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Year 2000 Problem

Webopedia Staff
Last Updated May 24, 2021 8:00 am

The pervasive problem that many applications are designed to handle only 20th-century dates — dates that begin with “19”. For example, most programsrepresent dates in the form MM-DD-YY, so the date 10-5-96 is October 5, 1996. But what about the date 10-5-05. Is that 1905 or 2005? There is no way to distinguish between these two dates.

This problem affects a vast amount of software, particularly accounting and databasesystems. The U.S. Social Security Administration, for example, has estimated that it will need to review about 50 million lines of code to correct this problem in its own system.

The Year 2000 problem is sometimes referred to as the Millennium bug or Y2K problem.