The 2020s (pronounced "twenty-twenties", shortened to "the '20s"[1][2]) is the current decade of the Gregorian calendar that began on 1 January 2020, and will end on 31 December 2029.

Scanning electron microscope image of SARS-CoV-2 (center, yellow), the virus that causes COVID-19, which became a pandemic in the year 2020.
Millennium: 3rd millennium

As the decade began, the COVID-19 pandemic spread around the world, causing widespread social and economic disruption, all while global ecological crises continue to escalate.

Politics and conflictsEdit

Conflicts and peaceEdit

The prominent wars of the decade include:

International warsEdit

Name Start date End date Description
Israeli–Palestinian conflict 14 May 1948 Ongoing The conflict between Jewish and Arab communities in Israel and the West Bank has 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 remained high as Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, launched rockets and cross-border raids into Israeli territory, to which Israel responded with military force.[5]
Kurdish-Turkish conflict 27 November 1978 Ongoing Numerous Kurdish groups, including the Kurdistan Workers' Party (the PKK) have fought for an independent Kurdistan incorporating parts of Turkey. In 2016, Turkey has occupied parts of Northern Syria and in 2019, invaded Kurdish-held areas of Northern Syria. In 2020, Turkey launched an insurgency in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict February 1988 Ongoing The region of Karabakh has been disputed over the Republic of Artsakh, which is supported by the Armenian government. A ceasefire was held in 1994. In July 2020, a series of border skirmishes left at least 15 dead. From 27 September until 10 November 2020, a second war broke out in the region.
War on terror 11 September 2001
  • 7 October 2001
  • 20 March 2003
Ongoing 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, however remained in the country to stabilise the situation.[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's regime,[9] after which the U.S. occupied the country, officially leaving in 2011.[10] However, insurgencies remained active in both countries, long after the invasions.[11]
Russian military intervention in Ukraine 20 February 2014 Ongoing After 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 2014 Ongoing In late-2013, a terrorist organisation 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.
Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen 26 March 2015 Ongoing During the Yemeni Civil War, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other countries part of a coalition invaded parts of Yemen in order to depose the Houthi-controlled government.
Turkish occupation of northern Syria 24 August 2016 Ongoing During the Syrian Civil War, Turkey invaded parts of northern Syria in order to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Syrian Democratic Forces, and the PKK.

Civil warsEdit

Name Start date End date Description
War in Darfur 26 February 2003 Ongoing
Mexican drug war 11 December 2006 Ongoing Following 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.[17] Since the start of the war, the death toll from drug violence had sharply increased.[18] Arrests of key cartel leaders led to increasing violence as cartels fought for control of trafficking routes into the United States.[19][20][21]
War in Somalia 31 January 2009 Ongoing In 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[22] and subsequently retook several towns across the country.[23] Since then, the government has attempted to clean out the remaining Al-Shabaab strongholds with help from AMISOM soldiers.[24]
Mali War 16 January 2012 Ongoing In 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,[25] and declared it to be the independent state of Azawad.[26] However, shortly afterward, various Islamists groups took over Northern Mali from the Tuaregs and imposed sharia law on the region.[27]
South Sudanese Civil War 15 December 2013 22 February 2020
Second Libyan Civil War 16 May 2014 23 October 2020 Following the factional violence that engulfed Libya after the fall of Muammar al-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 2015 Ongoing Preceded by a decade-long Houthi insurgency,[28] 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.[29]
Philippine drug war 30 June 2016 Ongoing Following a rise in criminal violence as a result of drug trafficking in the country, the Philippines has been engaged in a drug war since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was inaugurated on 30 June 2016. It has caused 3,000 deaths.[30]
Iraqi insurgency 9 December 2017 Ongoing A part of the larger Iraqi conflict that has been waged since 2003, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has been engaged in an insurgency against the Iraqi government and CJTF-OIR since the loss of territorial control in the Iraqi Civil War in 2017.

Nuclear proliferationEdit

Terrorist attacksEdit

Note: To be included, entries must be notable (have a stand-alone article) and described by a consensus of reliable sources as "terrorism". They also must have 100 or more fatalities reported.

