From top left, clockwise: COVID-19 became a global pandemic in 2020 and dominated the early part of the decade, as the disease and virus that causes the disease were deemed an international public health emergency until 2023; The Antonov An-225 Mriya, the largest aircraft ever built, was destroyed during the Battle of Antonov Airport which is a part of the Russian invasion of Ukraine; An AI image generated artificially by DALL-E 2, following significant advances in generative AI during the decade; A U.S. Air Force plane carries passengers out of Afghanistan during the 2021 fall of Kabul at the end of the War in Afghanistan; Charles III became King of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth realms, after the death of Queen Elizabeth II in 2022; In addition to many private and public spaceflight advancements, the James Webb Space Telescope launched in 2021.

The 2020s (pronounced "twenty-twenties"; shortened to "the '20s" also known as "The Twenties") is the current decade. It began on January 1, 2020, and will end on December 31, 2029.

The 2020s began with the COVID-19 pandemic—the first reports of the virus were published on December 31, 2019, though the first cases are said to have appeared nearly a month earlier—which caused a global economic recession as well as continuing financial inflation concerns and a global supply chain crisis.

Several anti-government demonstrations and revolts occurred in the late 2010s and early 2020s, including a continuation of those in Hong Kong against extradition legislation; protests against certain local, state and national responses to the COVID-19 pandemic; others around the world, particularly in the United States, against racism and police brutality; one in India against agriculture and farming acts; one in Israel against judicial reforms; another in Indonesia against the omnibus law on jobs; ongoing protests and strikes in France against pension reform; an ongoing political crisis in Peru, Armenia, and Thailand; and many in Belarus, Eswatini, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Iran, China, and Russia against various forms of governmental jurisdiction, corruption and authoritarianism; along with citizen riots in the United States and Brazil in an attempt to overturn election results. The world population grew to over 8 billion people, and in 2023, India overtook China as the most populous country in the world.

Ongoing military conflicts include the Myanmar civil war, the Ethiopian civil conflict, the Kivu conflict, the Mali War, the Yemeni civil war, the Somali Civil War, the Syrian civil war, the Russo-Ukrainian War, and the Israel–Hamas war. The Russian invasion of Ukraine became the largest conventional military offensive in Europe since World War II, and resulting in a refugee crisis, disruptions to global trade, and an exacerbation of economic inflation. In 2023, a Hamas-led attack marked the first invasion of Israel since 1948, triggering a swift Israeli response with an invasion into Gaza. This conflict has led to the displacement of nearly all 2.3 million Gaza residents, raising international concerns about a humanitarian crisis and sparking global protests against Israel's actions in the war. Smaller conflicts include the insurgency in the Maghreb, the Iraq insurgency, the Philippine drug war, and the Mexican drug war. The year 2021 saw the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, ending twenty years of war in that country, and leading to the republican loyalist uprising against the new emirate government.

With many extreme weather events magnifying in the early 2020s, several world leaders have called it the "decisive decade" for climate action as ecological crises continue to escalate. In February 2023, a series of powerful earthquakes killed up to 62,000 people in Turkey and Syria; this event fell within the top five deadliest earthquakes of the 21st century.

There were significant improvements in the complexity of artificial intelligence, with American companies, universities, and research labs pioneering advances in the field. Other technological advances have also been made, impacting many, such as the use of teleconferencing, online learning, streaming services, e-commerce and food delivery services to compensate for lockdowns ordered by governments around the world during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. 5G networks have launched around the globe at the start of the decade as well, and became prevalent in smartphones. Research into outer space greatly accelerated in the 2020s, with the United States and India mainly dominating space exploration, including the James Webb Space Telescope, Ingenuity helicopter, Lunar Gateway, and Artemis program from the United States and Chandrayaan-3 from India.

Politics and wars

Major conflicts

The prominent wars of the decade include:

International wars

Name Start date End date Description
Israeli–Palestinian conflict 14 May 1948
  • 6 May 2021
  • 7 October 2023
  • 21 May 2021
  • Ongoing
The conflict between Jewish and Arab communities in Israel and the West Bank has been ongoing since 1948. After Israel took control of the West Bank, it began making settlements there, which led to heightened clashes to this day.
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 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
  • 27 September 2020
  • 19 September 2023
1 January 2024
  • 10 November 2020
  • 20 September 2023
The region of Nagorno-Karabakh has been disputed between the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as the breakaway state, the Republic of Artsakh. Following the first war's ceasefire cross-border skirmishes persisted including in July 2020, when a series of border skirmishes left at least 15 dead. A second war broke out later that year and ended after another ceasefire. A border crisis and blockade ensued until a 2023 offensive into the region by Azerbaijan. Artsakh dissolved on 1 January 2024, ending the conflict.
War on terror 11 September 2001
  • 7 October 2001
  • 20 March 2003
  • 30 August 2021
  • Ongoing
Motivated by the September 11 attacks, the United States and other governments started a large scale effort to eliminate terrorism. With support from NATO, the United States invaded Taliban-controlled Afghanistan and overthrew the government, however remained in the country to stabilise the situation. Two years later, on the pretext that the government of Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, the United States and a coalition of partners invaded Iraq and overthrew Hussein's regime, after which the U.S. occupied the country, officially leaving in 2011. However, insurgencies remained active in both countries, long after the invasions.
Kivu conflict 2 June 2004 Ongoing The Kivu conflict began in 2004 in the eastern Congo as an armed conflict between the military of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) and the Hutu Power group Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It has broadly consisted of three phases, the third of which is an ongoing conflict.
Russo-Ukrainian War 20 February 2014
  • 24 February 2022
  • Ongoing
Hostilities between the Ukrainian government and Russia-backed separatist forces in Eastern Ukraine have been ongoing since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014. In 2021 and early 2022, tensions escalated between the two countries due to a build up of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border. Russia launched a full invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
War against the Islamic State 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 and made Raqqa its capital. Various international coalitions were formed to help fight the militants. 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.
Montage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, part of the Russo-Ukrainian War.
US Marines with SP-MAGTF-CR-CC at an evacuation checkpoint at Kabul Airport on 21 August during the 2021 Fall of Kabul, at the end of the War in Afghanistan.
Highrise residential building ″Palestine Tower″ in Gaza following an Israeli strike during the Israel–Hamas war.

Civil wars

Name Start date End date Description
Internal conflict in Myanmar 2 April 1948
  • 7 September 2021
  • Ongoing
Myanmar's long-running insurgencies escalated significantly into a major civil war in 2021 following the 2021 military coup and the subsequent brutal crackdown on the anti-coup protests.
War in Darfur 26 February 2003 31 August 2020 A peace agreement was signed on 31 August 2020 between the Sudanese authorities and several rebel factions to end armed hostilities.
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. Since the start of the war, the death toll from drug violence had sharply increased. Arrests of key cartel leaders led to increasing violence as cartels fought for control of trafficking routes into the United States.
War in Somalia 31 January 2009
  • 6 February 2023
  • 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 and subsequently retook several towns across the country. Since then, the government has attempted to clean out the remaining Al-Shabaab strongholds with help from AMISOM soldiers.
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, and declared it to be the independent state of Azawad. However, shortly afterward, various Islamist groups took over Northern Mali from the Tuaregs and imposed sharia law on the region.
South Sudanese Civil War 15 December 2013 22 February 2020 On 22 February 2020, rivals Kiir and Machar struck a unity deal and formed a coalition government, after an estimated 400,000 deaths and more than 4 million people displaced by the war.
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 16 September 2014 Ongoing Preceded by a decade-long Houthi insurgency, 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.
Philippine drug war 30 June 2016 Ongoing Following a rise in political and criminal violence as a result of drug trafficking in the country, the Philippines has been engaged in a drug war and escalating terrorism since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was inaugurated on 30 June 2016. It had caused more than 5,000 deaths and over 150,000 arrests by the beginning of the decade.
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.
Ethiopian civil conflict 2 April 2018
  • 3 November 2020
  • 9 April 2023
  • 3 November 2022
  • Ongoing
After years of increased tensions between the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Ethiopian and Eritrean governments, a full-scale war broke out in November 2020, that has killed an estimated 300,000-500,000 people as of March 2022. On 2 November, both the Ethiopian government and TPLF formally agreed to a cessation of hostilities and systematic, verifiable disarmament though Tigrayan authorities allege that Ethiopia continued to launch attacks after the peace deal was signed
War in Sudan 15 April 2023 Ongoing In April 2023, clashes broke out in western Sudan between rival factions of the military government of Sudan. The conflict began with the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) launching attacks on key government sites. As of 23 April 2023, both RSF leader Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo and Sudan's de facto leader and army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan have claimed control over several key government sites, including the general military headquarters, the Presidential Palace, Khartoum International Airport, Burhan's official residence, and the SNBC headquarters.
Wagner Group rebellion 23 June 2023 24 June 2023 On the 23rd of June, Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin lead a "March for Justice" against the Russian government for a supposed attack on his men by the military. A day later however, as his convoy was encroaching on Moscow, Prigozhin called off the rebellion in exchange for amnesty and other unknown reasons.
Territorial control during Myanmar civil war (2021–present) as of early 2022.
Sudanese refugee camp in Chad during War in Sudan (2023).
A tank with flowers in the muzzle in Rostov-on-Don during the Wagner Group rebellion against the Russian government.

