People Are Only Just Discovering The Decade Is Not Over Yet

by : Julia Banim on : 15 Jan 2020 12:10

Personally, I was really looking forward to hopping into 2020; glass of fizz in hand, and a fresh new decade lying ahead of me like a pristine blanket of snow.


Once my New Year’s Resolutions implode, I will undoubtedly go on to stomp dismally all over it with various ridiculous mistakes and poor life choices. But for now, the possibility to make this ‘my decade’ feels both huge and realistic.

Perhaps you too have enjoyed seeing off the previous decade with a firm single finger salute. If so, I have some pretty frustrating news…

New Year's EveNew Year's EvePA

Basically, we all suck at maths and will happily forget how to count to 10 when the prospect of new decade reinvention is at stake.


As pointed out by many a smug clever-clogs on Twitter, 2019 does not mark the end of the decade as there are 10 complete years within a decade, not nine.

However, it seems this is entirely new information to a lot of us who are labouring under the impression we are enjoying the start of a new decade.

Alas, the end of 2020 will officially be when this weird, baffling decade peaces out, meaning you have the rest of the year to come up with your 2020s mantra.

As one person tweet-splained:


You haven’t eaten 20 apples when you finish eating the 19th. We have another year to go, cancel all your lists.

We’re now 15 days into 2020, and many people (myself very much included) have been left a little underwhelmed after finally twigging that we might not actually be at the dawn of the new ‘roaring twenties’ after all.

One person tweeted:

I was today years old when i found out the end of the decade is actually at the end of 2020 and not 2019.

Another gasped:

Noooo wayyyyy, wait sooo we still got one more year.

Even 15 days into 2020 and people still aren’t having any of it:

Of course, our understanding of decades is cultural as well as technical. For instance, nobody would describe 1980 – the year of Fame and Diana Ross’s Upside Down – as being part of the 70s.


So what’s the truth and how do we make sense of it?

According to calendar oracle website timeanddate.com, both interpretations of the start of a new decade are correct, in a way.

As explained on timeanddate.com:

It all comes down to how we talk about time spans. With few exceptions, we usually think about centuries and millennia as numbered entities, counted up from year AD 1, such as “the 21st century” or ‘the third millennium.’

Decades, however, are commonly categorized based on the year numbers. For example, we say ‘the eighties’ instead of ‘the 199th decade’.

Similarly, the upcoming decade is technically the 203rd decade, but we call it “the twenties.” According to this common definition, decades generally encompass the time span from years ending with 0 to years ending with 9, such as 2020 – 2029.

By the way, the same could technically be said about centuries and millennia. It is factually correct to say that ‘the 1900s’ began on January 1, 1900, just like New Year’s Day 2000 kicked off ‘the 2000s’.

It’s just much more common to call these time spans the 20th and 21st centuries—and they began in 1901 and 2001, respectively.

Well that gives us a bit more time to avoid the New Decade’s resolutions.

If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Life, 2019, 2020, New Decade


  1. Timeanddate.com

    When Does the New Decade Start?