Political trendsEdit

International relationsEdit



Former leaders Hosni Mubarak,[31] Valery Giscard d'Estaing,[32] John Turner, Daniel arap Moi, Pranab Mukherjee and Carlos Menem. Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said died on January 10, 2020.[33]

Prominent political eventsEdit


Event Date Country Ref.
2020 Malian coup d'état 18 August 2020   Mali
Myanmar coup d'état 1 February 2021   Myanmar
Armenian coup d'état attempt 25 February 2021   Armenia
Nigerien coup d'état attempt 31 March 2021   Niger
2021 Malian coup d'état 24 May 2021   Mali


Event Country Date Description References


Event Country Date Description References
First impeachment of Donald Trump   24 September 2019 – 5 February 2020 Under Article I, Section 3, Clause 6, of the U.S. Constitution, President Donald Trump was impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on 18 December 2019 by the United States House of Representatives. The United States Senate trial began on 16 January 2020 and ended on 5 February 2020, concluding with an acquittal on both charges. [34]
George Floyd Protests   25 May 2020 – 2021 Protests and riots due to the murder of George Floyd spread throughout the US and lasted many months. The stated goal was to end systemic racism and police brutality. These protests and riots caused caused more than $1 billion in damage.
2020 United States presidential election and subsequent events   3 November 2020 – 13 February 2021 The 59th United States presidential election was held on 3 November 2020. Democrat and former Vice-President Joe Biden defeated Republican and then-incumbent President Donald Trump, with the Electoral College formally declaring Biden the winner on 14 December 2020.[35] Trump refused to concede, and filed lawsuits challenging the results in several states,[36] though most of the legal challenges were either dismissed or dropped, with judges citing lack of evidence to suggest voter fraud occurred.[37][38] Trump had also unsuccessfully attempted to undo the election results by forcing government officials to stop Pennsylvania,[39] Nevada,[40] Arizona,[41] Wisconsin,[42] Michigan,[43] and Georgia[44] from certifying Biden as the winner,[45] and urging his supporters to "walk" to the United States capitol to demand Trump be declared the winner of the election.[46] This was one of the reasons for the decision of a group of his supporters to gather in Washington, D.C on 6 January 2021 and break into the Capitol building during a Joint session of Congress.[47][48] In relation to this, Trump was impeached for the second time by the House of Representatives and became the first U.S. President to be impeached twice.[49] Meanwhile, Joe Biden was sworn in as the United States President on 20 January 2021.[50] The impeachment trial ended on 13 February 2021, one month after its start. Trump was found not guilty of inciting the Storming of the Capitol.[51]
8th Congress of the Communist Party   16–19 April 2021 At the 8th Congress of the Communist Party, Raúl Castro officially resigned as the First Secretary, the most powerful position in Cuba.[52] Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel is officially named First Secretary of the Communist Party following the resignation of Raúl Castro. He is the first person not of the Castro family to hold the top position since the 1959 Cuban revolution.[53]


Event Country Date Description Reference
2019–2021 Persian Gulf crisis     5 May 2019 The 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, known as the International Maritime Security Construct. On 31 December 2019 tensions reached a breaking point as Iranian-backed Shiite militia stormed into the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, leading to the targeted killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in a U.S. drone strike on 3 January 2020. [54]


2020–2021 China–India skirmishes     5 May 2020 Since 5 May 2020, Chinese and Indian troops have engaged in aggressive melee, face-offs and skirmishes at locations along the Sino-Indian border, including near the disputed Pangong Lake in Ladakh and the Tibet Autonomous Region, and near the border between Sikkim and the Tibet Autonomous Region. Additional clashes also took place at locations in eastern Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). [57]
2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war     27 September 2020 Starting on 27 September fierce clashes erupted along the line of contact between the armed forces of Azerbaijan and Joint Artsakh and Armenian forces. Both sides neglected ceasefire demands from France, Russia and the US and continued fighting with claims from both sides that they are prepared to fight a long war to grapple control over the long contested Nagorno-Karabakh region. On 9 November a Russian-brokered peace treaty was signed by both sides.[58][59] [60]
2021 Israel–Palestine crisis     6–21 May 2021


