What Young Americans Know About the World - (Taken from the National Geographic Roper Poll from 2006)
  • Despite near-constant news coverage of conflict in the Middle East, young Americans have a weak knowledge of the geography of this region. Six in ten (63%) cannot find Iraq or Saudi Arabia on a map of the Middle East, while three-quarters (75%) cannot find Iran or Israel. In fact, 44% cannot find even one of these four countries.
    • Results are linked to educational attainment: Young Americans with college experience are nearly four times as likely as those with only up to a high school education to be able to find all four of these strategic countries (23% vs. 6%).
    • Other hot spots in the news around the world also fail to register with 18- to 24-year-olds.
      • Nine in ten (88%) cannot find Afghanistan on a map of Asia.
      • Sizeable percentages do not know that Sudan and Rwanda are in Africa (54%and 40% answer incorrectly, respectively). In fact, 20% place Sudan in Asia and 10% put it in Europe.
      • Seven in ten (70%) cannot find North Korea on a map, and two-thirds (63%) do not know its border with South Korea is the most heavily fortified in the world.
      • Even natural disasters appear to have limited impact on young Americans awareness of the world.
        • Only a third (35%) correctly choose Pakistan from four possible choices as the country hit by a catastrophic earthquake in October 2005, killing over 70,000 people;1 29% think it was in Sri Lanka . these respondents are likely confusing the earthquake with the December 2004 tsunami.
        • Two-thirds (67%) can find Louisiana on a U.S. map and half (52%) can find Mississippi leaving a third or more who cannot find these states, in spite of months of intensive media coverage of the 2005 hurricanes and their aftermath.
        • Moreover, half (50%) cannot find New York State, even though it is the third most populous state in the union, after California and Texas.
        • Seven in ten (69%) young Americans can find China on a map . it is one of the few recognized countries outside North America. Yet even with a country as economically and politically dominant as China, young Americans have a number of misconceptions about China.

Source: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/roper2006/pdf/FINALReport2006GeogLitsurvey.pdf

Take the 2002 National Geographic test and see how you compare:http://www.nationalgeographic.com/geosurvey/templates/question_1.html

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