Millennium: 3rd millennium

The 2010s (pronounced "two thousand (and) tens" or "twenty-tens") [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] is the second and current decade of the 21st century in the Gregorian calendar. It began on 1 January 2010, and will end on 31 December 2019.

Society and culture


Aging population

Percentage of world population over 65

The 2010s are the decade in which most baby boomers in developed nations are to retire, putting pressure on pension programs and other safety net programs. Many countries reported declining fertility rates in their 2010 censuses. [6] The consequences of an aging society were felt hardest in Europe and Japan, which were the first to experience substantial population decline. [7] [8]

Over 20% of Japan's population is over the age of 65, making it the most elderly nation. [9] As a result, Japan examined alternative solutions for elder care, including robots. [10] [11] In the United States, proposals for revising Medicare and Social Security proliferated, including raising the age of retirement or adjusting benefit amounts. Opponents instead wanted to increase benefit levels. [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] In 2010, France debated and raised the retirement age from 60 to 62, despite widespread demonstrations in opposition. [17] A few years later the threshold was lowered back to 60. [18]

Social trends


Environmentalism gained, though action on curbing fossil fuels has been limited.[ citation needed]

LGBTQ rights

Plaintiffs celebrate outside the Supreme Court on June 26, 2015 following same-sex marriage legalization in the United States.

Acceptance of LGBT people slowly increased. [19] [20] [21] In June 2011 the United Nations Human Rights Council passed the UN's first-ever motion condemning discrimination against gays, lesbians and bisexuals commissioning a report on the issue. [22] The report was issued in December 2011. [23] Although many nations allowed gays and bisexuals to serve in their militaries, a major milestone came in September 2011 when the US abolished its " Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. [24] [25] In 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law that criminalized expression of homosexuality. [26] St. Petersburg drafted its own ban on homosexual expression, and banned pride events as well. [27] Marriage for same-sex couples was an ongoing debate in many nations, while over eighteen nations legalized same-sex marriage. [28] [29] [30] [31] [32] Ireland, in 2015, became the first nation to legalize same-sex marriage via referendum. [33]

Youth culture

Aerosol (vapor) exhaled by an e-cigarette user.
Aerosol ( vapor) exhaled by an e-cigarette user.

Widespread internet use has been around for younger people's entire lives. [34] The youth of the 2010s were called the "best-behaved generation on record." In May 2014, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported that teenage pregnancies and their uses of drugs and alcohol reached record lows. [35] A 2013 survey showed that the rate of teen smoking dropped to 15.7%, the rate of teenagers having unprotected sex dropped to 34% and the rate of teenagers participating in a physical fight dropped to 25%, much lower than their counterparts 22 years earlier. [36] E-cigarette and smokeless tobacco use among teenagers rose. [37]



The Burj Khalifa, the tallest building when completed in 2010.

Postmodernism and green design [38] [39] were common architectural themes. " Sustainable design" emphasized natural lighting, green/white roofs, better insulation and other cost-saving features. [40] New urbanism and urban revival influenced urban planning in the United States and other developed countries. [41] However, growth of American suburbs still outpaces urban growth. [42] China and the Middle East led in large-scale development. [43] [44] [45] [46]

New constructions

In 2010, the United Arab Emirates' Burj Khalifa became the tallest man-made structure ever built, standing at 828 m (2,717 ft). [47] The United States' One World Trade Center, completed in 2014, is the tallest building in North America at 1,776 ft (541 m). [48]


In 2015 Excessivism emerged. Trends that began since earlier decades are continuing into this decade are: Pop art, altermodern, cynical realism, the Kitsch movement, post-contemporary, metamodernism, pseudorealism, remodernism, renewable energy sculpture, street art, Stuckism, Superflat, Superstroke, urban art, video game art and virtual art.


K-pop star B.I sporting an undercut hairstyle.

The 2010s have been defined by a revival of interwar, austerity era, 1980s (2010–13), early 1990s and skater fashions. [49] In the early 2010s, many late 2000s fashion trends remained popular, especially the indie pop and grunge look which largely draws upon 1960s Mod clothing combined with elements of 1970s garage rock and contemporary alternative fashion. Hipster subculture and the "Thrift Shop" look had a considerable impact upon mainstream fashion. Full-printed T-shirts with diverse patterns (cosmic, clouds, historic architecture, and tribal) trended. In many Western countries, the growing of a full beard became a popular trend among young males in the early-to-mid 2010s, with some suggesting this was due to the influence of the hipster subculture and the Movember campaign. [50] [51] Other facial hair styles such as moustaches and goatees were popular during the most part of the decade. The "undercut", a variation of a crew cut, was made a trend by rapper Macklemore in 2013. This style has been embraced by the hip-hop, hipster and punk subcultures.


