When is the 202nd decade?

When did the decade start?

In a nutshell: In contrast to centuries and millennia, decades can begin with years that end in 0 as well as with years that end in 1. Both are correct, the definition depends solely on the language used - even if one variant is much more common.

New Years countdown

Round years

A decade, also called a decade or decade, is a period of ten years. For most people, this period always starts on New Year's Day of a year that ends in 0 - for example 2020.

It sounds logical at first: A new decade begins when the tens of the year jumps to the next higher number. After all, we speak of “the eighties” and not “the eighties”. Right?

Centuries begin on 1

Well, a look at centuries and millennia raises doubts. These periods always start with years ending with 1. The 21st century did not begin until New Year's Day 2001 - although most people celebrated the milestone as early as 2000.

The reason for this delay is the fact that there has never been a year zero in our era. The year 1 BC was followed by the year 1 AD. Detailed explanation

Use of language is crucial

With decades, however, there is a crucial difference: In everyday language we summarize ten-year periods differently than centuries or millennia. So we speak of the “eighties” and not the 199th decade. At the turn of 2020 we celebrated the beginning of the “twenties” and not the 203rd decade.

For centuries and millennia, however, there is no equivalent in common usage. This is how we usually talk about the 20th century, not the "Nineteen Hundreds" or the "1900s".

Celebrate twice

Strictly speaking, both are correct: The twenties began in 2020 and the 203rd decade began in 2021. At the beginning of the next decade, you can confidently celebrate two years in a row: 2030 and 2031.

Subjects: Fun facts, calendar, time calculation