochi, Russia, killing all 92 people on board, including 64 members of the Alexandrov Ensemble. [281]
Iran Aseman Airlines Flight 3704 18 February 2018 Flag of Iran.svg Iran Aseman Airlines Flight 3704 crashes in the Zagros Mountains, en route from Tehran to Yasuj. All 65 passengers and crew members perish. [282]
Cubana de Aviación Flight 972 18 May 2018 Flag of Cuba.svg Cubana de Aviación Flight 972 crashes shortly after take-off near José Martí International Airport in Havana, killing 112 and leaving only one survivor. [283]
Lion Air Flight 610 29 October 2018 Flag of Indonesia.svg Lion Air Flight 610 crashes off the coast of Java, with 189 passengers on board. [284]
Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 10 March 2019 Flag of Ethiopia.svg Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 bound for Nairobi, crashes shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa killing all 157 people on board. [285]
Aeroflot Flight 1492 5 May 2019 Flag of Russia.svg Aeroflot Flight 1492 makes a hard landing, causing fire and partial destruction at Sheremetyevo International Airport, Moscow, killing 41 of the 78 people on board. [286]


2010 Copiapó mining accident 13 October 2010 Flag of Chile.svg Thirty-three miners near Copiapó, Chile, were trapped 700 metres (2,300 feet) underground in a mining accident in San José Mine, before being rescued after surviving for a record 69 days. [287]
2013 Savar building collapse 24 April 2013 Flag of Bangladesh.svg An eight-story factory building collapsed in the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, killing 1,129 people and injuring over 2,000 more, becoming the deadliest structural failure in history. [288]
2015 Tianjin explosions 12 August 2015 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Two explosions occurred within 30 seconds of each other at a container storage station at the Port of Tianjin in the Binhai New Area of Tianjin, China, killing at least 173. [289]
Mecca crane collapse 11 September 2015 Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg A crane toppled over at Mecca, killing 111 people, weeks before the official Hajj pilgrimage. [290]
2015 Mina stampede 24 September 2015 Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg A stampede during the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, killed at least 2,236 people, making it the deadliest Hajj disaster in history. [291]
Bento Rodrigues dam disaster 5 November 2015 Flag of Brazil.svg An iron ore tailings dam in Bento Rodrigues, a subdistrict of Mariana, Brazil, suffered a catastrophic failure, causing flooding and at least 17 deaths. At least 16 people have been injured. This incident has been described as the worst environmental disaster in Brazil's history. [292] [293] [294]
Tham Luang cave rescue 23 June – 10 July 2018 Flag of Thailand.svg Twelve boys and their football coach are successfully rescued from the flooded Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Thailand, following a 17-day ordeal that gained worldwide attention. [295] [296]
Ponte Morandi Collapse 14 August 2018 Flag of Italy.svg Part of the Morandi Bridge collapses after a violent storm in Genoa, Italy, causing 43 fatalities. Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio and transport minister Danilo Toninelli blame private company Autostrade per l'Italia. [297] [298]
Tlahuelilpan pipeline explosion 18 January 2019 Flag of Mexico.svg A 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. [299]
2019 Xiangshui chemical plant explosion 21 March 2019 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg A major explosion at a chemical plant in Xiangshui, Jiangsu, China, kills at least 64 people and injures more than 600 others. Its powerful impact registered as an artificial earthquake. [300]


Comayagua prison fire 14–15 February 2012 Flag of Honduras.svg A fire at the National Penitentiary in Comayagua, Honduras killed 361 people. [301] [302]
Kiss nightclub fire 27 January 2013 Flag of Brazil.svg 242 people were killed in a fire at a nightclub in Santa Maria, Brazil. [303]
Grenfell Tower fire 14 June 2017 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg A fire ignited by a faulty refrigerator in a London council estate tower block spread to almost the entirety of the building causing 72 deaths and over 70 injuries. [304] [305]
2018 Kemerovo fire 25 March 2018 Flag of Russia.svg At least 64 people die in a fire at a shopping and entertainment complex in the Russian city of Kemerovo. [306]
2018 Valencia, Venezuela fire 28 March 2018 Flag of Venezuela.svg At least 78 people die in a fire in the police headquarters of Valencia, Venezuela. [307]
National Museum of Brazil fire 2 September 2018 Flag of Brazil.svg A fire destroys the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro. No one was injured, but 90 percent of the collection was destroyed. [308] [309]
2019 Dhaka fire 20 February 2019 Flag of Bangladesh.svg A major fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh kills at least 78 people. [310]
Notre-Dame de Paris fire 15 April 2019 Flag of France.svg A major fire at the Notre-Dame Cathedral destroyed most of its roof, and its upper walls were severely damaged; extensive damage to the interior was prevented by its stone vaulted ceiling, which largely contained the burning roof as it collapsed. 3 injuries were reported, but there were no confirmed deaths. [311]