Revolutions and major protests

Successful revolutions and otherwise major protests of the decade include, but are not limited to:

Event Date Country Events Ref.
Dutch farmers' protests 1 October 2019 – present The Netherlands Demonstrations by Dutch farmers, characterised by the use of tractors to block roads, and occupy public spaces. The protests were triggered in October 2019 by a proposal in parliament to halve the country's livestock in an attempt to limit agricultural pollution. It was related to the Dutch nitrogen crisis. The farmers' protests combines action groups and an amalgamation of larger goals. Also, the party Farmer–Citizen Movement was founded, which has gained power in parliament.
Indonesia omnibus law protests 13 January – November 2020 Indonesia Mass popular protests and riots against the deliberation and passage of the controversial Omnibus Law on Job Creation, which was passed on 5 October 2020. The wider policies of President Joko Widodo were also protested against, and resulted in the formation of the new Labour Party.
2020–2021 Belarusian protests 24 January 2020 – 25 March 2021 Belarus Mass popular protests and riots against the Belarusian government and President Alexander Lukashenko. The largest anti-government protests in the history of Belarus, the demonstrations began in the lead-up to and during the 2020 presidential election, in which Lukashenko sought his sixth term in office.
George Floyd protests 26 May 2020 – 26 May 2021 United States Protests and riots due to the murder of George Floyd spread throughout the United States with international protests in support. The stated goal was to end systemic racism and police brutality. Sporadic protests in response to racism and police brutality continued throughout the following years, while the street where Floyd was murdered is still under control by protesters.
2020–2021 Thai protests July 2020 – November 2021 Thailand Mass popular protests and riots against the government of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, the dissolution of the Future Forward Party, changes to the constitution in 2017, and the country's political landscape. Resulted in the detention of leading figures.
2020–2021 Indian farmers' protest 9 August 2020 – 11 December 2021 India Protests and riots against three farm acts that were passed by the Parliament of India in September 2020.
2020 Kyrgyz Revolution 5–15 October 2020 Kyrgyzstan On 5 October, protests began in Kyrgyzstan in response to the annulled parliamentary election, which protesters felt were unfair with allegations of vote-rigging. A day later, the parliamentary elections were annulled. 6 days later, on 12 October, president Sooronbay Jeenbekov announced a state of emergency. On 15 October, Jeenbekov finally resigned, making way for Sadyr Japarov, who was nominated by parliament on 14 October to be acting prime minister, as also acting president. Following the protests, Japarov was elected president on 10 January 2021, on the same day a referendum was held on the Kyrgyz government system, in which the Kyrgyz voted for a reintroduction of the presidential system. The new constitution, passed by the Supreme Council was approved by voters in another referendum on 11 April 2021. Finally, on 28 November 2021, new parliamentary elections took place.
2020–21 United States election protests 4 November 2020 – 11 April 2021
  • 6 January 2021
United States Protests began in multiple cities in the United States following the 2020 United States presidential election between then-President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Vice President Joe Biden, held on 3 November 2020. On 6 January 2021, following the defeat of U.S. President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election, a mob of his supporters attacked the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
2021 Brazilian protests 15 January – December 2021 Brazil President Bolsonaro's government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic culminated in mass popular protests and riots, with protests occurring in both support and opposition to the government and resulted in a failed impeachment attempt of Bolsonaro.
Myanmar protests (2021–present) 2 February 2021 – present Myanmar Protests triggered after the 2021 Myanmar coup d'état, during the ongoing internal conflict in Myanmar, and the Myanmar civil war.
2021–2023 Eswatini protests 20 June 2021 – present Eswatini A series of protests in Eswatini against the monarchy and for democratization began as a peaceful protest on 20 June, then escalated after 25 June into violence and looting over the weekend as the government took a hardline stance against the demonstrations and prohibited the delivery of petitions.
2021–2022 Iranian protests 15 July 2021 – 15 September 2022
  • 16 September 2022 – present
Iran Throughout 2021 and 2022, crackdowns on the Iranian Democracy Movement, electricity blackouts, and economic conditions led to nationwide demonstrations, including protests over water scarcity as well as protests over food price hikes. The protests escalated rapidly in 2022 following the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who detained by the "morality police" for not wearing a hijab. The movement has led to a large government crackdown, a death toll over 500, and international condemnation for the government's response while also fueling the ongoing anti-hijab movement in Iran and Iranian Democracy Movement.
2022 Kazakh unrest 2–11 January 2022 Kazakhstan Protests erupt in Kazakhstan on 2 January 2022 after a sudden sharp increase in liquefied gas prices following the lifting of a government-enforced price cap on 1 January.
Canada convoy protest 22 January – 23 February 2022 Canada A series of protests and blockades in Canada against COVID-19 mandates and restrictions, called the Freedom Convoy.
Protests against the Russian invasion of Ukraine 24 February 2022 – present Russia A series of protests and anti-war demonstrations held in Russia and worldwide against the Russian invasion of Ukraine and opposition to Vladimir Putin in Russia.
2022 Sri Lankan protests 15 March – 14 November 2022 Sri Lanka Since 2019, Sri Lanka has been facing its worst economic crisis since its independence. The ongoing economic crisis culminated in mass popular protests and riots against the incumbent government and the Rajapaksa family, which eventually forced President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to flee the country and resign in July. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe succeeded Rajapaksa as the President amidst the protests.
2022 Karakalpak protests 1–3 July 2022 Karakalpakstan Spurred by a draft of a new version of the Constitution of Uzbekistan, in which the word "sovereign" was removed from the description of the status of Karakalpakstan, and the mention of the republic's right to secede from Uzbekistan was also removed. These were later withdrawn.
2022 Sierra Leone protests 10–12 August 2022 Sierra Leone Thirty-one people, including 25 civilians and six police officers, died during violent protests and riots in the West African country of Sierra Leone. The protests were sparked by the nation's cost-of-living crisis.
2022–23 Brazilian election protests 31 October 2022 – 9 January 2023
  • 8 January 2023
Brazil The 2022 Brazilian election protests began shortly after the conclusion of the 2022 Brazilian general election's second round on 30 October, in which Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was elected president. Supporters of Jair Bolsonaro, the outgoing incumbent president, started blocking roads and highways in the country. At least 23 Brazilian states, plus the Federal District, recorded roadblocks as of 1 November, adding up to at least 267 roadblocks according to data from Federal Highway Police (PRF). Dozens of Bolsonaro supporters storm the Three Powers Plaza in the capital Brasília, cause enormous damage. President Lula was not there, nor was Bolsonaro or members of Congress.
2022 COVID-19 protests in China 2 November – 5 December 2022 China A series of protests against COVID-19 lockdowns began in mainland China on 15 November 2022. The protests began in response to measures taken by the Chinese government to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country, including implementing a zero-COVID policy. Discontentment towards the policy has grown since the beginning of the pandemic, which confined many people to their homes without work, leaving them unable to purchase daily necessities and subjecting them to harsh restrictions. Protests escalated on 24 November 2022 following a fire in an apartment building in Ürümqi which killed 10 people, with protesters blaming China's policies for the deaths.
Peruvian protests (2022–2023) 7 December 2022 – 24 March 2023 Peru Protests erupted against the government of Dina Boluarte and the Congress of Peru called by supporters of the ousted president of Peru, Pedro Castillo, organized by social organizations and indigenous peoples who felt they experienced political disenfranchisement, specifically on the politically left-wing to far left. The government's authoritarian response was widely criticized, with further discontent following the Supreme Court's decision to declare protesting in Peru to be illegal.
2023 Israeli judicial reform protests 7 January 2023 – 12 October 2023 Israel Mass protests, strikes and civil disobedience campaigns occurred across the country in response to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right wing government's plan to overhaul the Israeli Judiciary system, which have been criticized for removing the checks and balances on the government and giving it unrestrained power.
2023 French pension reform unrest 19 January 2023 – present France A series of civil unrest incidents occurred in France in response to a pension reform bill proposed by the Borne government, which would increase the retirement age from 62 to 64 years old. Strikes and protests have led to widespread disruption, including garbage piling up in the streets and public transport cancellations. In March, the government used Article 49.3 of the constitution to force the bill through the French Parliament, sparking more protests and two failed no confidence votes.
2023 Georgian protests 6–10 March 2023 Georgia A series of street demonstrations taking place throughout Georgia over parliamentary backing of a proposed "Law on Transparency of Foreign Influence", which requires NGOs to register as "agents of foreign influence" if the funds they receive from abroad amount to more than 20% of their total revenue. Police have been reported as using water cannons and tear gas to disperse the protests, especially in the capital Tbilisi. The parliament retracted the bill as a result of protests on 10 March 2023.
Protesters in Minneapolis where George Floyd was murdered and the unrest began on 26 May 2020.
2021 Myanmar coup d'état culminated an ongoing protests, thousands of protesters participating in an anti-junta rally in Yangon in February 2021
Sri Lankans protesting in front of the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo on 13 April 2022.
Truckers protesting against the result of the 2022 Brazilian presidential elections in the BR-381 in Timóteo, Minas Gerais

Nuclear proliferation

Terrorist attacks

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.

The most prominent terrorist attacks committed against civilian populations during the decade include, but are not limited to:

Event Date Country Deaths Injuries Ref.
Koshebe massacre 28 November 2020 Nigeria 110 6
2021 Kabul school bombing 8 May 2021 Afghanistan 90 240
2021 Kabul airport attack 26 August 2021 Afghanistan 183 200+
2022 Peshawar mosque attack 4 March 2022 Pakistan 64+ 196+
October 2022 Mogadishu bombings 29 October 2022 Somalia 121+ 300+
2023 Peshawar mosque bombing 30 January 2023 Pakistan 101 220+
Re'im music festival massacre 7 October 2023 Israel 364 Unknown
2024 Kerman bombings 3 January 2024 Iran 94 284

Political trends

Electoral trends

Having suffered decline in the years after the Great Recession, the centre-left politics and the 1990s political model (like progressivism, liberalism, social democracy, and third way policies) experienced a resurgence across Europe and the Anglosphere in the early 2020s, with New Statesman suggesting various causes, including natural shifts in the electoral cycle and conservatives' unpopularity among university graduates and voters under the age of 40.


Sitting leaders that died in office:

In 2020: Sheik Sabah al-Sabah, Sultan Qaboos bin Said, and Pierre Nkurunziza.

In 2021: Idriss Déby, John Magufuli, and Jovenel Moïse.

In 2022: Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Elizabeth II

In 2023: Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah

In 2024: Hage Geingob

Former world leaders who died:

In 2020: Hosni Mubarak, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, John Turner, Daniel arap Moi, Pranab Mukherjee, Amadou Toumani Touré, Jerry Rawlings, Mamadou Tandja, Tabaré Vázquez, Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, Pierre Buyoya, John Cremona, Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, Kuniwo Nakamura, Litokwa Tomeing, Moussa Traoré, Pascal Lissouba, Branko Kostić, Lee Teng-hui, Benjamin Mkapa, Miloš Jakeš, Rafael Leonardo Callejas Romero, Abdul Halim Khaddam, Joachim Yhombi-Opango, Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo, Mike Moore, and Janez Stanovnik.

