21st century

current century
(Redirected from Twenty-first century)

The 21st century is the current century of the Anno Domini era, in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. It began on January 1, 2001 and will end on December 31, 2100. It is the first century of the 3rd millennium. It is distinct from the century known as the 2000s, which began on January 1, 2000 and will end on December 31, 2099.

The twenty-first century will be the American century... The twenty-first century has begun with an American success. ~ George Friedman
The twenty-first century will be a period in which a range of new institutions, moral systems, and practices will begin their first tentative emergence. The first half of the twenty-first century will be marked by intense social conflict. ~ George Friedman


  • The 21st century humans are poised to be the heroes for all time because we're armed with a superpower of knowing that we have to change our attitude about the world that keeps us alive, that we can't just continue mining and, you know, taking and taking. We have to be aware of the consequences.
  • Old institutions have shattered, but new ones have not yet emerged. The twenty-first century will be a period in which a range of new institutions, moral systems, and practices will begin their first tentative emergence. The first half of the twenty-first century will be marked by intense social conflict globally. All of this frames the international struggles of the twenty-first century.
  • When I was growing up in the 1950s, the twenty-first century was an idea associated with science fiction, not a reality in which I would live. Practical people focus on the next moment and leave the centuries to dreamers. But the truth is that the twenty-first century has turned out to be a very practical concern to me. I will spent a good deal of my life in it.
  • Dear friends, Let’s be clear: human activities are at the root of our descent towards chaos. But that means human action can help solve it. Making peace with nature is the defining task of the 21st century. It must be the top, top priority for everyone, everywhere.
    • António Guterres, "The State of the Planet," (2 December 2020), as quoted in Vital Speeches of the Day, 87(2), pp. 40–44.
  • The international system of the twenty-first century will be marked by a seeming contradiction: on the one hand, fragmentation; on the other, growing globalization. On the level of the relations among states, the new order will be more like the European state system of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries than the rigid patterns of the Cold War. It will contain at least six major powers—the United States, Europe, China, Japan, Russia, and probably India—as well as a multiplicity of medium-sized and smaller countries. At the same time, international relations have become truly global for the first time. Communications are instantaneous; the world economy operates on all continents simultaneously. A whole set of issues has surfaced that can only be dealt with on a worldwide basis, such as nuclear proliferation, the environment, the population explosion, and economic interdependence. For America, reconciling differing values and very different historical experiences among countries of comparable significance will be a novel experience and a major departure from either the isolation of the last century or the de facto hegemony of the Cold War, in ways which this book seeks to illuminate. Equally, the other major players are facing difficulties in adjusting to the emerging world order.
  • If I could just take a moment, I had an assignment the other day. Someone asked me to write a letter for a time capsule that is going to opened in Los Angeles a hundred years from now, on our Tricentennial. It sounded like an easy assignment. They suggested I write about the problems and issues of the day. And I set out to do so, riding down the coast in an automobile, looking at the blue Pacific out on one side and the Santa Ynez Mountains on the other, and I couldn't help but wonder if it was going to be that beautiful a hundred years from now as it was on that summer day. And then as I tried to write-let your own minds turn to that task. You're going to write for people a hundred years from now who know all about us, we know nothing about them. We don't know what kind of world they'll be living in. And suddenly I thought to myself, "If I write of the problems, they'll be the domestic problems of which the President spoke here tonight; the challenges confronting us, the erosion of freedom taken place under Democratic rule in this country, the invasion of private rights, the controls and restrictions on the vitality of the great free economy that we enjoy." These are the challenges that we must meet and then again there is that challenge of which he spoke that we live in a world in which the great powers have aimed and poised at each other horrible missiles of destruction, nuclear weapons that can in a matter of minutes arrive at each other's country and destroy virtually the civilized world we live in. And suddenly it dawned on me; those who would read this letter a hundred years from now will know whether those missiles were fired. They will know whether we met our challenge. Whether they will have the freedom that we have known up until now will depend on what we do here. Will they look back with appreciation and say, "Thank God for those people in 1976 who headed off that loss of freedom? Who kept us now a hundred years later free? Who kept our world from nuclear destruction?" And if we fail they probably won't get to read the letter at all because it spoke of individual freedom and they won't be allowed to talk of that or read of it. This is our challenge and this is why we're here in this hall tonight.
  • We are witnessing the rise of what I call "a fragmented globality." World histories and local histories are at once becoming both increasingly intertwined and increasingly contradictory. The twenty-first century is likely to be marked by the speed and brutality of these contradictions.