Styles and Trends Superhero and science fiction films became box office leaders. [52] Animated films in the 2010s remained predominately computer-generated. Traditional animation styles lost favor among older audiences, [53] [54] [55] although (2D) Anime remained popular. [56]

Technology 3D films gained popularity, led by Avatar in late 2009. [57] [58] [59] In 2010, Avatar became the first film to gross more than US$2 billion. [60] Other 3D releases were also successful. [61] [62] 360-degree video also became widely available with the introduction of consumer virtual reality.

Distribution Movies and television struggled to maintain their position, as online viewing grew rapidly. [63] Piracy was a major concern for the industry. [64] [65] [66] In 2012 Viacom launched a US$1 billion lawsuit against YouTube for copyright infringement. [67] In early 2012, the United States Congress began debating the SOPA and PIPA bills that were heavily lobbied by the entertainment industry. [68]

Most popular In 2010, Toy Story 3 became the first animated film to gross more than US$1 billion worldwide. [69] In 2016, Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) became the third highest-grossing film of all time. [70] [71]

Year 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Highest grossing by release year Toy Story 3 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 The Avengers Frozen Transformers: Age of Extinction Star Wars: The Force Awakens Captain America: Civil War
$1.07 Billion [72] $1.34 Billion [73] $1.52 Billion [74] $1.28 Billion [75] $1.10 Billion [76] $2.07 Billion [77] $1.15 Billion [78]

Award winners In 2010, Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to receive the Academy Award for Best Director for the 2009 movie The Hurt Locker. [79]

Award 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Academy Award for Best Picture winners The King's Speech [80] The Artist [81] Argo [82] 12 Years a Slave [83] Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) [84] Spotlight [85] Moonlight [86]
Palme d'Or winners at the Cannes Film Festival Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives [87] The Tree of Life [88] Amour [89] Blue Is the Warmest Colour [90] Winter Sleep [91] Dheepan [92] I, Daniel Blake [93] The Square [94]
César Award for Best Film winners Of Gods and Men [95] The Artist [96] Amour [97] Me, Myself and Mum [98] Timbuktu [99] Fatima [100] Elle [101]
Best films of the Sight & Sound annual poll The Social Network [102] The Tree of Life [103] The Master [104] The Act of Killing [105] Boyhood [106] The Assassin [107] Toni Erdmann [108]


Gluten-free diets became popular. Fusion cuisine offered a new twist on many traditional food items. An interest in local and organic foods carried over from the mid to late 2000s, prompted from green and sustainable living. There was an increased population of vegetarians and vegans. Spicy foods were popular, sometimes in new ways. Finger foods such as orderves and Tapas were applied to many desserts and comfort foods. Chipotle's success caused its fast casual made-to-order business model to carry over to many other food categories. Food presentation became more important as social media caused an increase in food photography and sharing. Caffeinated products spilled over to things like gum and mints.

Food and drink trends

Bagel with avocado, arugula, humus and fried egg.

Alcoholic drink trends

A Moscow mule – an example of the savory drink trend.


Advances in music technology, such as the ability to use 32 or more tracks in real time, changed the sound of many types of music. Globalism and an increased demand for variety and personalization in the face of music streaming services created many subgenres. Dance and pop music surged into the 2010s, [109] [110] [111] with EDM achieving mass commercial success. [112] EDM, synthpop, indie, and trap see mainstream success throughout the early to mid 2010s. R&B and hip-hop rose to prominence again during the early 2010s and has remained the most popular form of music since. [113] [114] In 2013, Baauer's " Harlem Shake" was the first Internet meme song to reach the #1 spot on the Billboard Top 100, reflecting a shift in popular culture as Internet memes became mainstream. [115] K-pop (and the rise in popularity of South Korea's entertainment industry due to technological advances) finally mounted into the music scene of the United States with Psy's " Gangnam Style" winning the Billboard Music Award for Top Streaming Song (Video) in 2013. [116] In the early 2010s, dubstep and drumstep, originating in the United Kingdom, rose in popularity globally. [117] [118] [119] Drumstep is continuing to grow in popularity along with drum and bass. It mirrors the electronic-leaning musical trends elsewhere, while hardstyle is becoming increasingly popular in Australia and North America, with music festivals such as Defqon 1, IQON and The sound of Q-dance. [120] [121] [122] [123]