In 2021: Gustavo Noboa, Ali Mahdi Muhammad, Moudud Ahmed, Didier Ratsiraka, Bonfoh Abass, Mamnoon Hussain, Arturo Armando Molina, Hissène Habré, Jorge Sampaio, Abdelkader Bensalah, Kenneth Kaunda, Anerood Jugnauth, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Enrique Bolaños, Roh Tae-woo, Chun Doo-hwan, Benigno Aquino III, Carlos Menem, F. W. de Klerk, James Fitz-Allen Mitchell, Norodom Ranariddh, Kinza Clodumar, and Karolos Papoulias.

In 2022: Toshiki Kaifu, Ernest Shonekan, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, Christos Sartzetakis, Amos Sawyer, Rupiah Banda, Karl Offmann, Shahabuddin Ahmed, Ayaz Mutallibov, Dušan Čkrebić, Mwai Kibaki, Leonid Kravchuk, Ciriaco De Mita, Stanislav Shushkevich, Romeo Morri, Bujar Nishani, Evaristo Carvalho, Jacob Nena, Shinzo Abe, José Eduardo dos Santos, Luis Echeverría, Francisco Morales Bermúdez, Fidel V. Ramos, Mikhail Gorbachev, Balakh Sher Mazari, Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici, Jiang Zemin, Adolfas Šleževičius, Edgar Savisaar and Pope Benedict XVI.

In 2023: Abdelsalam Majali, Constantine II of Greece, Álvaro Colom, Sherif Ismail, Pervez Musharraf, Lubomír Štrougal, Ivan Silayev, Sergey Tereshchenko, Hans Modrow, Ahmed Qurei, Gérard Latortue, Pōhiva Tuʻiʻonetoa, Pascoal Mocumbi, Sir Rabbie Namaliu, Mudar Badran, Nikica Valentić, Rifat Rastoder, Silvio Berlusconi, Sir Lloyd Erskine Sandiford, Sir Tapley Seaton, Milan Milutinović, Arnaldo Forlani, Rachid Sfar, Jean-Jacques Honorat, Surat Huseynov, Henri Konan Bédié, Mircea Snegur, Abdul Ati al-Obeidi, Giorgio Napolitano, Marouf al-Bakhit, László Sólyom, Martti Ahtisaari, Bill Hayden, Li Keqiang, Henri Lopes, Antoni Martí, Rahim Huseynov, Faustin Twagiramungu, Paulin Obame-Nguema and Sir Michael Hardie Boys.

In 2024: Basdeo Panday, Dries van Agt, John Bruton, Sebastián Piñera, Edward Lowassa, Anfinn Kallsberg, and Nikolai Ryzhkov.

Prominent political events


Coups d'état against ruling governments during the decade include:

Event Date Country Ref.
2020 Malian coup d'état 18 August 2020 Mali
2021 Myanmar coup d'état 1 February 2021 Myanmar
2021 Malian coup d'état 24 May 2021 Mali
2021 Tunisian self-coup 25 July 2021 Tunisia
2021 Guinean coup d'état 5 September 2021 Guinea
2021 Sudan coup d'état 25 October 2021 Sudan
January 2022 Burkina Faso coup d'état 23 January 2022 Burkina Faso
2022 Ukrainian coup d'état attempt January - February 2022 Ukraine
September 2022 Burkina Faso coup d'état 30 September 2022 Burkina Faso
2022 German coup d'état plot 7 December 2022 Germany
2022 Peruvian self-coup attempt 7 December 2022 Peru
Wagner Group rebellion 23 June 2023 Russia
2023 Nigerien coup d'état 26 July 2023 Niger
2023 Gabonese coup d'état 30 August 2023 Gabon


Event Country Date Description References
Western Saharan clashes (2020–present) Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Morocco 8 November 2020 – ongoing Following protests in the border town of Guerguerat in the disputed Western Sahara region, the Moroccan armed forces captured the town to ensure traffic could resume through the area. Since then, fighting and bombardments across the Moroccan Berm have taken place, with the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic declaring war against Morocco. It is the largest escalation in the conflict since the end of the Western Sahara War in 1991.
2021–2022 Somali political crisis Somalia 8 February 2021 – 10 January 2022 President of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed stayed in power past the end of his term and postponed elections scheduled for 2021. Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble then called for the president to immediately step down. The president later dismissed Roble for alleged corruption. Protests were reported across the country in favor and opposed to the president. A deal to hold elections in May 2022 was reached in January which resulted in the incumbent president losing his bid for reelection.
2023 Nigerien crisis Niger ECOWAS 26 July 2023 – ongoing The 2023 Nigerien coup d'état led to a severe diplomatic crisis between the putschists in Niger and the member states of ECOWAS.


Event Country Date Description References
First impeachment of Donald Trump United States 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.
2020 Salvadoran political crisis El Salvador 9 February 2020 During a political crisis, Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele sent forty soldiers of the Salvadoran Army into the Legislative Assembly building in an effort to coerce politicians to approve a loan request of $109 million from the United States for Bukele's security plan for the country.

The event has been condemned by foreign governments, the political opposition, and human rights organizations and is considered the first major political crisis in the country since the conclusion of the Salvadoran Civil War in 1992 and has been referred to as a coup attempt.

2020 United States presidential election and subsequent events United States 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. Trump refused to concede, and filed lawsuits challenging the results in several states, though most of the legal challenges were either dismissed or dropped, with judges citing lack of evidence to suggest voter fraud occurred. Trump had also unsuccessfully attempted to undo the election results by forcing government officials to stop Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Georgia from certifying Biden as the winner, and urging his supporters to "walk" to the United States Capitol to demand Trump be declared the winner of the election. 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. The January 6 United States Capitol attack disrupted Congress while certifying the election, forcing both chambers to undergo lockdown lasting for four hours. On the same day, Trump coerced then-incumbent Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the election results to which Pence refused. During the attack, Trump tweeted directly to his supporters falsely claiming Congress was attempting to assist in stealing the election. Twitter responded by suspending Trump's account permanently following Trump's tweet. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat all also suspended Trump from using their platforms worrying his posts may incite additional violence to the Capitol attacks. 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. Meanwhile, Joe Biden was sworn in as the United States President on 20 January 2021. The Senate impeachment trial ended on 13 February 2021, one month after its start, resulting in Trump being found not guilty of inciting the attack on the Capitol. On August1, 2023, a grand jury indicted Trump in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on four charges: conspiracy to defraud the United States, obstructing an official proceeding related to the certification of the election results on January 6, 2021, conspiring to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights.

8th Congress of the Communist Party Cuba 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. 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.
2021 Salvadoran political crisis El Salvador 1 May 2021 The Legislative Assembly of El Salvador voted to remove several judges from the Supreme Court and remove the Attorney General, both of which had been vocal opponents to the presidency of Nayib Bukele.
2021 Canadian federal election Canada 20 September 2021 Incumbent prime minister Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party, is re-elected in Canada's federal election, continuing as a minority government.
Barbados's transition to a republic Barbados 30 November 2021 Barbados became the newest republic in the world on 30 November 2021, its 55th Independence Day, when the already elected, previous Governor-General of Barbados, Sandra Mason, was sworn into office as the first president of the Caribbean country. This ended Queen Elizabeth II's 55-year tenure as monarch of an independent Barbados.
2022 Colombian presidential election Colombia 19 June 2022 Former 19th of April Movement guerrilla fighter and incumbent Senator Gustavo Petro defeats businessman and former mayor of Bucaramanga, Rodolfo Hernández Suárez, in the second round of the presidential election and becomes the first left-wing President in Colombian history.
2022 Brazilian general election Brazil 3–30 October 2022 Former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva defeats the incumbent president of Jair Bolsonaro in the second round of the presidential election; he becomes the first elected to three terms and the oldest president in Brazilian history.
On 6 January 2021, the U.S. Capitol attack occurred two weeks before Joe Biden was sworn into office. The event resulted in the Second impeachment of Donald Trump and a group of televised public hearings.
Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president on January 20, 2021; he became the oldest president in U.S. history.


Event Country Date Description Reference
2019–2021 Persian Gulf crisis Iran, United States 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.
2020–2022 Malaysian political crisis Malaysia 22 February 2020 – 24 November 2022 Political infighting and party switching within Pakatan Harapan and Perikatan Nasional led to the inability to form a stable majority government. After the collapse of 2 successive governments and a snap general election held, the Anwar Ibrahim cabinet was formed, the first unity government in the history of Malaysia.
2020–2021 China–India skirmishes China, India 5 May 2020 – 20 January 2021 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).
2021 Kyrgyz-Tajik clashes Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan 28 April – 1 May and 9 July 2021 A 3-day border conflict with clashes occurred in late April 2021 between the two Central Asian countries Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The reason why the fighting broke out is disputed, but it is due either to an old water dispute or to local people's dissatisfaction with the installation of surveillance cameras near the border. After 3 days of intense clashes, that left more than 50 people dead and also more than 40,000 displaced civilians, the two countries agreed on a ceasefire. After the ceasefire, however, there was a fatal incident on 9 July.
2021 Israel–Palestine crisis Israel,Palestine 6–21 May 2021 Clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem lead to eleven days of fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.
2021 Taliban offensive Afghanistan 1 May – 15 August 2021 Beginning on 1 May 2021, the Taliban and allied militant groups made a final offensive against the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and its allies, coinciding with the withdrawal of most United States and allied troops from Afghanistan. It resulted in the de facto takeover of the country and the reinstatement of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, ending the twenty-year-long War in Afghanistan on 15 August 2021.
2021–2022 Iraqi political crisis Iraq 5 November 2021 – 28 October 2022 The parliamentary election in October 2021 resulted in deadlock as members of the Council of Representatives of Iraq were unable to form a stable government or elect a new president. Ended in the election of Abdul Latif Rashid as president and Mohammed Shia' Al Sudani as prime minister.
2022 Kyrgyz-Tajik clashes Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan 27 January – 20 September 2022 The sporadic fighting between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, which had started in 2021, began again in late January 2022 and the bloody clashes resulted in dozens of deaths and injuries on 27 January, 10 March, 3 June and 14 June. In September, the fighting escalated and the 6 days of fighting between 14 and 20 September, which resulted in hundreds of deaths and injuries, finally ended on 20 September when the two countries signed a peace deal.
2022–2023 Pakistan political unrest Pakistan 3 April 2022 – 14 August 2023 The events began with a constitutional crisis in April 2022 after a no-confidence motion against Imran Khan was dismissed by the deputy speaker, citing foreign interference by the United States. The Supreme Court ruled this action unconstitutional and parliament reconvened and passed the motion, making Khan the first Prime Minister of Pakistan to be removed from office by a vote of no confidence. Khan would call for general elections to be held, but soon after he was the target of an assassination attempt and two arrests. Nationwide protests in support of Khan erupted after his arrests, culminating in the May 9 riots and a crackdown by the government. The events were a major event in the lead up to the 2024 general election.


