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Montage of important events of the 2000s

The 2000s spans the first decade in the 21st century between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2009 .

The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in the USA on September 11, 2001 , in which around 3,000 people were killed, are considered to be one of the most formative events . The attacks have often been described as a historic turning point and throughout the decade led to ongoing debates about changes in domestic and foreign policy, both in the USA and in Europe . They led the war in Afghanistan into a new phase and founded the Iraq war declared two years later , as a result of which the then dictator Saddam Hussein was overthrown. Based on the event, tensions between the Muslim and Western world increased over the following years.

The rapid rise of China to an industrial nation led to a raw material boom and a new structure of the global economic order. The G20 became an increasingly important international, but informal, association.

As a consequence of global money speculation , a real estate bubble burst in the USA and other European countries at the end of 2007 , which resulted in a global banking crisis that led to the collapse of the major American bank Lehman Brothers . In order to stabilize the banking system, it was decided in several countries to provide the financial institutions with loans through state intervention . As a result of these far-reaching bailouts, the national debt of many countries rose , which led to the euro crisis .

The use of digital media reached a new quality in this decade. The Internet caught on across the board and began to play an increasingly important role in both professional and private everyday life, and use via mobile communications increased. In addition, social networks such as Facebook , Myspace and Twitter became very popular, especially with young people. Blogs increasingly began to establish themselves as online journalism and opinion media. YouTube became the most popular video platform in the world and thus increasingly exerted influence on the cultural and political development of world events. The online encyclopedia Wikipedia was founded on January 15, 2001.


The views, as the decade colloquially can be described, are different. None of the proposals met with unanimous support. The most frequently encountered terms are the 2000s (years) and the noughties , the latter often only since 2009 in the course of the emerging decade reviews. Here is noughties (or DNF ) used more oral and colloquial, while written language, the spelling has prevailed with the year ( 2000s ).



The burning towers of the World Trade Center 2001 with the Statue of Liberty in the foreground
Joseph Ratzinger becomes Pope (2005)
Barack Obama , 2009


Beginning of the worst global economic crisis since 1930
  • From March 2000, there was a stock market crash when the so-called “ dot-com bubble ” bursts. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and the fear of the Iraq war in 2003 are also depressing prices.
  • In 2002, the common European currency, the euro (€), was introduced as cash in 12 EU countries.
  • 2002: Josef Ackermann becomes chairman of the board of directors of Deutsche Bank , immediately converts it into an investment bank and supports the real estate bubble with the bank
  • So-called emerging countries such as China and India are increasingly competing with the leading economies of the West and the Far East. China in particular is becoming an industrialized country.
  • Globalization is becoming a catchphrase for global economic development. Critics of globalization like Attac protest against it.
  • There is increasing privatization and IPOs of Chinese companies as part of the change there, but also worldwide. On the stock exchange, there is a worldwide switch from floor trading to electronic platforms.
  • The euro exchange rate reached a new high against the US dollar in 2008 . The crude oil prices and prices of other commodities climb to record levels.
  • Since the end of 2007 / beginning of 2008, primarily the USA, but also some countries in Europe, have been stuck in the worst financial crisis since 1945.

Cultural history

Some projections of the temperature development up to 2100
  • Global warming and climate change are hotly debated topics everywhere from the second half of the decade. Weather capers around the world are attributed to climate change due to their frequency and destructive power and are referred to as climate catastrophe . Whether this is the case is discussed everywhere.
  • Since 2007, for the first time in human history, more people have lived in cities than in rural areas.
  • There is a fantasy boom. More and more books are being published and films are being made. This is mainly due to the media hype surrounding Harry Potter and the film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings .
  • Social networks such as Myspace or Facebook are becoming increasingly popular, especially among young people.
  • The online encyclopedia Wikipedia is increasingly displacing the classic lexicons .
  • The Generation Y (Gen Y short) - or "Millennials" who were born in 1980 to 1999 - appears in public. At the same time, this is the first generation of digital natives .


