The 1990s, also known as "the Nineteen Nineties" or abbreviated as "the Nineties" or "the '90s", was the decade that began on January 1, 1990, and ended on December 31, 1999. It was the tenth and final decade of the 20th century and the last full decade of the 2nd millennium (which both ended on December 31, 2000).
The '90s is often considered the true dawn of the Information Age. Though info-age technologies predate the 1980s, it was not until the late 1980s and the 1990s that they became widely used by the general public. A combination of factors, including the mass mobilization of capital markets through neoliberalism, the beginning of the widespread proliferation of new media such as the Internet, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union led to a realignment and reconsolidation of economic and political power across the world, and within countries.
The 1990s is often considered the end of modernity and the dawn of the postmodern age, even though the first traces of postmodernity took place as far back as the 1940s. Some contemporary theorists have proposed that the 1990s actually marked the end of modernity, which scholars claim peaked during the 1980s. The economies and living standards of some countries such as South Korea and Ireland improved to such an extent that they were considered First World nations by the decade's end.