Top 10 Most Important Events of the 21st Century

The Top Ten
1 COVID-19 Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the lives of everyone across the world for at least two years (as of 2022). Broad sectors of society were shut down or moved online, including workplaces, schools, and social events. Many forms of social interaction were permanently changed.
Over 6 million people died from the disease, with nearly half a billion recorded cases.
It caused major economic chaos - first a wave of unemployment and dislocation, then a supply shock that caused high levels of inflation.
Governments across the world were also shaken up because of the pandemic or used it to justify authoritarian crackdowns.

One of the biggest events of all time!

2 9/11

The 9/11 attacks led to the War of Terror, the rise of Islamic extremism (including al-Qaeda, ISIS, and Boko Haram), and wars and conflict across the Middle East and beyond.

This was so devastating.

Easy number one.

3 The Great Recession

The global recession of 2008-2009 caused high levels of unemployment and suffering in many parts of the world, especially America and Europe. Production and investment were reduced, people lost their homes and savings, and Europe fell into a debt crisis that lasted until 2014. Incomes became more unequal, with the rich getting richer and the poor staying poor. Some people believe the Great Recession led to Brexit and to the rise of right-wing populism (for example, Trump, Bolsonaro, and Modi) and left-wing populism (Occupy Wall Street, Bernie Sanders, and AMLO) in many countries.

4 Russian Invasion of Ukraine

The 2022 full-scale invasion of Ukraine only began a few weeks ago, but it's already clear that this is one of the most significant events of the 21st century. In addition to the thousands of people who died and will continue to die in this war, and the millions of refugees, this war will also reshape the power structure of the world in ways we are only beginning to understand. The massive sanctions that the West imposed on Russia will probably cripple the Russian economy and are already beginning to cause supply shortages around the world. Europe is becoming more militarized. There is a danger this war can escalate and even lead to nuclear war. The result of this war will affect whether other countries (including China) decide to invade their neighbors. Hopefully this war will end soon.

5 Invention of Smartphones

Agreed but it has led to idiots walking around in the busiest part of the city with their nose buried in their phones, scrolling through social media and liking post after post.

Along with the Internet and Wi-Fi (which were invented before the 21st century), smartphones revolutionized the way human beings spend their time, communicate with each other, consume entertainment, and learn about the world.

Certainly a huge advancement, for better or for worse.

Smartphones were invented in 20th century.

6 The Arab Spring

The Arab Spring were a series of uprisings across the Arab World against their governments in 2011. In some cases these uprisings led to new democratic governments, but in many cases they led to horrible wars that killed over a million people, including the civil wars in Syria, Libya, and Yemen (the Yemen War is still ongoing today in 2022). These wars caused a major refugee crisis, and Islamic extremist groups like ISIS and Boko Haram took advantage of the chaos to take more control. In 2018-2022, there was a "new Arab Spring," with more anti-government protests across the Arab world.

7 Growth of Social Media

While a few social media platforms existed before 2001, social media really only exploded in the 21st century with the launch of platforms like YouTube and Facebook. Like the invention of smartphones, social media revolutionized the way human beings spend their time, entertain themselves, communicate with each other, and learn about the world, for good or for bad.

8 US Invasion of Iraq

The US invasion of Iraq in 2003 caused a major war and had ripple effects across the Middle East for decades. The US quickly overthrew the regime of Saddam Hussein, but the war continued until at least 2011 and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died. More Muslims were radicalized against the West because of this war, and it led to ISIS and another deadly war in Iraq from 2013 to 2017.

9 Election of Donald Trump as President of the United States

The election of Donald Trump was surprising and shocking for many people. It is associated with the rise of right-wing populism in many countries, including Brazil, India, and the Philippines. Americans became more politically divided under his presidency, and Trump was impeached twice. Some notable events during his presidency were the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2021 Capitol riots and attempts to overturn the election, the 2017 corporate tax cuts, anti-immigrant polices, the defeat of ISIS, and the beginning of what many people call a new cold war with China.

10 Climate Change

Global warming increased dramatically so far in the 21st century. We've already seen droughts, flooding, and other extreme weather events because of climate change, and these events are expected to get much, much worse in the next few decades. Many governments are trying to move away from fossil fuels to clean energy and electric alternatives, but the world is still reliant on fossil fuels and carbon emissions are still increasing.

Agreed, global warming has really been affecting the Earth. That image is true as well (One half is destroyed and the other half is okay.)

The Contenders
11 Global Shift from Working in Agriculture to Living in Cities

In 2000, 40% of the global workforce worked in agriculture and 46% of people lived in urban areas. In 2021, only 27% of the global workforce worked in agriculture and the percentage of people living in urban areas climbed to 56%. This is mainly because farmers began to use new technology and more efficient farming practices, so they needed less workers. Their workers then moved to densely populated cities and slums. This will have major effects on the world, tearing apart and reshaping economies, cultures, communities, governments, belief systems, and eventually leading to smaller families and a shrinking global population.

12 Barack Obama Elected First Black U.S. President
13 Hurricane Katrina
14 Pluto Gets Demoted to Dwarf Planet

Pluto (the former 9th planet in our solar system) got demoted from a planet to a dwarf planet on 8/24/2006.

15 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami
16 Bitcoin Released
17 My Chemical Romance Forms
18 2002-2004 SARS Outbreak
19 2009 Swine Flu Pandemic
20 Creation of Myspace
21 Overpopulation Becomes Critical

If this isn't fixed, nothing else will make any difference at all.

22 Major Cities in America Become Littered with Human Waste, Needles and Tent Cities
23 Discovery of Gravitational Waves (2016)
24 Brexit
25 Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting
BAdd New Item