Portable MP3 player

watch TV

The High Definition Television is introduced
  • The 2000s are considered to be the beginning of the digital television age: DVB via satellite and cable , as well as from the middle of the decade DVB-T (terrestrial) are slowly but not comprehensively replacing the analog processes. IPTV is developing.
  • Free video portals on the Internet such as YouTube and Internet TV software solutions such as Joost represent new, self-determined alternatives to television programming.
  • Casting shows , reality TV formats, quiz shows , ranking shows , documentary soaps and cooking shows are becoming more and more popular. The pioneer in this is the reality show Big Brother , which is broadcast worldwide and which has accompanied ten seasons in Germany for the entire decade. Call-in shows are increasingly coming under fire.
  • After the children's channel Nickelodeon was discontinued in 1998 and the restart failed in 2000, the channel started again in 2005 under the name NICK .
  • High definition television becomes popular at the end of the decade as more and more TV stations switch to this form of transmission.
  • The UK quiz show Who Wants to be a Millionaire? becomes very successful worldwide and gives the previously troubled quiz show genre a new boom. The German offshoot Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? is one of the most successful worldwide and helps Günther Jauch to break through as a moderator.


Glasses for viewing a 3D movie

Individual contributions internationally

Individual contributions national

Oscar Winner (Best Picture)

Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival


The most successful artist of the decade: Eminem
The burning skull as a symbol of the Wacken Open Air


  • Even after their breakthrough in the 1980s, sneakers remain very popular casual shoes, increasingly also among adults.
  • For many young people as I continue to be a heavily on the in the 1990s hip-hop - and skaters popular influenced scene dress style, this includes hats, baseball caps , gold chains, hoodies , baggy pants , sweatpants and sneakers and other athletic shoes.
  • Punks and Nu Metallers also like to wear long hair, often with dreadlocks , as well as hats, goatees and piercings .
  • The image of the metrosexual man is establishing itself in society.
  • Skinny jeans and balloon pants are experiencing a revival.
  • The plastic Crocs shoes became more widespread in the mid-2000s.
  • The emo look, triggered by bands like Tokio Hotel and My Chemical Romance , is becoming popular with young people.
  • The clothing style of the black scene is also increasingly penetrating the mainstream, so black clothing, black make-up, black or colored hair and scene-typical jewelry are becoming popular among teenagers and young adults.
  • Reality TV stars such as B. Paris Hilton are considered fashion icons of this decade.



Web links

Commons : 2000s  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: noughties  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. noughties. Duden online, accessed April 30, 2012 .
  2. How do you describe the decades between 2000 and 2020? German Language Stack Exchange, accessed February 20, 2015 .
  3. Occurrence of the word "climate change" in the Google News archive.
  4. World Urbanization Prospects: The 2014 Revision, Highlights (ST / ESA / SER.A / 352). (PDF) United Nations , Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, 2014, p. 11 , accessed on April 1, 2018 (English): “In 2007, for the first time in history, the global urban population exceeded the global rural population, ... "
  5. Ftd: Handy-Continent Afrika ( Memento from November 23, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  6. The best cell phones with touchscreen on chip.de.
  7. Rip off on TV , in: SZ from May 8, 2007.
  8. Thanks to 3D: Hollywood studios celebrate higher sales on digitalfernsehen.de.
  9. Eminem = most successful artist of the 2000s , on billboard.com, English. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  10. Eminem's album sales in the US during the 2000s , on mtv.com, December 8, 2009, English. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  11. Bundesprüfstelle puts rap songs on the index , in: Die Welt from June 29, 2005.
  12. ^ In Defense of Post-Grunge Music. In: Consequence of Sound. October 7, 2013, accessed February 8, 2019 .
  13. ^ New German perfect wave , in: SZ of December 24, 2004.
  14. ^ A look back at the It decade , in: Welt Online Lifestyle from December 29, 2009.