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1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989

The 1980s in its most obvious sense refers to the decade between 1980 and 1989. The decade was one of frantic change. It was also an era of political and economic decentralisation, especially in countries with mixed and command economies. Political events and trends of the 1980s culminated in the toppling of military governments and authoritarian regimes, including every communist Warsaw Pact state in Eastern Europe, bringing to a close the decades-long Cold War. The 1980s also saw very rapid developments in numerous sectors of technology which have defined the modern consumer world, particularly electronics like Personal Computers, gaming systems, the arrival of the first commercially available hand held mobile phones (the first being the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X in 1983) and various audio technologies such as the compact disc, which are still prominent well into the 2000s.

The population of the world increased more dramatically in the 1980s than any other decade in human history, adding nearly one billion new people in the course of the decade. This is an important fact as such astronomical growth of the human race is unlikely to ever be repeated in the future due to current population trends, which are consistently showing a decline in birth rates across the globe. Children born in the 1980s are likely to have an extremely prominent position in world business and government affairs from the 2020s all the way through to the 2050s due to their immense population and potential voting powers.



Coined the "me decade," this decade has been somewhat derided since as early as 1989 for its perceived greediness among Yuppies, certain clothes/music/hairstyles which seem outlandish by modern standards, and of course the discovery of the AIDS virus in the early part of the decade, unlike the 1990s which have had a very positive receiving into the 21st Century despite criticism for the 90s' "slacker" image.


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War, peace and politics

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Trends and Fashions

  • Nerds are popular subject.
  • Power Dressing was a major fashion statement of the decade, characterised by the use of increasingly large shoulder pads - the origins of this trend are often attributed to the American television series "Dynasty" and, specifically to one of its stars - the British actress Joan Collins.
  • Pop stars of the era such as Duran Duran and television shows like Miami Vice brought the trend to the male fashion world, often accompanied by "designer stubble" and blonde highlights.
  • Women's Liberation movement increases women's role in the workplace, and establishes new precedents for US women. As a carry-over from the 1970s, more and more women take to calling themselves "Ms." versus "Mrs." or "Miss"
  • No-Fault divorce laws pave the way for increased divorce rate, as depicted in the movie, Irreconcilable Differences. No-Fault divorce catapults record numbers of women and children into the throes of poverty. The increase in single parent homes and, perhaps more significantly, homes in which both parents work leads to the phenomenon of Latch-key children, where children come home to an empty house and watch a lot of television.
  • Neo-prohibitionism grows in popularity.
  • Ninja and martial arts mania sweeps North America due to the popularity of Kung Fu Theater and Ninja Movies. Many instructional books are published and sold by many authors claiming to be experts. This is also often blamed as the beginning of the McDojo trend.


  • New Wave music, a form of synthesized pop-rock, popular throughout decade, esp in early 80s.
  • House music - a new development in dance music mid-way through the decade, growing out of the post-disco scene early in the decade, later developing into acid house - a harder form of dance often associated with the developing late 1980s drug culture.


  • Animation in North America begins a dramatic comeback in production values and mainstream popular appeal both in feature films and on television.
  • MTV breaks out influencing pop culture.




World Leaders


Sports figures




See Also: 1980s in television


Musical genres popular during the 1980s include hip hop, old school rap, heavy metal music, twee pop, hair metal, New Wave music, New Romantic, shoegazing, jangle pop, hardcore punk, alternative rock, dream pop, techno, house, acid house, and two-tone. In the United States, country music also remained popular with hits from the likes of Kenny Rogers, Ricky Skaggs, George Strait and Randy Travis. 1989 saw Garth Brooks break onto the scene.

See also: 1980s music groups, List of rock and roll albums in the 1980s

External links

ca:Dècada del 1980 cy:1980au da:1980'erne de:1980er et:1980. aastad el:Δεκαετία 1980 es:Años 1980 eo:1980-aj jaroj fr:Années 1980 he:שנות ה-80 hu:1980-as évek io:1980a yari is:1981–1990 it:Anni 1980 ko:1980년대 la:Decennium 199 mi:Ngahurutanga 199 nl:1980-1989 ja:1980年代 no:1980-årene pl:Lata 80. XX wieku pt:Década de 1980 ro:Anii 1980 ru:1980-е simple:1980s sk:80. roky 20. storočia sl:1980. sr:1980е fi:1980-luku sv:1980-talet zh:1980年代

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