21st century

Time period between 1 January 2001 and 31 December 2100 / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The 21st century is the current century in the Anno Domini or Common Era, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. It began on 1 January 2001 and will end on 31 December 2100. It is the first century of the 3rd millennium.

The rise of a global economy and Third World consumerism marked the beginning of the century, along with increased private enterprise and deepening concern over terrorism after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.[1][2][3] The NATO interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq in the early 2000s, and the overthrow of several regimes during the Arab Spring in the early 2010s, led to mixed outcomes in the Arab world, resulting in several civil wars and political instability.[4] The United States has remained the sole global superpower while China is now considered an emerging superpower. The 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine became the largest conventional military offensive in Europe since World War II, resulting in a refugee crisis and disruptions to global trade.

In 2022, 45% of the world's population lived in "some form of democracy", though only 8% lived in "full democracies".[5] The United Nations estimates that by 2050, two thirds of the world's population will be urbanized.

The world economy expanded at high rates from $42 trillion in 2000 to $94 trillion in 2021, though many economies rose at greater levels, some gradually contracted.[lower-alpha 1] The European Union greatly expanded in the 21st century, adding 13 member states, but the United Kingdom withdrew. Most EU member states introduced a common currency, the Euro. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was also greatly expanded, adding 11 member states.

Effects of global warming and rising sea levels exacerbated the ecological crises, with eight islands disappearing between 2007 and 2014.[6][7][8]

From January 2020 to May 2022, COVID-19 pandemic began to rapidly spread worldwide, killing over 15 million people around the globe,[9] and causing severe global economic disruption, including the largest global recession since the Great Depression.

Due to the sudden proliferation of internet-accessible mobile devices, such as smartphones becoming ubiquitous worldwide beginning in the early 2010s, more than half of the world's population obtained access to the Internet by 2018.[10] After the success of the Human Genome Project, DNA sequencing services became available and affordable.[11][12]

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