Event Country Date Description References
Brexit UK 31 January 2020 The United Kingdom and Gibraltar formally withdrew from the European Union at 11PM (GMT).
Eighth NATO enlargement North Macedonia 27 March 2020 North Macedonia became a member state of NATO after the 2018 Prespa Agreement.
2020 Belarusian presidential election Belarus 9 August 2020 The once again rigged presidential elections in Belarus in 2020 led to the largest mass protests in the history of Belarus. The protests were eventually put down with violence. As a result of these events, Belarus developed into a totalitarian repressive state in the following years, where any criticism of ruler Alexander Lukashenko is brutally suppressed. Numerous states, including the member countries of the European Union and the EU itself, imposed sanctions against Lukashenko's regime.
2021–2023 Bulgarian political crisis Bulgaria 4 April 2021 – 6 June 2023 A series of unstable governments and a gridlock resulted in five elections occurring over two years. A rotation government was eventually approved on 6 June 2023.
Belarus–European Union border crisis Belarus, European Union 7 July 2021 – ongoing A migrant crisis and humanitarian disaster involving an influx of coordinated groups of immigrants, primarily from Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa, to Poland, Lithuania and Latvia via their borders with Belarus. The crisis was triggered by the severe deterioration in Belarus–European Union relations following the 2020 Belarusian presidential election, the 2020–2021 Belarusian protests, the Ryanair Flight 4978 incident and subsequent sanctions on Belarus, as well as the attempted forced repatriation of Olympic sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya from the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko deliberately had immigrants from the Middle East flown into Belarus in order to "flood Europe with migrants and drugs."
Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II United Kingdom 6 February 2022 Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Platinum Jubilee, which marked the 70th anniversary of her accession.
July 2022 United Kingdom government crisis United Kingdom 5–7 July 2022 Several officials resigned from their positions in Prime Minister Boris Johnson's second ministry, culminating in Johnson announcing his resignation on 7 July and a leadership election called to decide the next leader of the Conservative Party.
Death of Mikhail Gorbachev Russia 30 August 2022 A Russian and Soviet politician who served as the last leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev died at the age of 91.
Death and state funeral of Elizabeth II and accession of Charles III United Kingdom 8 September 2022 Elizabeth II, the Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms, the longest-living and longest-reigning British monarch, reigning from 6 February 1952 to 8 September 2022, died of natural causes at the age of 96. Her son, Charles acceded to the throne as King Charles III immediately, after serving as heir apparent for 70 years, the longest in British history.
2022 Italian general election Italy 25 September 2022 The right-wing coalition led by Giorgia Meloni's Brothers of Italy won an absolute majority in both houses. On 22 October, Meloni was appointed Prime Minister, becoming the first woman to hold the office.
Golden Jubilee of Margrethe II Denmark 2022 Queen Margrethe II celebrated her Golden Jubilee, which marked the 50th anniversary of her accession.
October 2022 United Kingdom government crisis United Kingdom 14–20 October 2022 Only six weeks into her premiership, conservative MPs in the United Kingdom cited a loss in public confidence in Prime Minister Liz Truss's ministry following her September mini-budget. This culminated in Truss announcing her resignation on 20 October and a leadership election was called to decide the next leader of the Conservative Party.
Death and funeral of Pope Benedict XVI Vatican City 31 December 2022 Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who resigned in 2013 as the first Pope to do so in more than 600 years, dies at the age of 95.
2023 Czech presidential election Czech Republic 28 January 2023 Independent candidate Petr Pavel wins the 2nd round of the presidential election against former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš of the ANO 2011.
2023 Montenegrin presidential election Montenegro 2 April 2023 Europe Now! candidate Jakov Milatović wins the 2nd round of the presidential election against incumbent president Milo Đukanović of the DPS. Đukanović, who had ruled the country almost continuously since 1991 either as President or Prime Minister, thus lost power for the first time after more than 32 years. Milatović's victory was also the first time that the DPS lost a presidential election since 1990.
2023 Finnish parliamentary election Finland 2 April 2023 Kokoomus won the elections and got 48 MP seats with 20.8 percent support. Finns Party, came second with 20.1 percent support and 46 MP seats. The main government party SDP came in third with 19.9 percent support and 43 MP seats.
Ninth NATO enlargement Finland 4 April 2023 Finland applied to join NATO in 2022 following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and was formally accepted the following year. This ended Finland's position as a neutral state that had existed since the Finno-Soviet Treaty of 1948.
Coronation of Charles III and Camilla United Kingdom 6 May 2023 The coronation of Charles III and his wife, Camilla, as king and queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms, took place on 6 May. Charles III acceded to the throne on 8 September 2022, following the death of his mother, Elizabeth II. This was the first coronation of a British monarch since Elizabeth II was crowned 70 years earlier, in 1953 and was the first coronation of the 21st century and the 3rd millennium.
2023 Turkish general election Turkey 28 May 2023 Incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of the Justice and Development Party was re-elected in the presidential election, defeating Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu of the Republican People's Party.
Golden Jubilee of Carl XVI Gustaf Sweden 15 September 2023 King Carl XVI Gustaf celebrated his Golden Jubilee, which marked the 50th anniversary of his accession.
2023 Polish parliamentary election Poland 15 October 2023 The United Right secured the highest number of seats in the election, but failed to achieve a majority in the Sejm. Meanwhile, the opposition, headed by Donald Tusk, successfully garnered a parliamentary majority. This represents a shift in the Sejm's majority for the first time in eight years in Poland.
2023 Serbian parliamentary election Serbia 17 December 2023 The SNS coalition secured the highest number of seats in the election. According to international election observers, fraud occurred in the election, and thousands of citizens began to demonstrate against the election result.
Abdication of Margrethe II Denmark 14 January 2024
2024 Finnish presidential election Finland 11 February 2024 National Coalition Party candidate Alexander Stubb wins the 2nd round of the presidential election against former Minister for Foreign Affairs, Independent candidate Pekka Haavisto.
Finnish and Swedish ambassadors submit their applications to join NATO to secretary general Jens Stoltenberg.
Crowds at Buckingham Palace following the death and state funeral of Elizabeth II, shortly after the Platinum Jubilee celebration which marked the 70th anniversary of her accession.
Crowds at St. Peter's Square following the death and funeral of Pope Benedict XVI.
King Charles III and Queen Camilla on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following their coronation in 2023.


Event Country Date Description References
2021 Samoan constitutional crisis Samoa 22 May – 23 July 2021 Following a general election, the results were in stasis while incumbent prime minister Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi refused to step down. The Supreme Court of Samoa decided the matter, and the FAST party and its leader Fiamē Naomi Mataʻafa was declared the winner.
2021 Solomon Islands unrest Solomon Islands 24–27 November 2021 A period of unrest began due to a variety of factors, notably the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the decision to retract diplomatic recognition of Taiwan and instead recognize China.
2022 Kiribati constitutional crisis Kiribati May – October 2022 A crisis began when High Court Judge David Lambourne was suspended in May 2022 and Chief Justice Bill Hastings was suspended on 30 June 2022, both over allegations of misconduct. In October 2022, the President Taneti Maamau appointed Attorney General Tetiro Semilota as Acting Chief Justice.
2022 Fijian general election Fiji 14 December 2022 16-year incumbent prime minister Frank Bainimarama of the FijiFirst party was unable to form a government after winning a plurality of seats. Former prime minister and leader of the 1987 military coups Sitiveni Rabuka of the newly established People's Alliance returned to the position.

