21st century

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The 21st (twenty-first) 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.[1] It is the first century of the 3rd millennium. It is distinct from the century known as the 2000s which began on January 1, 2000 and will end on December 31, 2099.[2]

The first years of the 21st century have thus far been marked by the rise of a global economy and Third World consumerism, mistrust in government, deepening global concern over terrorism and an increase in the power of private enterprise.[3][4][5] The Arab Spring of the early 2010s led to mixed outcomes in the Arab world.[6] While most member states of the European Union introduced a common currency, the Euro, the United Kingdom decided to leave the European Union: Brexit.[7] The Third Industrial Revolution which began around the 1980s also continues into the present, and is expected to transition into Industry 4.0 and the Fourth Industrial Revolution by as early as 2030.[8] Due to the proliferation of mobile devices, more than half of the world's population have access to the internet (2018 estimate[9]), allowing humans to be more intertwined than ever before. DNA sequencing cost continues to fall exponentially: the first human genome cost three billion dollars.[10] Today, sequencing only one human genome only costs about a thousand.[11] Millennials and Generation Z come of age and rise to prominence in this century.[12]

Transitions and changes

Shanghai has become a symbol of the recent economic boom of China.

Technology and society

Advances in technology such as ultrasound, prenatal genetic testing and genetic engineering is 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 (and since the early 1980s) compared to in past centuries, mostly because of son preference in East and South Asia. In 2014 only 47 percent of Indian births were of girls.[13] 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[14] and depression[15] rates are rising 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.[16][17]

Knowledge and information

The entire written works of mankind, from the beginning of recorded history to 2003, in all known languages, is estimated to be at five exabytes of data.[18][19] Since 2003, with the birth of social media and "user-generated content", the same amount of data is created every two days.[20] The advancement of the sum total of human knowledge and information continues to grow at an exponential rate; humans now collect and archive more data in one day than in the previous 10 years.[21]

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.[22] 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.[23]

India's Prayag Kumbh Mela 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 program. On January 3, 2019, China landed a robotic spacecraft on the far side of the Moon, being the first to do so.[24]

Culture and politics

War 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.[citation needed] Malnourishment and poverty are still widespread globally, but fewer people live in the most extreme forms of poverty, relative to recorded history. In 1990 one-in-four people were malnourished, nearly 36% of the world's population lived in extreme poverty; in 2015 this percentage dropped to one-in-eight and 10%, respectively. If current trends hold, the United Nations projects the eradication of famine and extreme poverty by the end of this century.

The Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal draws international attention to the possible negative effects of social media on influencing citizen's views, particularly in regards 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,[25] 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.[26]

Life expectancy is increasing as child mortality continues to decline. A baby born in 2016, for example, can on average (globally) expect to live 72 years—26 years longer than the global average of someone born in 1950. Ten million Britons (16% of the population of the United Kingdom) are expected to live to 100 or older.[27]

However, climate change remains an extremely serious concern; UN Chief António Guterres, for instance, has described it as an "existential threat" to humanity.[28] 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.[29]

A map of uncontacted tribes, around the start of the 21st century

Economics and education

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.[30]

The ongoing impact of technological unemployment due to automation and computerization on job employment is massive: the rate of jobs disappearing—due to machines replacing them—is expected to escalate.[31] Automation alters the number of jobs and their skills demands of industries. As of 2019, the manufacturing sectors of first world nations' production output was doubled when compared to 1984 output; but are now produced with one-third fewer workers and at significantly reduced operating costs.[32] Half of all jobs with requirements less than a bachelor's degree are currently in the process of being replaced with partial- or full-automation.[33]