Costa Concordia disaster 13 January 2012 Flag of Italy.svg The Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia hit a reef and partially capsized off the coast of Isola del Giglio, Italy, killing 32 people. [312]
Sinking of MV Sewol 16 April 2014 Flag of South Korea.svg South Korean ferry MV Sewol capsized while en route to Jeju, killing 295 people, mostly secondary school students from Danwon High School. [313]
Sinking of Dong Fang Zhi Xing 1 June 2015 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg The river cruise ship Dong Fang Zhi Xing capsized in the Yangtze River after being hit by a waterspout, killing 442 people, making it the deadliest maritime disaster in China's peacetime history. [314]
Sinking of the MV Nyerere 20 September 2018 Flag of Tanzania.svg The MV Nyerere capsizes on Lake Victoria, killing at least 227 passengers. [315]


Deepwater Horizon oil spill 20 April 2010 Flag of the United States.svg An explosion on BP's Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig, operating in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, left eleven crewmen dead and resulted in a fire that sank the rig and caused a massive oil spill, becoming the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. [316] [317]
Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster 11 March 2011 Flag of Japan.svg A magnitude 9.0 earthquake off the coast of Sendai caused a tsunami that severely damaged the Fukushima Daiichi and Fukushima Daini nuclear power plants. The damage resulted in the worst nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl disaster, contaminating the entire area. [318] [319]
Flint water crisis 25 April 2014 Flag of the United States.svg The U.S. city of Flint, Michigan's water source was changed from the treated Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to the Flint River, where officials had failed to apply corrosion inhibitors. This decision led to the water being contaminated by lead and eventual nationwide outrage about an alleged coverup. [320] [321]

Natural disasters

Earthquakes and tsunamis

2010 Haiti earthquake 12 January 2010 Flag of Haiti.svg A 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti, causing widespread destruction in Port-au-Prince. Haitian authorities believe that the disaster killed between 200,000 and 250,000 people and over three million more were affected by the quake. The earthquake is so far the deadliest disaster in the decade. [322] [323]
2010 Chile earthquake 27 February 2010 Flag of Chile.svg An 8.8 magnitude earthquake occurred in Chile, triggering a tsunami across the Pacific and killing 497. One of the largest earthquakes in recorded history, this rare megathrust earthquake likely shifted Earth's axis and slightly shortened its days. [324] [325] [326]
2010 Baja California earthquake 4 April 2010 Flag of Mexico.svg A 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Mexicali and Baja, killing three and injuring more than two hundred. US border towns in Imperial Valley, California were affected. [327]
2010 Yushu earthquake 13 April 2010 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg A 6.9 magnitude earthquake occurred in western China, killing at least 2,200 and injuring more than 12,000. [328] [329]
February 2011 Christchurch earthquake 22 February 2011 Flag of New Zealand.svg A 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 185 people. [330]
2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami 11 March 2011 Flag of Japan.svg A 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit near Sendai, Japan. It created a 30 feet (9.1 m) high tsunami, leaving 15,893 dead, 2,565 missing and over 150,000 displaced. It was the largest earthquake to hit Japan in 140 years. [331] [332] [333]
2011 Van earthquake 23 October 2011 Flag of Turkey.svg A 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck the Turkish city of Van, leaving over 604 dead and thousands more injured. [334]
April 2015 Nepal earthquake 25 April 2015 Flag of Nepal.svg A massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal killed at least 8,857 people and injured tens of thousands more.It is the worst disaster to hit Nepal in decades. [335] [336] [337]
May 2015 Nepal earthquake 12 May 2015 Flag of Nepal.svg A second major earthquake hit Nepal, measuring 7.3 on the moment magnitude scale, killing 218 more people. [338]
2016 Ecuador earthquake 16 April 2016 Flag of Ecuador.svg A 7.8 earthquake struck near Muisne, Ecuador, killing over 673 people and displacing at least 25,000 more. [339]
August 2016 Central Italy earthquake 24 August 2016 Flag of Italy.svg A 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck Central Italy near Norcia, 75 km (47 mi) southeast of Perugia and 45 km (28 mi) north of L'Aquila, in an area near the tripoint of the Umbria, Lazio, and Marche regions. At least 299 people have been left dead. [340]
2017 Central Mexico earthquake 19 September 2017 Flag of Mexico.svg A 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck near the city of Puebla. Coincidentally, it was also the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, which was commemorated with a national seismic alert drill, just two hours before the real earthquake struck, which left 360 dead and over 6,000 injured. [341]
2018 Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami 28 September 2018 Flag of Indonesia.svg A magnitude 7.5 earthquake hits Sulawesi, Indonesia, causing a tsunami that kills at least 2,256 people and injures more than 540 others. [342]
2018 Sunda Strait tsunami 22 December 2018 Flag of Indonesia.svg A tsunami hits the Sunda Strait, Indonesia, killing at least 430 people and injuring nearly 1,500. [343]
2019 Peru earthquake 26 May 2019 Flag of Peru.svg A 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck in Loreto Region, Peru, killing 2 people and injures more than 30 others. [344]