World leaders

Assassinations and attempts

Qasem Soleimani
Jovenel Moïse
Shinzo Abe
Ayman al-Zawahiri

Prominent assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts include:

Date Description
3 January 2020 Qasem Soleimani, Iranian general, and leader in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, is killed in an airstrike conducted by the United States near Baghdad International Airport.
27 November 2020 Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a senior official in the nuclear program in Iran, is killed in an ambush against his motorcade in Absard.
22 February 2021 Luca Attanasio, Italian ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is killed by gunmen while traveling in North Kivu.
20 April 2021 Idriss Déby, 6th President of Chad, is killed while commanding forces against rebels during the Insurgency in Northern Chad, and is succeeded by transitional president and military general, Mahamat Kaka.
6 May 2021 Mohamed Nasheed, Speaker of the Maldivian People's Majlis, is wounded in an explosion alleged by Maldivian authorities to have been conducted by religious extremists.
7 July 2021 Jovenel Moïse, 43rd President of Haiti, is killed by gunmen at his private residence. First Lady Martine Moïse is severely wounded.
15 October 2021 David Amess, British Conservative Party MP, is killed by an Islamic terrorist during a constituency surgery.
7 November 2021 Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, Prime Minister of Iraq, survives a drone attack that injures six in his security detail.
3 February 2022 Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, 2nd Caliph of the Islamic State, is killed in Atme during a counter-terrorism raid by U.S. special forces in north-western Syria.
8 June 2022 Brett Kavanaugh, a United States Supreme Court Justice, is the target of an assassination attempt in which the alleged assassin was motivated by a leaked Supreme Court decision that was poised to overrule Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that guaranteed abortion as a right.
8 July 2022 Shinzo Abe, former Prime Minister of Japan, is killed while giving a campaign speech by a former navy sailor who held a grudge against the South Korean-based Unification Church.
31 July 2022 Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of the Salafi-jihadist group al-Qaeda, is killed by a drone strike conducted by the US-based CIA in Kabul, Afghanistan.
12 August 2022 Salman Rushdie, an Indian-born British-American novelist, is stabbed multiple times as he is about to give a public lecture at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York, United States. Rushdie has been the subject of a fatwā written by Supreme Leader of Iran Ruhollah Khomeini calling for his death since 1989.
1 September 2022 Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, former Vice President and former President of Argentina, survives an attempt on her life after the assailant's weapon malfunctions.
15 October 2022 Abu al-Hasan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, 3rd Caliph of the Islamic State, is killed by wearing and detonating a suicide vest during battle against Free Syrian Army rebels in the city of Jasim in Daraa Governorate, Syria. He is succeeded by Abu al-Hussein al-Husseini al-Qurashi.
28 October 2022 Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, is the target of a failed assassination attempt when a man armed with a hammer breaks into her residence. He instead assaults her husband, causing serious injuries as she was not home at the time of the attempt.
3 November 2022 Imran Khan, former prime minister of Pakistan, is shot in the leg while traveling in a convoy in Wazirabad amid anti-government protests.
3 May 2023 Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, is alleged to have been the target of an unsuccessful drone attack on the Kremlin according to Russian authorities. Ukraine, which is at war with Russia, denied responsibility for the attack.
9 August 2023 Fernando Villavicencio, Ecuadorian politician and candidate for President of Ecuador, is shot to death following a campaign event in Quito.
23 August 2023 Key figures in the Russian paramilitary organization Wagner Group, including its founder and leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, are killed in a plane crash widely believed to have been an assassination carried out by the Russian government after an attempted rebellion by Prigozhin earlier in the summer.
2 January 2024 South Korean opposition leader Lee Jae-myung is stabbed in the neck during a visit to Busan.


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Non-natural disasters


Event Date Country Description
Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 8 January 2020 Iran Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was shot down shortly after take-off from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport, Tehran, by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, who claimed to have mistaken it for a cruise missile. All 176 people on board were killed.
Pakistan International Airlines Flight 8303 22 May 2020 Pakistan Pakistan International Airlines Flight 8303 crashed into a neighborhood in Karachi while attempting to land, killing 97 of the 99 people on board plus 1 person on the ground.
Sriwijaya Air Flight 182 9 January 2021 Indonesia 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.
China Eastern Airlines Flight 5735 21 March 2022 China China Eastern Airlines Flight 5735 crashed into the ground near Wuzhou mid-flight, killing all 132 people on board.
Yeti Airlines Flight 691 15 January 2023 Nepal Yeti Airlines Flight 691 crashes into a gorge while attempting to land in Pokhara, killing all 72 people on board.


Event Date Country Description
2020 Beirut explosion 4 August 2020 Lebanon A massive explosion occurred in the port of Beirut. The blast was so loud that it was even reported to be heard in Cyprus, which is approximately 240 km from the location of the explosion. 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. 220 deaths were confirmed, more than 110 people were missing and at least 7,000 were reported injured. Beirut governor Marwan Abboud estimated that up to 300,000 people were left homeless by the explosions and there was $10–15 billion USD in property damage.
Surfside condominium collapse 24 June 2021 United States A 12-story beachfront condominium in the Miami suburb of Surfside, Florida, partially collapsed. As of 22 July 2021, a total of 98 people are confirmed to have died, while 11 were injured. One person was rescued from the rubble, and about 35 people were rescued on 24 June from the uncollapsed portion of the building, which was demolished 11 days later as a safety precaution due to the approach of Hurricane Elsa. On 7 July, authorities announced that the objective of the search was transitioning from rescue to recovery and that the missing victims are presumed dead.
2022 Yerevan explosion 14 August 2022 Armenia A large explosion took place in the Surmalu shopping centre in the Armenian capital of Yerevan. It caused widespread destruction and fire, leaving dozens of dead and injured. The explosion killed 16 people and injured 63, with nine missing as of 20 August.
Destruction of the Kakhovka Dam 6 June 2023 Ukraine Russian invasion of Ukraine: The Nova Kakhovka dam in the Russian-controlled region of Kherson is destroyed, threatening the region with devastating floodwaters.
Derna dam collapses 10 – 11 September 2023 Libya The Derna dam collapses were the catastrophic failures of two dams in Derna, Libya on the night of 10–11 September 2023, in the aftermath of Storm Daniel. The dam collapses released an estimated 30 million cubic metres (39 million cubic yards) of water, causing flooding downstream as the Wadi Derna overflowed its banks. The floods partially destroyed the city of Derna. Estimates for the number of casualties range from 5,300 to 20,000 people. The event was the second-deadliest dam failure in history, after the 1975 Banqiao Dam failure in China.


Event Date Country Description

Natural disasters

Earthquakes and tsunamis

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 CARICOM, Cuba 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. No damages were reported. A small (12.2 cm) tsunami was reported in the Cayman Islands.
2020 Aegean Sea earthquake 30 October 2020 Greece, Turkey A 7.0 Mw  earthquake occurred about 14 km (8.7 mi) northeast of the Greek island of Samos, causing 119 deaths.
2021 West Sulawesi earthquake 15 January 2021 Indonesia A 6.2 Mw  earthquake struck the Indonesian province of West Sulawesi, killing a minimum of 105 people.
2021 Haiti earthquake 14 August 2021 Haiti A 7.2 Mw  earthquake struck Haiti on 14 August 2021, resulting in at least 2,207 deaths.
June 2022 Afghanistan earthquake 22 June 2022 Afghanistan, Pakistan A 6.2 Mw  earthquake struck southeastern Afghanistan, killing at least 1,163 people, with 1,150 in Afghanistan and 13 in Pakistan. The earthquake was so deadly because it hit a densely populated area with buildings too weak to resist earthquakes.
2022 West Java earthquake 21 November 2022 Indonesia A 5.6 Mw  earthquake struck Indonesia in West Java, near Cianjur, killing 335-635 people, despite its moderate magnitude.
2023 Turkey–Syria earthquake 6 February 2023 Turkey, Syria A 7.8 Mw  earthquake struck the Border Region of Turkey and Syria, killing more than 60,000 people and injuring more than 180,000 people. It is also one of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded in Turkey since the 1999 İzmit earthquake.
2023 Marrakesh-Safi earthquake 8 September 2023 Morocco A 6.8 Mww - 6.9 Mw  earthquake struck the Marrakesh-Safi region of Morocco. 2,960 people killed and 5,674 injured.
2023 Herat earthquakes 7–15 October 2023 Afghanistan Four 6.3 Mww earthquakes struck Herat Province in western Afghanistan between 7–15 October 2023, killing 1,489 people and injuring 1,853 others, while 485 remain missing.
2024 Noto earthquake 1 January 2024 Japan A 7.5 Mw (7.6 MJMA) earthquake struck the Noto Peninsula of Japan, killing at least 202 people and injuring at least 665 others.
An earthquake-damaged building in Antakya, Turkey in February 2023
The Imi N'Tala village was heavily destroyed by the Marrakesh-Safi earthquake in September 2023.

Tropical cyclones

Event Date Country Description
Cyclone Amphan 16–21 May 2020 Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar 128 people were killed and millions made homeless in the strongest storm in two decades. Damage was estimated at US$13.2 billion.
Hurricane Laura 20–29 August 2020 United States, CARICOM, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Cayman Islands, Guadeloupe, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten Hurricane Laura was a deadly and destructive Category 4 hurricane that, along with 1856's Last Island and 2021's Ida, was the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. state of Louisiana, based on maximum wind strength. "Laura" first hit the Lesser Antilles as a tropical storm, striking Puerto Rico, then moved across the island of Hispaniola, killing 31 people in Haiti and nine in the Dominican Republic. "Laura" caused widespread devastation along most of its track: Tropical-storm-force winds passed over nearly all of the Antilles islands; hurricane-force and tropical-storm-force winds struck parts of Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and Arkansas; and much of the storm's track was affected by flooding rain and storm surge. Damage is estimated at more than $19.1 billion, and at least 81 people were killed, including 30 in Louisiana and 10 in Texas alone, making "Laura" the 16th costliest hurricane ever. With estimated agricultural losses of $1.6 billion, "Laura" caused more agricultural damage in Louisiana than Hurricanes Katrina and Rita combined.
Tropical Storm Linfa 6–12 October 2020 Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, Myanmar, Thailand Tropical Storm Linfa was a weak, short-lived, but deadly and destructive tropical cyclone. It was the 12th wettest tropical cyclone on record and the second of nine consecutive tropical cyclones to strike Vietnam in 2020, barely a month after the less damaging Tropical Storm Noul. "Linfa" brought record-breaking rainfall totals to much of the Indochinese peninsula. 112 people died in Vietnam, and 24 are missing. Another 25 people died in Cambodia, and Laos had one death and three missing.
Typhoon Vamco (Ulysses) 8–15 November 2020 Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia 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 Nicaragua, Honduras 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.
Cyclone Seroja 3–12 April 2021 Indonesia, East Timor, Australia Severe tropical cyclone Seroja was the third deadliest tropical cyclone in the Australian region, after Cyclone Mahina in 1899 and the Flores Cyclone in 1973. Seroja caused flooding and landslides on a historic scale in parts of southern Indonesia and East Timor, and later made landfall in the Mid West region of Western Australia - the first cyclone to make landfall since Cyclone Elaine in 1999. At least 272 people were killed by the storm, including 183 in Indonesia, 42 in East Timor and one in Australia. At least 72 people from Indonesia and 30 from East Timor are missing.
Cyclone Tauktae 14–19 May 2021 India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives This category-4 cyclone hit the western coast of India. 174 total fatalities recorded (all countries). Damages totaled up to US$2.12 billion. Other countries affected were Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Maldives.
Hurricane Ida 26 August – 4 September 2021 United States, Venezuela, Cuba, Colombia, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Canada 107 people were killed by "Ida", of which 87 people were killed in the United States and 20 people were killed in Venezuela. The damage amounted to up to $50 billion.
Typhoon Rai (Odette) 12–22 December 2021 Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Micronesia, Palau, Hong Kong, Macau, China, Taiwan Typhoon Rai, known in the Philippines as Super Typhoon Odette, was the second most severe typhoon in Philippine history after Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. Rai was a strong, rare tropical cyclone that struck the Philippines in December 2021. Rai was the first category 5 super typhoon since Nock-ten in 2016 to develop in December, and the third category 5 super typhoon recorded in the South China Sea, following Pamela in 1954 and Rammasun in 2014.