Event Country Date Description References
Brexit   31 January 2020 The United Kingdom and Gibraltar formally withdrew from the European Union at 11PM (GMT). [61]

World leadersEdit


Assassinations and attemptsEdit

Prominent assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts include:

Date Description
3 January 2020 Qasem Soleimani, Iranian general, and leader in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, was killed in a United States airstrike near Baghdad International Airport.[62]
27 November 2020 Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a senior official in the nuclear program in Iran, was killed by explosive trucks that ambushed him near Tehran.[63]
22 February 2021 Luca Attanasio, Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was killed by an armed commando.[64]
6 May 2021 Attempted assassination of Mohamed Nasheed
1 June 2021 Attempted assassination of Katumba Wamala


Non-natural disastersEdit


Event Date Country Description
Sriwijaya Air Flight 182 9 January 2021   Sriwijaya Air Flight 182 crashed into the Java Sea shortly after take-off from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Jakarta, killing all 62 people on board.


Event Date Country Description
2020 Beirut explosion 4 August 2020   Massive explosion occurred in the port of Beirut. Reportedly, the blast was so loud that it was even claimed to be heard in Cyprus, which is 240 km from the location of the explosion.[65] The windows of major buildings in a 6-mile radius were shattered and roads were filled with debris. According to initial findings, it was estimated that a warehouse with 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate exploded, which was confiscated by the Lebanese government from the abandoned ship MV Rhosus and then stored in the port without proper safety measures for six years.[66] There had been confirmed 220 deaths, more than 110 people were missing and at least more than 7,000 were reported injured.[67] Beirut governor Marwan Abboud estimated that up to 300,000 people were left homeless by the explosions and there was a US$10–15 billion in property damage.


Event Date Country Description


Event Date Country Description

Natural disastersEdit

Earthquakes and tsunamisEdit

Note: This table is a chronological list of earthquakes reported with 7.5Mw  or greater or that have reported at least 100 fatalities.

Event Date Country Description
2020 Caribbean earthquake 28 January 2020 Caribbean Sea A 7.7Mw  struck in the Caribbean Sea between Jamaica and Cuba at 14:10 local time on 28 January 2020. The earthquake was also felt in the United States, Mexico, Honduras, Dominican Republic, and the Cayman Islands. This was the strongest earthquake reported in 2020. No damages were reported. A small (12.2 cm) tsunami was reported in the Cayman Islands.[68][69]

Tropical cyclonesEdit

Event Date Country Description
Cyclone Amphan 16–21 May 2020           118 people were killed and millions made homeless in the strongest storm in two decades. Damage was estimated at US$13.2 billion.[70]
Hurricane Laura 20–29 August 2020 Lesser Antilles, Greater Antilles, Gulf Coast of the United States, Midwestern United States 77 people were killed and thousands made homeless during one of the strongest storms to make landfall in the United States. Damages estimated at US$19.1 billion.[71][72]
Typhoon Vamco (Ulysses) 8–15 November 2020           102 people were killed, and the typhoon contributed to the 2020 Central Vietnam Floods. Damages totaled up to US$440.8 million.
Hurricane Eta and Hurricane Iota 31 October–18 November 2020     A total of 278+ people were killed during both Hurricane Eta and Hurricane Iota in Nicaragua and Honduras. Damages totaled up to US$9.3 billion from both hurricanes.


Event Date Country Description

Floods, avalanches, and mudslidesEdit

Note: This section reports only floods with 200 or more deaths and avalanches and landslides involving 30 or more deaths.

Event Date Country Description
2020 Van avalanches 4–5 February 2020   Two avalanches in Turkey's eastern Van Province resulted in 41 deaths and 84 injuries.

