21st century

The 21st century is the current century of the Anno Domini era or Common Era, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. It began on January 1, 2001, and will end on December 31, 2100. It is the first century of the 3rd millennium.
The beginning of the 21st century has been marked by the rise of a global economy and Third World consumerism, deepening global concern over terrorism and an increase in private enterprise. Effects of global warming and rising sea levels continued, with eight islands disappearing between 2007 and 2014. The Arab Spring of the early 2010s led to mixed outcomes in the Arab world, resulting in several civil wars and governments overthrown.
The United States has remained the only global superpower.
The European Union has greatly expanded in the 21st century, adding
13 member states. Most member states of the European Union introduced a common currency, the Euro, and the United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic spread around the world,
causing severe global economic disruption, including the largest global recession since the Great Depression.
The Third Industrial Revolution which began around the 1950s continued into the late 20th century, and started to transition into Industry 4.0 and the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the beginning of the 21st century.
Due to the proliferation of mobile devices, more than half of the world's population have access to the internet, allowing humans to be more interconnected than ever before. DNA sequencing costs continued to fall: the first human genome cost three billion dollars; in 2018, sequencing one human genome cost about $1000.

Technology and society

Advances in technology such as ultrasound, prenatal genetic testing and genetic engineering are changing the demographics and has the potential to change the genetic makeup of the human population. Because of sex selective abortion, fewer girls have been born in the 21st century compared to past centuries, mostly because of son preference in East and South Asia. In 2014, only 47 percent of Indian births were of girls. This has led to an increase in bachelors in countries such as China and India. The first genetically modified children were born in November 2018 in China, beginning a new biological era for the human species and raising great controversy.
Anxiety and depression rates have risen in the United States and many other parts of the world. However, suicide rates have fallen in Europe and most of the rest of the world so far this century, declining 29% globally between 2000 and 2018, despite rising 18% in the United States in the same period. The decline in suicide has been most notable among Chinese and Indian women, the elderly, and middle-aged Russian men.

Knowledge and information

The entire written works of humanity, from the beginning of recorded history to 2003, in all known languages, are estimated to be at five exabytes of data. Since 2003, with the beginning of social media and "user-generated content", the same amount of data is created every two days. The advancement of the sum total of human knowledge and information continues to grow at an exponential rate.
Telecommunications in the early 21st century are much more advanced and universal than they were in the late 20th century. Only a few percent of the world's population were Internet users and cellular phone owners in the late 1990s; as of 2018, 55% of the world's population is online and as of 2019, an estimated 67% own a cell phone. In the 2010s, artificial intelligence, mostly in the form of deep learning and machine learning became more prevalent, and is prominently used in Gmail and Google's search engine, as well as in banking, the military and other niches. In 2017, 14% of the world's population still lacked access to electricity.
is regarded as the world's largest religious festival.
In 2001, Dennis Tito became the first space tourist, beginning the era of commercial spaceflight. Entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk and Richard Branson are working towards commercial space exploration, colonization and tourism, and China and India have made substantial strides in their space programs. On January 3, 2019, China landed a robotic spacecraft on the far side of the Moon, the first to do so.

Culture and politics

and most kinds of crime and violence have declined considerably compared to the 20th century; such a period of "relative peace" between major powers has not been documented in human history since the Roman Empire. Malnourishment and poverty are still widespread globally, but fewer people live in the most extreme forms of poverty, relative to recorded history. In 1990, approximately one-in-four people were malnourished, and nearly 36% of the world's population lived in extreme poverty; by 2015, these numbers had dropped to approximately one-in-eight and 10%, respectively.
The Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal drew international attention to the possible negative effects of social media in influencing citizen's views, particularly with regard to the 2016 United States presidential election.

Population and urbanization

The world population was about 6.1 billion at the start of the 21st century, and reached 7.7 billion by January 2019. It is estimated to reach about 8.6 billion by the year 2030, and 9.8 billion by the year 2050. According to the United Nations World Urbanization prospects, 60% of the world's human population is projected to live in megacities and megalopolises by 2030, 70% by 2050, and 90% by 2080. By 2040, more than 5 times the current global gross domestic product is expected to be invested in urban infrastructure.
Life expectancy has increased as child mortality continues to decline. A baby born in 2016, for example, can on average expect to live 72 years—26 years longer than the global average of someone born in 1950. Ten million Britons are expected to live to 100 or older.
Climate change remains a serious concern; UN Chief António Guterres, for instance, has described it as an "existential threat" to humanity. Furthermore, the Holocene extinction event, the sixth most significant extinction event in the history of the Earth, continues with the widespread degradation of highly biodiverse habitats as a byproduct of human activity.