Several southern provinces in the Philippines were inundated and devastated by the typhoon. A total of 410 people died + 80 missing, of which a full 409 died in the Philippines and only 1 died in Vietnam.The damage amounts to up to $720 million.

Tropical Storm Ana 20–25 January 2022 Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Mauritius, South Africa Zambia, Zimbabwe Moderate Tropical Storm Ana was a deadly tropical cyclone that struck the African nations of Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique + others and was the third deadliest tropical cyclone of 2022. It resulted in 142 deaths, with Madagascar being the hardest hit with 58 deaths due to flooding caused by "Ana", Malawi with 37 deaths + 22 missing, and Mozambique with 20 deaths.
Cyclone Batsirai 24 January - 11 February 2022 Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion Intense Tropical Cyclone Batsirai was a deadly tropical cyclone that hit Madagascar hard in February 2022 and was the strongest tropical cyclone to hit Madagascar since Cyclone Enawo in 2017. It hit the country two weeks after Tropical Storm Ana brought deadly flooding to the island nation in late January. The storm also caused damage in Mauritius and Réunion, but the damage was relatively minor. 123 deaths - 121 in Madagascar and 2 in Mauritius - were reported as a result of Batsirai. Batsirai brought severe damage that significantly affected power supply and communications in the affected areas. Entire towns were devastated, and thousands of buildings were damaged or destroyed. At least 112,000 people were displaced and 124,000 homes damaged by Batsirai. The same areas were hit by an even stronger Cyclone Freddy less than a year later.
Tropical Storm Megi (Agaton) 8–12 April 2022 Philippines Tropical Storm Megi, known in the Philippines as Tropical Storm Agaton, was a weak but deadly tropical cyclone that struck the Philippines in April 2022. Heavy rains and storms led to the sinking of two ships. Large landslides pushed mud over villages in Leyte, burying about 210 homes. The Philippines' National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported 214 dead, 132 missing, and 8 injured.
Hurricane Ian 23 September – 2 October 2022 Cuba, United States 157 people killed with 16 unaccounted for across both the United States and Cuba. The entire nation of Cuba lost power and millions lost power in the United States. The NOAA estimated total damage to be US$113 billion.
Tropical Storm Nalgae (Paeng) 26 October – 3 November 2022 Philippines, Hong Kong, Macau, China Severe Tropical Storm Nalgae, known in the Philippines as Severe Tropical Storm Paeng, was a very large and deadly tropical cyclone that wreaked havoc in the Philippines and later hit Hong Kong and Macau. 160 people were killed, 141 others were wounded, and 29 people are still missing as a result of the landslides and flooding caused by Nalgae in the Philippines. Meanwhile, there was only 1 person injured in Hong Kong.
Cyclone Freddy 4 February – 15 March 2023 Eswatini, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Réunion, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe Cyclone Freddy was the longest-lasting tropical cyclone in history, surpassing the previous record set by Hurricane John in 1994. In total, more than 1,434 people died + 556 went missing, with Malawi worst hit with 1,216 dead + 537 missing, followed by Mozambique with 198 dead, Madagascar with 17 dead + 3 missing, Zimbabwe with 2 dead, and Mauritius with 1 dead + 16 missing. Overall, "Freddy" was the second deadliest tropical cyclone in the southwestern Indian Ocean and third deadliest in the Southern Hemisphere.
Cyclone Mocha 9–15 May 2023 Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, China Cyclone Mocha was a powerful and deadly tropical cyclone that caused between 152 and 463 deaths and widespread destruction, primarily in Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Storm Daniel 4–12 September 2023 Libya, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Egypt, Israel Storm Daniel, also known as Cyclone Daniel, was the deadliest and costliest Mediterranean tropical-like cyclone in recorded history. "Storm Daniel" resulted in Thousands of Deaths, most notably in the Libyan city of Derna, where torrential rains caused two dams near the city of Derna to fail.


Event Date Country Description
2021 South Moravia tornado 24 June 2021 Czech Republic A small but significant tornado outbreak swept across the Czech Republic on 24 June, resulting in the strongest ever documented tornado in modern Czech history and the deadliest European tornado since 2001.
Tornado outbreak of December 10–11, 2021 10—11 December 2021 United States Tornado activity swept the southern and midwestern United States in the evening of 10 December through the following morning. Arkansas, Missouri, and Kentucky suffered extensive damage.

Floods, avalanches, and mudslides

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 Neelum Valley avalanche January 2020 Pakistan At least 74 people were killed and several others injured in the Neelum Valley in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, after a series of avalanches triggered by heavy snowfall destroyed and buried 84 homes and 17 shops, while dozens of other buildings were damaged.
2020 Van avalanches 4–5 February 2020 Turkey Two avalanches in Turkey's eastern Van Province resulted in 41 deaths and 84 injuries.
2020 East Africa floods March - May 2020 Kenya, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, Djibouti, Burundi, Tanzania Severe flooding in 9 African countries caused more than 450 deaths and affected more than 700,000 people, mainly in Kenya and Rwanda.
2020 Nepal floods June - September 2020 Nepal The rainy season and associated flooding, which has killed more than 400 people, has been described by some in Nepal as the deadliest in recent memory.
2021 European floods 12–25 July 2021 Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Romania}, Switzerland, United Kingdom Heavy flooding, particularly in river basins of western and central Europe, killed some 243 people and left €10 billion in damage.
2021 Henan floods 17–31 July 2021 China Following the highest-ever recorded rainfall in Zhengzhou, Henan Province in China, between 300 and 400 deaths along with over 800,000 people having to evacuate.
2021 Maharashtra floods 22 July 2021 – August 2021 India Over 250 deaths were reported in the Indian state of Maharashtra after heavy rainfall in the area.
2022 Petrópolis floods 15 February 2022 Brazil Intense rainfall led to mudslides and flooding on 15 February, that destroyed parts of the city of Petrópolis in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro and killed more than 230 people.
2022 KwaZulu-Natal floods 8–21 April 2022 South Africa Flooding in the province of KwaZuku-Natal in South Africa leads to over 400 deaths.
2022 Afghanistan floods 5 May 2022 – August 2022 Afghanistan Several provinces of Afghanistan were affected by severe flooding beginning in May, which claimed more than 600 lives.
2022 India-Bangladesh floods 23 May 2022 – present India, Bangladesh Deadly floods have been hitting northeastern India and Bangladesh since May 2022, killing more than 250 people and affecting 9 million people in both countries.
2022 Pakistan floods 14 June 2022 – October 2022 Pakistan Floods in Pakistan have killed more than 1,000 people since June.
2022 Nigeria floods May – October 2022 Nigeria With more than 600 dead, the 2022 floods were the worst in the country since the floods in 2012.
2023 Africa floods March 2023 – present Angola, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda Since March, more than 776 people have died in severe floods in several African countries. The worst hit were the Democratic Republic of Congo, with over 440 dead + over 2,500 missing, and Rwanda, with at least 135 dead.
CNS video report of the floods depicting Henan Province, China
Flooding in South Africa in March 2023

Volcanic eruptions

Event Date Country Description
2020–2022 Taal Volcano eruptions January 2020; July 2021; November 2021; March 2022 Philippines 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]
2021 Cumbre Vieja volcanic eruption 19 September 202113 December 2021 Spain On 19 September the Cumbre Vieja volcano located in the La Palma island erupted.
2021 Semeru eruption 4 December 2021 Indonesia The collapse of an unstable lava dome on the summit of Semeru due to heavy rainfall triggered large pyroclastic flows, killing 48, injuring over 100 and leaving 23 missing.
2022 Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai eruption and tsunami 15 January 2022 Tonga The Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai volcano in the South Pacific erupted violently on 15 January, causing tsunamis to hit Hawaii, Japan and Tonga's largest island, Tongatapu, and sent waves flooding into Nukuʻalofa. Tonga finally disqualified in the FIFA World Cup.