Tropical cyclones

Typhoon Megi 18 October 2010 Flag of the Philippines.svg Typhoon Megi, known in the Philippines as Super Typhoon Juan, hit the Philippines, killing at least 69 and causing US$709 million in damage. [345]
Tropical Storm Washi 16 December 2011 Flag of the Philippines.svg Tropical Storm Washi, known in the Philippines as Tropical Storm Sendong, caused catastrophic damage on the Philippine island of Mindanao. More than 1,000 died and thousands were injured or missing. [346]
Hurricane Sandy 25 October 2012Various Hurricane Sandy caused immense destruction in Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and the United States, leaving at least 233 dead. It became the largest Atlantic tropical storm ever. [347] [348]
Typhoon Bopha 2 December 2012 Flag of the Philippines.svg Typhoon Bopha, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Pablo, struck the Philippines, killing at least 650 people and leaving millions more homeless. [349]
Typhoon Haiyan 7 November 2013 Flag of the Philippines.svg Typhoon Haiyan, known as Super Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, hits the Philippines, killing at least 6,000 people, with a thousand more still missing, making it the deadliest typhoon to ever hit the Philippines. [350]
Typhoon Melor 13 December 2015 Flag of the Philippines.svg Typhoon Melor, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Nona, hits the Philippines, killing 42 and causing $136 million in damages. [351] [352]
Cyclone Winston 20 February 2016 Flag of Fiji.svg Cyclone Winston struck Fiji, killing 44 people and causing $1.4 billion in damages, making it the costliest tropical cyclone in South Pacific history. [353]
Hurricane Joaquin 28 September 2015 – 7 October 2015 Flag of the United States.svg Flag of Cuba.svg Flag of the Bahamas.svg Flag of Bermuda.svg Flag of the Turks and Caicos Islands.svg Hurricane 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. [354]
Hurricane Matthew 28 September 2016 – 9 October 2016 Flag of the United States.svg Flag of Cuba.svg Flag of Haiti.svg Flag of Jamaica.svg Flag of the Dominican Republic.svg Flag of the Bahamas.svg Hurricane 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. [355]
Hurricane Harvey 23 August 2017 Flag of the United States.svg Hurricane Harvey slams into southeastern Texas after reorganizing over the Gulf of Mexico, causing catastrophic flooding and billions in damages. It became the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Total damage from the hurricane was estimated at $198 billion, making it the costliest natural disaster ever in the United States. [356] [357]
Hurricane Irma 30 August 2017 – 16 September 2017 Flag of Antigua and Barbuda.svg

Flag of Cuba.svg Flag of the United States.svg

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. [358] [359]
Hurricane Maria 16 September 2017 – 3 October 2017 Flag of Puerto Rico.svg Flag of Dominica.svg Hurricane Maria is regarded as the worst natural disaster on record in Dominica, and caused catastrophic damage and a major humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico. The third costliest Atlantic hurricane to date, it caused catastrophic damage and thousands of fatalities across the northeastern Caribbean, compounding recovery efforts in areas still damaged from Hurricane Irma just two weeks prior. [360] [361]
Typhoon Mangkhut 15 September 2018 Flag of the Philippines.svg Typhoon Mangkhut, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Ompong, hits northern Luzon, triggering deadly landslides and killing at least 95 people. [362] [363]
Hurricane Michael 7 October 2018 – 16 October 2018 Flag of the United States.svg Flag of Cuba.svg Hurricane 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. [364]