Volcanic eruptionsEdit

Event Date Country Description
2020 Taal Volcano eruption 12 January 202019 January 2020   On 12 January the Taal Volcano in the Philippines erupted at VEI 4 intensity, bringing intense ashfall to the surrounding areas and killing at least 3 people.[citation needed]

Droughts, heat waves, and wildfiresEdit

Event Date Country Description
2019–20 Australian bushfire season June 2019May 2020   Bushfires in Australia continued into 2020, having started in September 2019.[73]
2020 Western U.S. Wildfires March 2020 – December 2020   Record-breaking wildfires began in several Western American states.
2020–21 Argentine wildfires July 2020 – Ongoing   Sudden wildfires started in Córdoba and extended into several Northern provinces.

Other natural eventsEdit

In 2020, a huge swarm of desert locusts threatened to engulf massive portions of the Middle East, Africa and Asia.[74][75] In tandem with the COVID-19 pandemic, the swarms posed major hazards to billions of people who might be affected by famine brought on by the locusts. Although experts had thought the insects would die out during the dry season in December 2019, unseasonal rains caused the incursion to reach unanticipated and hazardous levels.[76][77][78][79]



The World Trade Organization reported that trade growth had stagnated and that trade restrictions were increasing as the decade began. The sectors most affected by import restrictions were mineral and fuel oils (17.7%), machinery and mechanical appliances (13%), electrical machinery and parts (11.7%), and precious metals (6%).[80] Regional trade agreements were found to be increasing.[81]

The Brexit withdrawal agreement went into effect at the end of January 2020 with the UK completing its economic withdrawal from the EU at the end of that year.[82][83] The United States, Mexico, and Canada signed the USMCA agreement, which came into effect on 1 July 2020.[84][85]

Stock marketsEdit


Event Date Country Ref.
2020 stock market crash 20 February 2020 – 7 April 2020 Global

Cybersecurity and hackingEdit

Event Date Description
2020 Twitter bitcoin scam 15 July 2020 Multiple high-profile Twitter accounts, each with millions of followers, were compromised in a cyberattack to promote a bitcoin scam.[86]
Colonial Pipeline cyberattack 6 May 2021



Event Date Infections and deaths Description
COVID-19 pandemic 2019 – present 179.3 million+ confirmed cases and 3.88 million+ deaths with more than 240 countries and territories reported by 21 June 2021.[87]
HIV/AIDS 1981 – present 37.9 million people living with HIV (end of 2018), 24.5 million people accessing antiretroviral therapy (end of June 2019), 32.0 million deaths from AIDS-related illnesses since the start of the epidemic (end 2018)[88]

Science and technologyEdit

2020s in science

Archaeology: 2020 2021

Paleontology: 2020 2021

Space: 2020 2021

Spaceflight: 2020 2021

Biotechnology: 2020 2021

Quantum IT: 2020 2021

Computing: 2020s

Environment and environmental sciences: 2020 2021

Climate change: 2020 2021


Philosophy: 2020 2021
History of technology by type
List of science timelines


Artificial IntelligenceEdit

Communications and electronicsEdit

  • 5G became increasingly widespread in 2020.

Software and electronic platformsEdit

  • Support for Adobe Flash Player ended on 31 December 2020.


Social effects of the COVID-19 pandemicEdit

Medical experts advised, and local authorities often mandated stay-at-home orders to prevent gatherings of any size. Such gatherings could be replaced by teleconferencing, or in some cases with unconventional attempts to maintain social distancing with activities such as a balcony sing-along for a concert, or a "birthday parade" for a birthday party. Replacements for gatherings were seen as significant to mental health during the crisis. Social isolation among alcohol users also adopted a trend towards Kalsarikänni or "pantsdrunking", a Finnish antisocial drinking culture.

Low income individuals were more likely to contract the coronavirus and to die from it. In both New York City and Barcelona, low income neighborhoods were disproportionately hit by coronavirus cases. Hypotheses for why this was the case included that poorer families were more likely to live in crowded housing and work in the low skill jobs, such as supermarkets and elder care, which were deemed essential during the crisis. In the United States, millions of low-income people may lack access to health care due to being uninsured or underinsured. Millions of Americans lost their health insurance after losing their jobs. Many low income workers in service jobs became unemployed.