Droughts, heat waves, and wildfires

Event Date Region Description
2018–2021 Southern African drought October 2018 – October 2021 South Africa An ongoing period of drought began in the country of South Africa in late October 2018 and continued into early 2021, negatively affecting food security in the region.
2019–20 Australian bushfire season June 2019May 2020 Australia Unusually intense bushfires in Australia continued into 2020, having started in September 2019.
2020 Western U.S. Wildfires March – December 2020 United States Record-breaking wildfires began in several Western American states.
2020 Argentine wildfires (Delta del Paraná) July 2020 – October 2020 Argentina Sudden wildfires started in Córdoba and extended into several Northern provinces.
2021 Russian heatwave May – June 2021 Russia Parts of Russia and eastern Europe were hit by a record-breaking heat wave in May and June 2021, with temperatures in the Arctic Circle above 30 °C and the highest temperatures recorded in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
2021 Western North America heat wave June – July 2021 Canada, United States Extreme temperatures caused by a prolonged heat dome over western Canada and the western United States kill over 613 people including over 480 people in British Columbia alone. The village of Lytton, British Columbia, which recorded the highest temperatures in Canada, is destroyed by a large wildfire as over 200 other ones devastate wide areas of the province. Wildfires in parts of the western coastal states of the US such as Washington, Oregon and California are also greatly worsened by the heatwave.
2021 Turkey wildfires July – August 2021 Turkey Over a hundred wildfires began in the Mediterranean Region of the forest in Turkey, the worst in the country for at least a decade. The wildfires started in Manavgat, Antalya on 28 July 2021, with the temperature around 37 °C (99 °F).
2020–2023 North American drought August 2020 – Ongoing United States, Canada, Mexico Drought developed in the Western, Midwestern and Northeastern United States in the summer of 2020. Over the course of 2021, conditions improved in the Northeast but worsened in the Western US. As of June 2021, 97% of the region was facing abnormally dry conditions. By August 2021, parts of the upper Midwestern US were experiencing some of the worst drought spells since the 1980s. Drought also affected a wide area of Mexico as of 2021, as well as the prairies of Canada.
2022 European heat waves June – September 2022 European Union, United Kingdom, Andorra, Norway, Switzerland From mid-June through most of the summer, heat waves affected most of Europe, with western and central Europe the worst hit. Temperatures in excess of 40 °C (104 °F) were recorded in places, breaking records. Over 24,000 deaths were attributed to the event, most in France, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Portugal. The heat waves contributed to wildfires and drought also seen in Europe.
2022 European and Mediterranean wildfires May – September 2022 European Union, Albania, Algeria, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom Wildfires across Europe, North Africa and the Mediterranean region.
2022 European drought July – September 2022 European Union, Serbia, United Kingdom Europe's worst drought year in 500 years. A report from the Global Drought Observatory confirmed this.
2023 Canadian wildfires 1 March 2023 – ongoing Canada The 2023 wildfire season is the worst wildfire season in Canada's modern history
2023 Hawaii wildfires 8 – 11 August 2023 United States Wind-driven fires caused widespread damage on the island of Maui, and killed at least 111 people in the town of Lāhainā.
2023 Greece wildfires 17 July - 9 September 2023 Greece Over 80 fires in Greece led to the deaths of at least 28 and the evacuation of 20,000 people.


Event Date Country Description
2022 Oder environmental disaster July – August 2022 Poland, Germany A mass fish kill occurs in the river Oder in Poland and Germany attributed to an algal bloom.

Other natural events

Beginning in 2019 until 2022, a huge swarm of desert locusts threatened to engulf massive portions of the Middle East, Africa and Asia.








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%). Regional trade agreements were also found to be increasing.

Stock markets


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

Cybersecurity and hacking

Event Date Description
2020 Twitter account hijacking 15 July 2020 Multiple high-profile Twitter accounts, each with millions of followers, were compromised in a cyberattack to promote a bitcoin scam.
2020 United States federal government data breach 13 December 2020
Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack 6 May 2021 Colonial Pipeline in Texas suffers debilitating ransomware cyberattack by Russian online group DarkSide causing substantial shortages in the southeastern USA.
Log4Shell 24 November 2021 Log4Shell affected hundreds of millions of devices through Java's open source Log4j making it the most zero-day serious security breach ever.
2022 Costa Rican cyberattack 17 April 2022 Conti and Hive, among several other ransomware groups, attacked numerous public institutions around the world until shuttered by law enforcement, in May 2022 and January 2023, respectively.



Event Date Infections and deaths Description
2022–2023 mpox outbreak 6 May 2022 – 11 May 2023 86,494 confirmed cases and 280 deaths in 109 countries and territories reported by 26 March 2023. First international outbreak cluster detected on 6 May 2022 in London, UK. Declared a public health emergency of international concern by WHO from 23 July 2022 to 11 May 2023.


Event Date Infections and deaths Description
COVID-19 pandemic 2019 – present 678.1 million+ confirmed cases and 6.7 million+ deaths with more than 240 countries and territories reported by 16 February 2023. First confirmed case detected in on 17 November 2019 in Wuhan, China. Declared a public health emergency of international concern by WHO from 30 January 2020 to 5 May 2023.
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).

Science and technology



  • Space company SpaceX sent two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station on 30 May 2020, marking the first time a private company completed a crewed orbital spaceflight mission.
  • NASA launched the Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter drone on 30 July 2020 as part of their Mars 2020 mission to search for signs of ancient life on Mars. On 19 April 2021, the Ingenuity helicopter drone performed the first powered controlled flight by an aircraft on a planet other than Earth.
  • The Royal Astronomical Society announced the detection of phosphine gas in Venus' atmosphere on 14 September 2020, which is known to be a strong predictor for the presence of microbial life.




  • SpaceX attempted an orbital flight of Starship. Around 4 minutes into the flight, the rocket suffered a "rapid unscheduled disassembly," but the flight was still considered a success as it had successfully cleared the launch pad.
  • On 18 July, Voyager 2 overtook Pioneer 10 as the second farthest spacecraft from the Sun at the distance 133.92 AU (nearly 12,45 billion miles) from the Sun.
  • On 19 August, Luna 25, Russia's first lunar spacecraft since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, crashes into the lunar south pole after a failed orbital maneuver.
  • On 23 August, Chandrayaan-3 successfully touches down in the lunar south pole region making India the fourth country to successfully land on the Moon, and the first to do so near the lunar south pole.
  • On 9 December, Halley's Comet reached the farthest and slowest point in its orbit from the Sun when it was traveling at 0.91 km/s (2,000 mph) with respect to the Sun.


The AI boom emerged in the 2020s. Generative AI such as Text-to-image models and AI chatbots released publicly. Machine learning systems that could take minute(s) to produce blurry images in mid 2022 were mostly able to produce photo-realistic imagery indiscernible from human made imagery by mid 2023. English text would appear as gibberish in earlier AI text-to-image builds, although this was fixed with newer AI models such as DALL-E 3.

Artificial intelligence

Communications and electronics

  • 5G became increasingly widespread by 2020.
  • By 2020, 3D printing had reached decent quality and affordable pricing which allowed many people to own 3D printers.
  • 8K resolution and 4K resolution becomes prevalent in consumer electronics.

Software and electronic platforms


  • The BBC reports that for the "first time someone who has had a complete cut to their spinal cord has been able to walk freely... because of an electrical implant that has been surgically attached to his spine".
  • Sales of electric vehicles have grown significantly and this is expected to continue through the decade.


Social effects of the COVID-19 pandemic

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 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. Midlife crisis is a major concern in domestic violence, social implications and suicides for middle-aged adults amid the pandemic. UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for a domestic violence and midlife crisis "ceasefire".



The murder of George Floyd led to civil unrest and protests across the United States and internationally in 2020.


Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin were two female prime ministers in Scandinavia who guided their countries' ascensions into NATO.

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. 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.

Many states swore in their first female leaders during the 2020s including Presidents Katerina Sakellaropoulou (Greece), Samia Suluhu Hassan (Tanzania), Sandra Mason (Barbados), Xiomara Castro (Honduras), Katalin Novák (Hungary), Dina Boluarte (Peru), Nataša Pirc Musar (Slovenia), Prime Ministers Rose Christiane Raponda (Gabon), Victoire Tomegah Dogbé (Togo), Kaja Kallas (Estonia), Fiamē Naomi Mata'afa (Samoa), Robinah Nabbanja (Uganda), Najla Bouden (Tunisia), Magdalena Andersson (Sweden), Giorgia Meloni (Italy), and Chairwoman Borjana Krišto (Bosnia and Herzegovina).


  • Team Seas is an international collaborative fundraiser founded by YouTubers Mark Rober and MrBeast on 29 October 2021, as a follow-up to Team Trees. The fundraiser's aim was to raise US$30 million to remove 30 million pounds of trash from the ocean by the end of the year. They also partnered with the Ocean Cleanup and the Ocean Conservancy.
  • Members of the United Nations agree on a legal framework for the High Seas Treaty on 4 March 2023, which aims to protect 30% of the world's oceans by 2030.

LGBT rights

Global goals and issues

Development in global goals and issues – including goals or progress related to the largest causes of human death – during the decade, according to reports that systematically track, quantify or review associated progress.

As of 2022
  • Progress of the Paris Agreement or global climate change mitigation goals
    • The United in Science 2022 report by the WMO, summarizes latest climate science-related updates and assesses recent climate change mitigation progress as "going in the wrong direction".
    • A report by the World Resources Institute assesses the state of nationally determined contributions (NDCs), finding they need to be strengthened by about six times for alignment with what may be enough to reach the Paris Agreement's 1.5 °C goal. The UNFCCC's NDC synthesis report suggests that based on the latest NDCs the carbon budget for a 50% likelihood of limiting warming to 1.5 °C would be used up by around 2032.
    • A Lancet Countdown report publishes data of indicators that show "countries and companies continue to make choices that threaten the health and survival of people in every part of the world". It calls for an immediate, health-centred response at a critical juncture of recovery from crises.
    • The WMO reports atmospheric levels of the three main greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, all reached record highs, with methane concentrations showing a record jump in 2021. The WMO Secretary-General concludes that "we are heading in the wrong direction", with time "running out".
    • Climate Action Tracker systematically assesses the state of progress of actions of climate goals in an overview, finding that none of the indicators is on track to reach their 2030 targets, with insufficient speed for six indicators, and well below the required pace for 21, five heading in the wrong direction, and data being insufficient to evaluate the remaining eight.
    • The UNEP's Emissions Gap Report finds that no credible "pathway" to the 1.5 °C climate goal is in place. Similarly, a UNFCCC synthesis about "long-term low-emission development strategies" warns that many net-zero targets "remain uncertain and postpone into the future critical action that needs to take place now".
  • Deforestation mitigation goals
    • An annual report by the World Resources Institute shows that tropical regions lost 9.3 million acres of primary old-growth forest in 2021, a decline of 11% from 2020, and about equal to both 2018 and 2019.
    • The Forest Declaration Assessment finds that a drop of only 6.3% in deforestation in 2021 is "leaving the world off track from its goals of ending forest loss by 2030".
  • Public health goals
    • The UN's "The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World" report finds that the number of people affected by hunger globally rose by 46 million to 828 million in 2021. 3.1 billion people could not afford a healthy diet in 2020, an increase of 112 million from 2019.
    • A WHO report indicates collective progress toward a 15% relative reduction in population levels of physical inactivity by 2030 is insufficient and that about 500 million people will develop heart disease, obesity, diabetes or other diseases if they don't increase their physical activity.
  • Global budgets and government spending
  • General well-being
  • Sustainable Development Goals (other than the above or in general)
  • GDP-alternative progress or sustainable development indices
    • Human Development Index (HDI): the Human Development Report 2021-22 concludes that for the first time, the global HDI value declined for a second year, with living standards declining in 90% of countries.

