statistics india decade
Illustration: Prianka Jain
the decade that was

A Look at India's Decade: From the Rise of Fake News to a Drop in Happiness Levels

The decade that began with baffling scams (2G spectrum, Commonwealth Games) rocking the country, is ending with nationwide protests against the Citizenship Act. We examine the 10 years to see how the decade treated us and how we treated it back.

2010 is already 10 years ago, which is hard to believe because in some weird twisted way, it simultaneously feels like the year 2000 is also 10 years ago. The decade that is drawing to a close is succeeding in breaking our sense of time and messing with our heads enough to feel like it’s melted in a very Dali way. While people are still getting their math straight and are even debating whether this is even the end of the decade, we’re wrapping it up by protesting for or against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, across India.


The new decade will bring with it the advantage of being easier to name (the twenties are back), but it will not be an easier one in terms of solving the monumental challenges that emerged during the past, still sort of nameless, decade. Sometimes referred to as the “tens” or the “teens”, the past ten years were the decade of climate change consciousness, of the maturing of the internet and of the questioning of democratic institutions that many thought were unshakable.

In India, groundwater crisis, plastic and air pollution as well as the devastating Kerala floods set in motion feelings of environmental angst, especially among younger generations. Hacking scandals, revenge porn, internet shutdowns and the advent of fake news changed the way people viewed the internet after the goldrush years of the 2000s. Because of government reporting becoming increasingly patchy, nobody knows anymore how many Indians are unemployed at the end of this decade.

In the past ten years, Indians smoked more weed but became less happy. In 2020, there will be close to 1.4 billion people in India, but still almost 1,100 male babies for every 1,000 females.

With help from our friends at statistics portal Statista, we take a look at how we treated the decade and how it treated us back.

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