2011 Super Outbreak 25–28 April 2011 Flag of the United States.svg A tornado outbreak in the United States killed 342 people across seven states. It was the largest and one of the deadliest tornado outbreaks in United States history. [365]
21–26 May 2011 tornado outbreak sequence 21 May 2011 Flag of the United States.svg Another US tornado outbreak took place over six days. 178 people were killed, most of which occurred in Joplin, Missouri after an EF5 tornado swept through the city, killing 161 people. [366]
2019 Nepal tornado 31 March 2019 Flag of Nepal.svg A tornado struck the Bara and Parsa districts of Nepal, killing 28 and injuring 1,176 people. It is the first officially recorded tornado in Nepalese history. [367]

Floods, avalanches, and mudslides

2010 Pakistan floods July 2010 Flag of Pakistan.svg Flooding occurred in Pakistan after record monsoon rains, killing at least 1,600 people, thousands were rendered homeless, and more than thirteen million people were affected. Estimates from rescue service officials suggest the death toll might have reached 3,000. [368] [369] [370]
January 2011 Rio de Janeiro floods and mudslides 11 January 2011 Flag of Brazil.svg Floods and mudslides killed 903 people across the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. [371] [372]
2013 Alberta floods 19 June 2013 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Massive flooding occurred in Alberta, becoming the province's worst flooding in decades. [373]
2015 Afghanistan avalanches 24 February 2015 Flag of Afghanistan.svg An avalanche killed 310 people and wounded over 129 in Panjshir Province, Afghanistan. [374]

Volcanic eruptions

2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull 20 March 2010 Flag of Iceland.svg Eruptions of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland caused unprecedented disruption to international air travel, rendering transatlantic flight impossible and closing airways across much of Europe. The event was the largest air traffic shut-down since World War II. [375]
2010 eruptions of Mount Merapi Early November 2010 Flag of Indonesia.svg Mount Merapi erupted in Indonesia, killing 353 people and grounding flights across Southeast Asia, becoming the largest eruption from the mountain in a century.
2018 lower Puna eruption 3 May 2018 Flag of the United States.svg A lava flow erupted in Hawai'i from Kīlauea's east rift zone, causing lots of damage and resulting in evacuation orders.
2018 Volcán de Fuego eruption 3 June 2018 Flag of Guatemala.svg Volcán de Fuego erupted in Guatemala killing at least 190 people, the deadliest eruption in Guatemala since 1929.

Droughts, heat waves, and wildfires

2011–17 California drought December 2011 – March 2017 Flag of the United States.svg The state of California suffered through a water drought for the most part of the decade, affecting the way how Californians showered, use their drinking water, and even some of their electricity. [376]
2015 Indian heat wave 24 May 2015 Flag of India.svg A heatwave in Southern India resulted in over 2,500 deaths. [377]
2015 Pakistani heat wave 20 June 2015 Flag of Pakistan.svg A related heatwave hit neighbouring Pakistan, killing over 2,000 people in Karachi alone. [377]
2016 Fort McMurray wildfire 1 May 2016 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg A wildfire began southwest of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. On 3 May, it swept through the community, destroying more than 2,400 homes and buildings and forcing the largest wildfire evacuation in Alberta's history. The wildfire is the costliest disaster in Canadian history. [378] [379]
2018 Camp Fire 8–25 November 2018 Flag of the United States.svg A wildfire began in Northern California that eventually became the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history to date. It was also the deadliest wildfire in the United States since the Cloquet fire in 1918, and among the list of deadliest wildfires, it was the sixth-deadliest U.S. wildfire overall, killing 85 people and injuring 17. [380] [381]
2019 Amazon rainforest wildfires January 2019–ongoing Flag of Brazil.svg Flag of Bolivia.svg
Flag of Peru.svg Flag of Paraguay.svg
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. [382] [383]


Greece and Eurozone's rise of debt in the early years of the decade Greek debt and EU average.png
Greece and Eurozone's rise of debt in the early years of the decade

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. [384] 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. [385] Despite the Eurozone debt crisis, the American Dow Jones Industrial Average had its longest stretch of gains since the late 1990s tech boom. [386] 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. [387] Japan also saw a rating downgrade the following year due to debt burden. [388] In August 2011, the S&P downgraded the United States' credit rating from triple AAA to AA-plus following a debt ceiling crisis. [389] Also in 2011, a Gallup poll found that more than half of Americans believed the country was still in a recession. [390] From 12 June 2015, the Shanghai Stock Exchange lost a third of the value of A-shares within one month, known as the 2015–16 Chinese stock market turbulence. India became the fastest growing major economy of the world in 2015, surpassing China. [391] 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. [392] In 2019, Singapore supplanted the United States as the world's most competitive economy, with the U.S. dropping to third, behind Hong Kong. [393]

