FWIW: The long decade perhaps goes from the fall of the Berlin Wall to 9/11, from the rise of the personal computer into 50 percent of households to the start of Google and the release of the iPod, the decade in which Walmart went nationwide. In my memory it wasn’t a difficult decade, it was a hopeful decade (for straight white males), something like I imagine the 1920’s to have been, with lots of froth (the tech boom). AIDS was the big cloud.Beloit College does a yearly list of what college freshmen know and don't know. Here's the 2016 list.
I don't know how you categorize the 2000's-- from 9/11 to 2016 maybe, or a short 9/11 to 1/20/2009?