Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » DON’T KNOW MUCH GEOGRAPHY

    Filed at 9:43 pm under by dcobranchi

    American 18-24 year-olds are just not very bright.

    Americans ages 18 to 24 came in next to last among nine countries in the National Geographic-Roper 2002 Global Geographic Literacy Survey, which quizzed more than 3,000 young adults in Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Sweden, and the United States. Top scorers were young adults in Sweden, Germany, and Italy.

    Out of 56 questions that were asked across all countries surveyed, on average young Americans answered 23 questions correctly. Others outside the U.S., most notably young adults in Mexico, also struggled with basic geography facts. Young people in Canada and Great Britain fared almost as poorly as those in the U.S.

    Among young Americans’ startling knowledge gaps, the study found that

    • nearly 30 percent of those surveyed could not find the Pacific Ocean, the world’s largest body of water;
    • more than half—56 percent—were unable to locate India, home to 17 percent of people on Earth; and
    • only 19 percent could name four countries that officially acknowledge having nuclear weapons.
    Several perhaps interrelated factors affected performance—educational experience (including taking a geography course), international travel and language skills, a varied diet of news sources, and Internet use. Americans who reported that they accessed the Internet within the last 30 days scored 65 percent higher than those who did not.

    You can take an abbreviated version of the quiz here.  It’s pretty simple.  The only one I had trouble with was finding Israel.  Of course I know where it is; it’s just very tiny on the 12″ laptop screen.  (Tip credit: Unique)

    4 Responses to “DON’T KNOW MUCH GEOGRAPHY”

    Comment by
    March 1st, 2006
    at 7:59 am

    I got all 20 correct.

    Comment by
    March 1st, 2006
    at 10:47 am

    “American 18-24 year-olds are just not very bright.”

    With apologies to Bertrand Russell, what’s the difference between a bright, inquisitive five-year-old, and an ignorant 18- to 24-year-old? Thirteen (+/-) years of the American educational system.

    Comment by
    March 1st, 2006
    at 2:56 pm

    I missed a couple questions, one about religion and one on U.S. population. Got all the geography questions though. 🙂

    Comment by
    March 2nd, 2006
    at 2:01 pm

    I also missed the religion one and flat out stuck Argentina in the middle of Brazil . . . . .