A man and a delivery robot waiting at a pedestrian crossing in Redwood City, California, United States. E-commerce spurred advancements in drone delivery and transformed parts of the services and retail sectors Man and delivery robot waiting at pedestrian crosing in Redwood City, California.jpg
A man and a delivery robot waiting at a pedestrian crossing in Redwood City, California, United States. E-commerce spurred advancements in drone delivery and transformed parts of the services and retail sectors

Global oil production in 2014 reached a historic peak, reaching 93 million barrels/day. [394] 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. [395] Around the year 2017 is a period seen by some economists as being the new peak of a "goldilocks economy". [396] 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." [397]

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. [398] [399] 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. [400]

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. [401] 1 in 7 people in the United Kingdom reported no longer carrying or using physical cash. [402] 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. [403]

Cyber security and hacking

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

Edward Snowden, former NSA employee who revealed a large number of global surveillance programs. Edward Snowden-2.jpg
Edward Snowden, former NSA employee who revealed a large number of global surveillance programs.
Jurgen Mossack, co-founder of Mossack Fonseca, which shut down in light of revelations from the Panama Papers. Jurgen Mossack.jpg
Jürgen Mossack, co-founder of Mossack Fonseca, which shut down in light of revelations from the Panama Papers.
Afghan War documents leak 25 July 2010 WikiLeaks published more than 90,000 internal U.S. military logs of the War in Afghanistan. The documents revealed numerous cover-ups and absence of trials for captured or killed Taliban members by the coalition. [404] [405]
Stuxnet August 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. [406] [407] [408]
Iraq War documents leak 22 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. [409] It documented multiple cases of misconduct, abuse of power against civilians and other war crimes by U.S. authorities in the country. [410] [411] The leaks also showed that Iran was involved in the war by supplying Shiite militias with deadly weapons. [412]
The Offshore leaks April 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). [413]
Global surveillance disclosures (2013–present) 5 June 2013 Edward Snowden leaked files through the Guardian newspaper detailing National Security Agency (NSA) privacy policies, including PRISM, the NSA call database, and Boundless Informant. [414] [415] [416] Leaks also revealed covert actions against German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and have damaged diplomatic relations in Europe and Brazil. [417] [418]
Office of Personnel Management data breach 5 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. [419] The attack was suspected to have originated from China but it remains unclear if it was or not. [420]
2016 Bangladesh Bank heist 4 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. [421] 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. [422] [423]
Panama Papers 3 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. [424] 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. [425] [426]
Yahoo! data breach 22 September 2016 Yahoo Inc. reported that account information for up to 500 million users in 2014 had been hacked, [427] compromising personal data from the accounts, including names, addresses, passwords, telephone numbers and possibly encrypting other information. [428] Further, the statement claimed that the hacker was no longer in Yahoo's system and that the company was fully cooperating with law enforcement. [429]
October 2016 Dyn cyberattack 21 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. [430]
Vault 7 7 March 2017 WikiLeaks began to publish a series of files that detail the capabilities of the United States Central Intelligence Agency to perform electronic surveillance and cyber warfare, such as the ability to compromise cars, smart TVs, [249] web browsers, [431] and the operating systems of most smartphones and computers, such as Microsoft Windows and macOS.
WannaCry ransomware attack 12 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 [432] 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. [433] [434]
Paradise Papers 5 November 2017A set of 13.4 million confidential electronic documents relating to offshore investments. [435] The documents originate from the offshore law firm Appleby, the corporate services providers Estera and Asiaciti Trust, and business registries in 19 tax jurisdictions. [436] At 1.4 terabytes in size, this is second only to the Panama Papers, it is the second biggest data leak in history. [437]


AIDS, a pandemic responsible for killing over 30 million people since its discovery in the early 1980s, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, became a treatable condition, though only two cases have been cured. [438] With good treatment patients can generally expect normal lives and lifespans. However, as of 2011 only some 5 million of the 12 million afflicted have access to such treatment. [439]