Economics, education and retirement

Economically and politically, the United States and Western Europe were dominant at the beginning of the century; by the 2010s, China became an emerging superpower and by some measures the world's largest economy. In terms of purchasing power parity, India's economy became larger than that of Japan around the year 2011.
There is an ongoing impact of technological unemployment due to automation and computerization: the rate at which jobs are disappearing—due to machines replacing them—is expected to escalate. Automation alters the number of jobs and the skills demands of industries. As of 2019, the production output of first world nations' manufacturing sectors was doubled when compared to 1984 output; but it is now produced with one-third fewer workers and at significantly reduced operating costs. Half of all jobs with requirements lower than a bachelor's degree are currently in the process of being replaced with partial- or full-automation.
The World Economic Forum forecast that 65% of children entering primary school will end up in jobs or careers that currently do not yet exist.
A rise in the retirement age has been called for in view of an increase in life expectancy and has been put in place in many jurisdictions.


There is a debate among experts and the general public on how to pronounce specific years of the 21st century in English. Regarding this, academics suggested that since former years such as 1805 and 1905 were commonly pronounced as "eighteen oh five" or "nineteen oh five", the year 2005 should naturally have been pronounced as "twenty oh five". A less common variation would have been "twenty nought five". Generally, the early years of the 21st century were pronounced as "two-thousand five", with a change taking place around 2010, where pronunciations often shift between the early-year standard of "two-thousand and ten" and the traditional approach of "twenty-ten".
The Vancouver Olympics, which took place in 2010, was being officially referred to by Vancouver 2010 as "the twenty-ten Olympics". The latest timeframes for change are usually placed at 2020.
According to The Stanley Kubrick Archives, in the press release for his film , film director Stanley Kubrick included specific instructions for journalists to refer to the movie as "two thousand and one" instead of the commonplace pronunciation of "twenty-oh-one". Kubrick said he did this in the hope that if the film became popular, it would influence the pronunciation of that year.



and José Manuel Barroso
, the first African-American President of the United States, and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev after signing the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
was sworn in as the first female Prime Minister of Australia in 2010.
in Poland
, Euromaidan, people protesting in favor of Ukraine's European way., Ukraine
in 2015
, 22 July 2016
, King Salman of Saudi Arabia and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi touching The Orb at the 2017 Riyadh summit.
protest in Parkland, FL in 2018.

New countries and territorial changes

Some territories have gained independence during the 21st century. This is a list of sovereign states that have gained independence in the 21st century and have been recognized by the UN.
These territories have declared independence and secured relative autonomy but they have only been recognized by some UN member states:
These territories have declared independence and secured relative autonomy but they have been recognized by no one:
These territories were annexed from a sovereign country, the action has only been recognized by some UN member states:

Space exploration

The Digital Revolution continued into the early 21st century with mobile phone usage and Global Internet usage growing massively, becoming available to many more people, with more applications and faster speeds.
Social networking emerged in the late 2000s as a popular social communication, largely replacing much of the function of email, message boards and instant messaging services. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat are all major examples of social media to gain widespread popularity. The use of webcams and front-facing cameras on PCs and related devices, and services such as Skype and FaceTime, have made video calling and video conferencing widespread.

Civil unrest

Natural disasters

as viewed from the International Space Station on August 24, 2011
destruction in Dominica in 2017.
As of 2009, SIL Ethnologue catalogued 6,909 living human languages. The exact number of known living languages will vary from 5,000 to 10,000, depending generally on the precision of one's definition of "language", and in particular on how one classifies dialects.
Estimates vary depending on many factors but the general consensus is that there are between 6,000 and 7,000 languages currently spoken, and that between 50–90% of those will have become extinct by the year 2100. The top 20 languages spoken by more than 50 million speakers each, are spoken by 50% of the world's population, whereas many of the other languages are spoken by small communities, most of them with fewer than 10,000 speakers.

Economics and industry

is the most popular sport worldwide with the FIFA World Cup being the most viewed football event. Other sports such as rugby, cricket, baseball, basketball, ice hockey, tennis, and golf are popular globally. In cricket, the emergence of the Twenty20 format and the creation of the Indian Premier League led to changes in the nature of the sport. American swimmer Michael Phelps won an Olympic record setting 8 Gold medals at the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Bird's Nest Stadium during the 2008 Summer Olympics.



At the beginning of the century, the compact disc was the standard form of music media, but alternative forms of music media started to take it place such as music downloading and online streaming. A slight resurgence in vinyl records started to take place in the 2010s.

Issues and concerns

forecast. Virtually all economic sectors rely heavily on petroleum.
, Bangladesh in 2006. Almost 97% of future population growth is expected to occur in developing countries.

List of the long central solar eclipses