Wikipedia:Recent years

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This page is a collection of advice about year articles, based on general consensus about how Wikipedia writes and maintains such articles. Recent year articles cover from 2002 to 2023. Since so many events happen in a year, not all events will be notable enough to merit inclusion on the page. Such events may be better placed in a separate article on the specific event. That an event is important to an individual editor, or even to a particular society or nation, is usually insufficient grounds for its inclusion. The event should have a demonstrated, international significance.

The advice below applies only to the main article on each year, and not to articles on individual events.


Any of the advice below can be overruled by a consensus to ignore it in a given case.

Lead section[edit]

The lead section of a year article should be approximately two paragraphs in length (while the maximum for any article is four).

First paragraph[edit]

The first paragraph of a year article should be only a couple of sentences long, and should include the following information:

  1. The name of the year, in boldface Arabic numerals (e.g., 2009)
  2. The name of the year, in boldface Roman numerals. These numerals should be Wikilinked to the Roman numerals article (e.g., MMIX).
  3. The day on which the year began or will begin, written as either "common year starting on [day]" or "common year that started on a [day]". The word "common" through the name of the day should constitute one or two Wikilinks (e.g., common year that started on a Thursday, common year that started on a Thursday). For purposes of sentence flow, the phrasing of the recent year article's text is slightly different from that of the Wikilinked article's title—the format of which is, "Common year starting on [day]". Therefore, the linked text will have to be piped to the actual link. A piped link is formatted thusly: [[Actual link|text to be linked in article]]. So, to recreate the example link above, one would type the following: [[Common year starting on Thursday|common year that started on a Thursday]] or [[Common year]] that [[common year starting on Thursday|started on a Thursday]].
  4. If applicable, the fact that the year is ongoing
  5. The calendar in which the year occurs (e.g., the Gregorian calendar)
  6. The year's ordinal position in its:
    1. Calendar era. For purposes of neutrality and comprehensiveness, both the BCE/CE and the BC/AD systems should be noted, although the systems designate the same bifurcation of years.
    2. Millennium (e.g., the 3rd millennium)
    3. Century (e.g., the 21st century)
    4. Decade (e.g., the 2000s decade). Bear in mind that, in the Gregorian calendar, the first year of a CE/AD millennium or century always ends with a "1", because there was no year zero. However, the first year of a decade always ends with a "0", because decades are labelled nominally, in order to demarcate sets of similarly named years. (The names of years, themselves, are natural numbers that, relative to the transition between the calendar eras, reflect both an ordinal position and a cardinal length of time.)

Thus, the article for 2012 may begin as follows:

2012 (MMXII) is a leap year that started on a Sunday and is the current year. In the Gregorian calendar it is the 2012th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 12th year of the 3rd millennium and of the 21st century and the 3rd of the 2010s decade.

Second paragraph[edit]

The second paragraph contains a bulleted list of formal and international designations the year has received. To be considered notable enough for inclusion, these designations must have their own Wikipedia articles (e.g., International Year of Planet Earth, European Year of Equal Opportunities for All). The lack of an article does not mean that a designation is insignificant, but rather that it does not demonstrably meet Wikipedia's general notability guidelines. The same editor(s) may create a designation's article, and then add that designation to the year article's second paragraph. However, it is incumbent upon this or these editor(s) to ensure that the created article is suitable for an encyclopedia and does not violate any of Wikipedia's policies.

Article body[edit]


The body of a recent year article takes the format presented just below; the body's contents are subject to the inclusion and exclusion criteria that are set forth further down. Depending on whether a given year, or a given part of it, has arrived, or on other factors, some sections, subsections, or entries might not apply to that year's article. Double-brackets indicate that the contents must be Wikilinked.


  • January 1
    • Past event.
    • Same as above (S/A). (Wikilink all dates that begin an event/birth/death entry. Wikilink the central names or concepts in descriptions of events, assuming those names or concepts have articles on Wikipedia. If the event per se has an article, its entry does not have to be—but certainly may be—cited again on the year article. If the event does not have its own article but is deemed sufficient for inclusion, it must be externally sourced in the year article, especially if it refers to living people.)
  • January 2 – S/A
  • etc.