The coronavirus pandemic was followed by a concern for a potential spike in suicides, exacerbated by social isolation due to quarantine and social-distancing guidelines, fear, and unemployment and financial factors. Many countries reported an increase in domestic violence and intimate partner violence attributed to lockdowns amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Financial insecurity, stress, and uncertainty led to increased aggression at home, with abusers able to control large amounts of their victims' daily life. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called for a domestic violence "ceasefire".


  • The population of Egypt reached 100 million in February 2020.[94]


The murder of George Floyd led to many protest and riots across the United States and internationally in 2020. The stated goal of the protest has been to end police brutality and racial inequality, and is closely linked with the Black Lives Matter movement.


24.3% of all national parliamentarians were women as of February 2019. 11 women were serving as Head of State and 12 as Head of Government in June 2019. 20.7% of government ministers were women as of January 2019.[95] Katerina Sakellaropoulou became the first female president of Greece in January 2020, and Kamala Harris became the first female Vice President of the United States in 2021.[96]

There are wide regional variations in the average percentages of women parliamentarians. As of February 2019, these were: Nordic countries, 42.5%; Americas, 30.6%; Europe excluding Nordic countries, 27.2; sub-Saharan Africa, 23.9; Asia, 19.8%; Arab States, 19%; and the Pacific, 16.3%. Rwanda has the highest number of women parliamentarians worldwide, 61.3% of seats in the lower house. About 26% of elected local parliamentarians are women.[95]


The 2019–20 Australian bushfire season devastated the environment of Australia.

LGBT rightsEdit



Fashion trends of the early 2020s have been largely inspired by the 2000s.[103][104][105] Wearing a decorative mask to prevent the disease COVID-19 from spreading was a fashion trend in the early 2020s.[106]


Several films and other upcoming movies were released on streaming platforms instead of theatres due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Though few films were also released simultaneously on both theatrically and streaming platforms.


The 2020s started off with the primary streaming services being Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Hulu and Disney+. Additional streaming services such as Discovery+, Paramount+, and Peacock were being developed as well. Cable television and satellite television continued to fall out of popularity, and were no longer as prevalent as they were once in the 2010s and decades prior. In the 2020s, rebooting and reunion episodes of older shows became widespread, including Animaniacs, The Conners, Saved by the Bell, HBO Max's Friends: The Reunion and The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air Reunion, Paramount+'s new Frasier, iCarly, and Rugrats.

Charli D'Amelio, one of the most popular creators on TikTok, with over 100 million followers on the app.


In 2020, TikTok became an important music platform on social media.[107] Streaming on platforms such as Spotify, Amazon Music and Apple Music increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Festivals such as Coachella were cancelled because of the virus. The COVID-19 pandemic devastated the touring business.[108]

Video gamesEdit

The ninth generation of consoles began in 2020 with the release of the Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5. The video game Among Us surged in popularity online in 2020.

The Nintendo Switch continued to be popular among gamers. Animal Crossing: New Horizons had sold over 31 million copies on the Nintendo Switch,[109] making it the second-best-selling game on the Nintendo Switch. Its success has been attributed in part to its release amid global stay-at-home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The SoFi Stadium was completed on 8 September 2020 and is a component of Hollywood Park, a master planned neighborhood in development in Inglewood, California. The stadium serves as a home to the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers. SoFi Stadium is set to host Super Bowl LVI in February 2022.[110] The stadium is also set to host the opening and closing ceremonies, soccer and archery in the 2028 Summer Olympics, which will be hosted in Los Angeles, California, United States Of America.[111]

The Unity Tower was finally completed on 30 September 2020. The construction of the building originally started in 1975, but stopped permanently in 1981 because of economic constraints and political unrest at the time. Due to the unfinished building's resemblance to a skeleton, it was nicknamed after Skeletor, the arch-villain in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, which was popular in Poland at the time construction began.[112]


  • Tokyo was to host the Olympic Games for a second time. Originally scheduled for July–August 2020, the games were rescheduled for July–August 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[113]
  • The 2020 T20 Cricket World Cup was originally scheduled to take place in Australia, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic was rescheduled to occur in India in 2021.

See alsoEdit


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



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External linksEdit

  Media related to 2020s at Wikimedia Commons