West African Ebola virus epidemic December 2013 – June 2016An outbreak of the Ebola virus, the worst of its kind in history, killed more than 11,300 people in West Africa. [440] In August 2014, the World Health Organization declared it a public health emergency of international concern. On 14 January 2016, the WHO declared the epidemic to be over, despite continuing small flare-ups at the time. [441]
Zika virus epidemic April 2015 – November 2016A zika virus spreads rapidly throughout Latin America, [442] with imported cases being reported worldwide. [443] [444]
Middle East respiratory syndrome outbreak in South Korea May–July 2015An outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome in South Korea caused over thirty deaths. Thousands were quarantined. [445]
2018–19 Kivu Ebola epidemic August 2018 – presentA second Ebola outbreak began in August 2018 in the eastern region of Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. On 3 May 2019, nine months into the outbreak, the DRC outbreak surpassed 1,000 deaths. By June 2019, 2,426 people had died and the virus had spread to neighboring Uganda, becoming an epidemic; the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on 17 July. [446] [447]

Science and technology


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

Other scientific advancements by field


  • 2011: Life extension began to be considered. [470]
  • 2013: Google created Calico in order to research ways to combat aging. [471]
  • 2015: The Philippines became the first Asian country to approve the sale of the world's first dengue vaccine, the Dengvaxia. [472]
  • 2016: A study in December finds the VSV-EBOV vaccine to be 95–100% effective against the Ebola virus, thus making it the first proven vaccine against the disease. [473]
  • 2019: Scientists synthesize hachimoji DNA using four new nucleobases in addition to the four in natural DNA.
Oblique View of Warm Season Flows in Newton Crater.jpg
NASA announced that its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured photographic evidence of possible liquid water on Mars on 4 August 2011.
CERN LHC Tunnel1.jpg
The first collisions of CERN's Large Hadron Collider took place on 31 March 2010.
Black hole - Messier 87 crop max res.jpg
The first-ever image of a supermassive black hole, located in the Messier 87 galaxy, was revealed on 10 April 2019.



Big data and "Big Tech" saw an expansion in size and power in the 2010s, particularly FAANG corporations. The growing influence of "Big Tech" over cyberspace drew scrutiny and increased oversight from national governments. The G20 countries began closing tax loopholes [501] and the European Union began asserting legal guidelines over domains such as data privacy, copyright, and hate speech, the latter of which helped fuel a debate over tech censorship and free speech online, particularly deplatforming. Throughout the decade, the United States increasingly scrutinized the tech industry, from attempted copyright regulations to threatening antitrust probes. [502] [503] Increased protectionism and attempts to regulate and localize the internet by national governments also raised fears of cyber-balkanization in the later half of the decade. [504] [505] [506]

Communications and electronics

Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad for the first time at a press conference on 27 January 2010 Steve Jobs with the Apple iPad no logo (cropped).jpg
Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad for the first time at a press conference on 27 January 2010
  • Smartphones maintained their strong popularity throughout the 2010s, along with the arrival of tablets. Apple Inc. launched the iPad in 2010, its first tablet computer, which offered multi-touch interaction. The iPad became an immediate bestseller and only months after its release became the best selling tech product in history. [507] By the mid-2010s, almost all smartphones were touchscreen-only, and Android and iPhone smartphones dominated the market. [508]
    • Mobile apps become commercially available in the early 2010s, along with popular app stores such as Google Play, iOS App Store, and Microsoft Store.
    • Throughout the early 2010s, sales for PCs declined in favor of tablet computers and laptop convertibles; [509] in 2012, tablet and smartphone sales overtook netbooks and Samsung overtook Nokia for the first time as the largest mobile phone maker in the world; [510] [511] in 2013 in developed countries, smartphone sales surpassed feature phones. [512]
    • In April 2019, South Korea became the first country to adopt 5G broadband. [513] Verizon launched its 5G services in the United States just hours later, along with disputing South Korea's claim of becoming the world's first country with a 5G network. [514] The United Kingdom's first 5G mobile network became operational on 30 May, initially covering parts of six cities. [515]
  • In 2011, more than 2 billion people used the Internet, [516] one billion mobile broadband users predicted and 4.6 billion people worldwide were subscribed to mobile phones, [517] and Americans spent more time using mobile apps than using the World Wide Web. [518]
Cryptocurrency becomes widely popular as a digital financial asset Cryptocurrency logos.jpg
Cryptocurrency becomes widely popular as a digital financial asset


Automobiles and transportation


  • The e-cigarette gained popularity within the 2010s, with the JUUL e-cigarette becoming the most popular e-cigarette in the U.S. in 2017 with a market share of over 72%, [555] and Altria becoming the most valuable e-cigarette company in the world by 2018. [556] Many cities across the