Digital music sales in 2012 topped CD sales. [124] Music streaming services such as Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora Radio became the preferred music delivery systems, similar to movie and television streaming services such as Netflix. [125]

Most popular

Award 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Billboard's best-performing single Tik Tok Rolling in the Deep Somebody That I Used to Know Thrift Shop Happy Uptown Funk! Love Yourself
Kesha Adele Gotye Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Pharrell Williams Mark Ronson Justin Bieber

Award winners

Award 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Record of the Year Grammy Winners " Use Somebody" [126] " Need You Now" [127] " Rolling in the Deep" [128] " Somebody That I Used to Know" [129] " Get Lucky" [130] " Stay with Me" [131] " Uptown Funk" [132] " Hello" [133]
Kings of Leon Lady Antebellum Adele Gotye featuring Kimbra Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams Sam Smith Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars Adele



The American soap opera format lost popularity in favor of reality television and daytime talk shows. [144] [145] Long-lived but canceled shows All My Children and One Life to Live return in 2013 as online content. [146] Prime-time television serials and Spanish-language telenovelas remain popular globally. [147] A new development in global television is the great popularity of Turkish drama series in parts of Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. [148] [149]


Cable providers saw a decline in subscriber numbers as cord cutters switched to lower cost online streaming services such as Hulu, Netflix and Amazon.com's Video service. [150] [151] These non-cable, internet-based media streaming services even began producing their own programming. [152] TV sets, such as the Samsung SmartTV, started offering online streaming via television.

Award winners

Award 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Primetime Emmy Award for Best Drama Mad Men [153] Mad Men [154] Homeland [155] Breaking Bad [156] Breaking Bad [157] Game of Thrones [158] Game of Thrones


Award winners

In 2013 for the first time, the four nominees for the Best Musical Tony Award were all based on movies. 2016 was the first year in which all the musical acting awards were won by performers of color.

Award 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Tony Award for Best Musical Memphis [159] The Book of Mormon [160] Once [161] Kinky Boots [162] A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder [163] Fun Home [164] Hamilton [165] Dear Evan Hansen [166]
Pulitzer Prize for Drama Next To Normal, by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey [167] Clybourne Park, by Bruce Norris [167] Water by the Spoonful, by Quiara Alegría Hudes [167] Disgraced, by Ayad Akhtar [167] The Flick, by Annie Baker [167] Between Riverside and Crazy, by Stephen Adly Guirgis [167] Hamilton, by Lin-Manuel Miranda [167] Sweat, by Lynn Nottage [167]

Video gaming

PlayStation 4 was released in the November 2013 and so far it has been the best-selling gaming console of the decade. (40 million units sold worldwide as of May 2016) [168]
The Nintendo 3DS is the first gaming device released to feature 3D gaming without the need for stereoscopic glasses.

Cloud gaming, Virtual reality, stereoscopic 3D gaming, and ongoing improvements in graphics were some of the biggest trends. Video game sales declined in the early-2010s, most likely due to the effects of the Great Recession. [169]


The decade began dominated primarily by seventh generation consoles, such as Xbox 360, the PlayStation 3 and Wii. [170]

The Nintendo 3DS, released in early 2011 introduced a glasses-free interface for 3D. [171] The 2D PlayStation Vita was released in 2012. The Wii introduced the sensor bar with compatible sensitive controllers, followed by the PlayStation Move and Kinect. This expanded the video game market to the elderly and those interested in physical therapy. [172] [173] [174] [175]

PC gaming

Games such as the Sims franchise and many of Blizzard's popular titles remained popular on PCs and expanded to other devices. [176] [177]

Virtual reality

The first generation oculus rift.

Commercial tethered headsets released for VR gaming include the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, and Sony's PlayStation VR (which requires a PlayStation instead of a PC to run). [178]

Cloud gaming

The OnLive console was released in 2010 becoming the first massively produced cloud gaming-based gaming device. [179] 2012 introduced the first console regarded to be in the eighth generation, the Wii U, followed in late 2013, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. They faced stiff competition from tablet and smartphones. [180] [181]

Most popular

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, released in late 2011, made over US$775 million in one-week, matching the highest-grossing films. [182] According to the Entertainment Software Association, the average age of a person who plays video games is 30. [183]

Award winners

Award 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
As the Spike Video Game Awards Red Dead Redemption [184] The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim [185] The Walking Dead [186] Grand Theft Auto V [187]
As The Game Awards Dragon Age: Inquisition [188] The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt [189] Overwatch [190]
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