Popular culture


Wearing a decorative mask to prevent the disease COVID-19 from spreading was a fashion trend in the early 2020s.[further explanation needed]

The fashion of the early 2020s was characterized by a variety of styles and influences from different eras. During this period, the trend towards individuality and self-expression in clothing continued. Generation Z has witnessed a notable resurgence of fashion styles from the 1990s and 2000s in the fashion industry. A prominent example of this is the revival of trends such as crop tops, baggy jeans, and elements from the Y2K aesthetic.

Sustainable fashion practices gained significance, with an increased awareness of environmentally friendly materials and production processes. Influences from social media culture were also unmistakable, as influencers and celebrities exerted a strong influence on fashion trends. The popularity of online platforms like Instagram and TikTok contributed to the rapid spread of trends, while simultaneously allowing niche styles and subcultures to flourish.

Popular brands in the Anglosphere (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States) during this era include Adidas, Fila, Nike, New Balance, Globe International, Vans, Hurley, Kappa, Tommy Hilfiger, Asics, Ellesse, Ralph Lauren, Forever 21, Playboy, and The North Face.


The highest-grossing film of the decade so far is James Cameron's Avatar: The Way of Water.

The COVID-19 pandemic heavily impacted film releases especially early in the decade, resulting in a drastic drop in box office revenue as well as many films postponing their release or shifting it to a streaming services. Avatar: The Way of Water is the highest-grossing film of the decade so far, and currently the third-highest-grossing film of all time. Other financially successful films at the box office include Top Gun: Maverick, No Time to Die, Jurassic World Dominion and Oppenheimer. Superhero films mostly continued to do well financially, with Spider-Man: No Way Home being the second-highest-grossing of the decade. Other successful superhero films include The Batman as well as most of Marvel Studios' "Multiverse Saga of the MCU". However, DC Studios' "DC Extended Universe" films began to generally underperform at the box office.

Nintendo and Mattel made their own big-budget theatrical releases, resulting in the massive successes of The Super Mario Bros. Movie and Barbie. These films became the highest grossing movies of 2023 internationally.

Critically successful films nominated for awards include Nomadland, CODA, Everything Everywhere All at Once, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Licorice Pizza and The Fabelmans.

Animated films such as Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio, Soul, Encanto, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse have also been highly acclaimed.

Film reboots regained popularity as many were released on streaming services and in theaters. Some of these film remakes, reboots and returns to older franchises include: Clerks III, Bill & Ted Face the Music, Space Jam: A New Legacy, Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Top Gun: Maverick, Mean Girls, He's All That, A Christmas Story Christmas, Scream, The Little Mermaid, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, Good Burger 2, Wonka, Snow White and Coming 2 America.


The 2020s started off with streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Binge, Max, Showtime, Hulu, and Disney+. Additional streaming services such as Discovery+, Paramount+, and Peacock were released as well. Streaming television such as Pluto TV and YouTube TV also became more popular.

New and critically acclaimed adult animated shows like Midnight Gospel, Invincible, and Smiling Friends launched in the 2020s, as well as family animated shows such as Amphibia and The Owl House.[citation needed]

Japanese anime continued to rise in global popularity and appeal during the decade due its wide distribution on movie theaters and streaming services, with works such as Jujutsu Kaisen, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Chainsaw Man, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, Spy x Family, Suzume, The Boy and the Heron, Oshi no Ko, Frieren: Beyond Journey's End, Attack on Titan and One Piece reaching large international audiences.

A variety of shows on streaming services such as Squid Game, Never Have I Ever, Tulsa King, Ted Lasso, Extraordinary Attorney Woo, Wednesday, and Tiger King gained popularity. Many different shows on many different competing streaming services resulted in what has been called the "streaming wars" of the early 2020s.

TV show reboots also became increasingly popular, with Frasier, That '90s Show, and Friends: The Reunion appearing on streaming. Matthew Perry passed away in 2023, following Friends: The Reunion.

Billions of people watched the Death and state funeral of Elizabeth II, speculated to be the most watched television event in history.


By 2020, TikTok, an online video service, had become extremely popular as a music platform on social media. Users on streaming platforms such as Spotify, YouTube Music, Amazon Music and Apple Music have 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.

Pop, hip hop, K-pop, R&B, nu disco and synthpop all dominated the early part of the decade, with the most popular artists being Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, Lizzo, Lil Nas X, Drake, Megan Thee Stallion, Dua Lipa, Jack Harlow, The Weeknd, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, BTS, Doja Cat, Olivia Rodrigo, Blackpink, Harry Styles, Bad Bunny, Ed Sheeran, Cardi B, Beyoncé, the Kid Laroi and more. The early 20s also saw the one-off return of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones with a new song and album, respectively, which topped out the charts immediately upon release.

Video games

The ninth generation of consoles began in 2020. The industry remains dominated by Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft with the release of the Xbox Series X/S and the PlayStation 5, while the Nintendo Switch continues to be popular from the previous decade. Technological advancements in consoles included support for real-time ray tracing graphics and output for 4K or even 8K resolution. Physical media continued to be replaced by online distribution of games, with the Xbox Series S and the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition lacking an optical drive. The Steam Deck was released in 2022 as Valve's attempt to bring PC-level gaming to a Nintendo Switch-style handheld format.

Critically successful games such as Elden Ring, Ghost of Tsushima, God of War Ragnarök, and The Last of Us Part II were released and won multiple best game of the year awards, signaling a shift towards narrative-driven and single-played focused gaming compared with the end of the 2010s where popularity of multiplayer gaming dominated. Nonetheless, widely successful multiplayer games includes Fall Guys, Fortnite, Genshin Impact, It Takes Two, Minecraft, Overwatch 2, Valorant, and Warzone. The detective-party game Among Us surged in popularity in 2020 and became a global sensation, largely attributed in to global stay-at-home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nintendo continued to successfully produce games for the Nintendo Switch, with Animal Crossing: New Horizons selling over 40 million copies, and making it the second-best-selling game on the console. The Nintendo Switch's sales remained strong in the 2020s due in part to games such as Super Mario 3D All-Stars, Bowser's Fury, Metroid Dread, Nintendo Switch Sports, Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Splatoon 3, Princess Peach: Showtime!, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Pikmin 4, and Super Mario Bros. Wonder. The Nintendo Switch's best-selling game Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has received additional tracks with the "Booster Course Pass", releasing across 2022 and 2023, while Super Smash Bros. Ultimate received a second DLC pass from 2020 to 2021, including characters such as Steve from Minecraft and Sora from Kingdom Hearts.

High-budget remakes of video games became much more widespread in the 2020s, with notable examples including Resident Evil 3 and 4, Final Fantasy VII Remake and its sequels, Live A Live, The Last of Us Part I, Dead Space, Super Mario RPG, Metal Gear Solid Delta: Snake Eater, and Silent Hill 2 being notable examples of older games that received full graphical and modernized remakes.

Video game film and television adaptations became more financially and critically successful compared with previous decades. Film releases include The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Sonic the Hedgehog, Five Nights at Freddy's and Uncharted; as well as the video game-themed Tetris, Ready Player Two and Free Guy. Television adaptations include Arcane: League of Legends, Carmen Sandiego, Castlevania, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, Dota: Dragon's Blood, Dragon Age: Absolution, Sonic Prime, The Last of Us, and The Witcher; in addition with the table-top game adaptation The Legend of Vox Machina.


There is a revival in expressionist architecture. 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 hosted Super Bowl LVI in February 2022. 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.

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.



  • The COVID-19 pandemic leads to the cancellation or rescheduling of numerous sporting events globally:

The 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics were postponed to July–August 2021. This was the first Olympic Games to be postponed rather than cancelled in history.

The 2020 T20 Cricket World Cup, originally scheduled to take place in Australia, was rescheduled to occur in India in 2021. Which was then rescheduled to United Arab Emirates and Oman.

Sporting leagues such as the North American National Hockey League Major League Baseball and National Basketball Association, and the English Premier League adapt their seasons and championship play around COVID-19 by placing players in "bubbles" and televising games played in empty arenas and stadiums.


Greek NBA player Giannis Antetokounmpo won Finals MVP during the 2021 championship, playing for the Bucks


Argentine footballer Lionel Messi was voted as the best player of the 2022 FIFA World Cup


American NFL player Patrick Mahomes won MVP at Super Bowl LVII, playing for the Chiefs


Food delivery apps such as DoorDash, Instacart, Menulog, Uber Eats, Grubhub and Just Eat Takeaway flourished due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Indoor dining was also closed in many countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and upon re-opening the usage of QR codes and other technologies in the restaurant industry increased compared to the 2010s in order to comply with pandemic restrictions.

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, online grocery shopping has substantially grown and in the first few months of the pandemic, online grocery shopping increased by 300%. Before the pandemic occurred, food shopping activity accounted for 9% of the market, now 63 percent of consumers worldwide has purchased more groceries online after the outbreak than they did before they were socially isolated.


Books published throughout the decade include The Vanishing Half, Leave the World Behind, Transcendent Kingdom, I'm Glad My Mom Died, The Glass Hotel, Memorial and The City We Became. Recent releases on this decade include How to Prevent the Next Pandemic by Bill Gates, Meet Me by the Fountain: An Inside History of the Mall by Alexandra Lange, Wikipedia @ 20 by Joseph M. Reagle Jr. and Jackie Koerner, It's OK to Be Angry About Capitalism by Bernie Sanders, and The Candy House.

Over a year after Friends: The Reunion, Matthew Perry released Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing (which had a foreword written by Lisa Kudrow). The book became a New York Times best-seller.[citation needed][further explanation needed]

See also


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

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