==Predicted and scheduled events==

  • March 1 – Future event. (Wikipedia is not a crystal ball, and should not be making predictions of its own about the future. It should not make statistical extrapolations of unclear or unverifiable significance. The purpose of this section is to indicate the contents of current schedules or predictions of events that reliable, external sources have deemed potentially important.)
  • March 2 – S/A
  • etc.


  • January 1 – [[Name]], Nationality and very brief description (Do not Wikilink anything other than the date of birth and name. External sources are presumed to exist in the subject's own article, but may be duplicated in the year article to ensure that the latter article passes WP:BLP.)
  • January 2 – S/A
  • etc.


  • January 1 – [[Name]], Nationality and very brief description, (born [[YOB]]) (Do not Wikilink anything other than the date of death, name, and year of birth. External sources are presumed to exist in the subject's own article, and their duplication on the year article is not strictly required.)
  • January 2 – S/A
  • etc.

===Nobel Prizes===


Inclusion and exclusion criteria[edit]

Inclusion is based on notability. As article quality is no basis for determining notability it is irrelevant as a criterion for inclusion.


International notability[edit]

One way to demonstrate the required notability is that the event received independent news reporting from three continents on the event. Events which are not cited at all, or are not linked to an article devoted to the event, may be challenged on the talk page.

Sports and other contests[edit]

Sporting events which are either annual or are not international (more than one continent) are more appropriate for the year in sports page (e.g. 2009 in sports). Certain international sports do generally appear on the main year page, including:

  1. FIFA World Cup
  2. Olympics
  3. Sporting events notable for major disasters such as human stampedes or terrorist attacks

Events which usually do not merit inclusion:

  1. Annual championships such as the World Series, Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, or NBA Championship
  2. Annual world or continental championships in any sport, such as European or African football tournaments
  3. Any other annual contest, such as Eurovision Song Contest or American Idol
  4. World records (unless especially notable, something akin to Roger Bannister breaking the four-minute mile)

Events not covered above may be better placed in the year's sports article.

Politics and legislation[edit]

National elections are not usually included unless they represent a significant change in the country (e.g., a nation's first election). Some elections gain international significance for other reasons and this can be demonstrated through several international news sources. Regular and ordinary shifts in power within the United Nations and European Union are typically not sufficiently notable.

Most legislation is not included unless it is of international significance.

Disasters, assassinations, and other crimes[edit]

Disasters may be added. The importance of these disasters can be demonstrated through various international news sources. High death counts do not necessarily merit inclusion into the article. Likewise, assassinations or other similarly serious crimes can be listed if international relevance is demonstrated. Events such as suicide-murders, kidnappings, school shootings, etc. do not necessarily qualify unless especially significant.


One method of determining which births could be included is if there are Wikipedia articles in English and at least nine non-English languages about the individual in question. Prince George of Cambridge, for example, has several non-English articles on him, listed on the left sidebar. Although inclusion may then be automatic, it will not necessarily be permanent.


Persons who are internationally notable are included, as demonstrated by reliable sources. Heads of state or government (other than interim/acting leaders) are typically considered internationally notable.

In fiction[edit]

Film releases, Academy Awards, video game releases, and the like should usually be added onto their topic pages (e.g., 2009 in video gaming, 2001 in film, 2006 in television).


Entries can be illustrated by pictures on the right-hand side. Layout should be kept in mind, so a new picture should not be included for a given month if it would cause some of the pictures in that month to extend vertically down the following month's section. Selection of images should be diverse, especially in the "Births" and "Deaths" section, avoiding overrepresentation of males, Westerners and entertainers. Do not use the {{Multiple image}} template, even for births/deaths on the same day – too many pictures are distracting and it is not a goal of Recent Years pages to create comprehensive albums (those belong to Wikimedia Commons).


See also[edit]