According to the World Economic Forum, 65% of children entering primary school will end up in jobs or careers that currently do not yet exist.[34]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: 21ste eeu
Alemannisch: 21. Jahrhundert
العربية: القرن 21
aragonés: Sieglo XXI
asturianu: Sieglu XXI
azərbaycanca: XXI əsr
Bân-lâm-gú: 21 sè-kí
Basa Banyumasan: Abad kaping-21
башҡортса: XXI быуат
беларуская: XXI стагоддзе
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: XXI стагодзьдзе
भोजपुरी: 2100
български: 21 век
bosanski: 21. vijek
brezhoneg: XXIvet kantved
català: Segle XXI
Чӑвашла: XXI ĕмĕр
čeština: 21. století
Cymraeg: 21ain ganrif
davvisámegiella: 2000-lohku (jahkečuohti)
eesti: 21. sajand
Ελληνικά: 21ος αιώνας
emiliàn e rumagnòl: XXI sécol
эрзянь: XXI пинге
español: Siglo XXI
Esperanto: 21-a jarcento
estremeñu: Sigru XXI
euskara: XXI. mendea
Fiji Hindi: 21st century
føroyskt: 21. øld
français: XXIe siècle
Frysk: 21e iuw
Gaeilge: 21ú céad
Gaelg: 21oo eash
Gàidhlig: 21mh Linn
galego: Século XXI
ГӀалгӀай: XXI бIаьшу
贛語: 21世紀
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: 21 sṳ-ki
한국어: 21세기
հայերեն: 21-րդ դար
hrvatski: 21. stoljeće
Bahasa Indonesia: Abad ke-21
interlingua: Seculo 21
Ирон: XXI æнус
íslenska: 21. öldin
italiano: XXI secolo
עברית: המאה ה-21
ქართული: XXI საუკუნე
қазақша: XXI ғасыр
Kiswahili: Karne ya 21
коми: XXI нэм
Кыргызча: XXI кылым
Latina: Saeculum 21
latviešu: 21. gadsimts
Lëtzebuergesch: 21. Joerhonnert
лезги: XXI виш йис
lietuvių: XXI amžius
Ligure: XXI secolo
Lingua Franca Nova: Sentenio 21
la .lojban.: 20xyxymoi
lumbaart: Sécul XXI
magyar: 21. század
македонски: 21 век
Māori: Rautau 21
მარგალური: XXI ოშწანურა
Bahasa Melayu: Abad ke-21
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: 21 sié-gī
монгол: 21-р зуун
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ၂၁ ရာစုနှစ်
Nederlands: 21e eeuw
Nedersaksies: 21e eeuw
日本語: 21世紀
Napulitano: XXI seculo
нохчийн: XXI бӀешо
Nordfriisk: 21. juarhunert
norsk nynorsk: 2000-talet
Nouormand: XXIe s.
Novial: 21esmi sekle
occitan: Sègle XXI
олык марий: XXI курым
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: XXI asr
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: 21ਵੀਂ ਸਦੀ
Перем Коми: XXI нэм
Plattdüütsch: 21. Johrhunnert
polski: XXI wiek
português: Século XXI
русиньскый: XXI. стороча
русский: XXI век
саха тыла: XXI үйэ
Seeltersk: 21. Jierhunnert
Sesotho sa Leboa: Ngwagakgolo 21
sicilianu: Sèculu XXI
සිංහල: 21 වන සියවස
Simple English: 21st century
slovenčina: 21. storočie
slovenščina: 21. stoletje
ślůnski: XXI stoleće
српски / srpski: 21. век
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: 21. vijek
Basa Sunda: Abad ka-21
suomi: 2000-luku
svenska: 2000-talet
Taqbaylit: Lqern wis XXI
татарча/tatarça: XXI гасыр
Türkçe: 21. yüzyıl
Türkmençe: 21-nji asyr
тыва дыл: 2080 чылдар
удмурт: XXI даур
українська: XXI століття
Vahcuengh: 21 seiqgeij
vèneto: XXI secoło
Tiếng Việt: Thế kỷ 21
吴语: 21世纪
ייִדיש: 21סטער י"ה
粵語: 21世紀
Zeêuws: 21e eêuw
žemaitėška: XXI omžios
中文: 21世纪