Geography Awareness

Sandy reviews some of the statistics and studies that are behind the geography awareness focus of this expedition.

Did you know that American knowledge of geography is one of the worst in the world? A National Geographic-Roper Public Affairs 2006 Geographic Literacy Study that surveyed young Americans showed that 88 percent of those questioned could not find Afghanistan on a map of Asia. In the Middle East, 63 percent could not find Iraq or Saudi Arabia on a map, and 75 percent could not point out Iran or Israel. Forty-four percent couldn’t find any one of those four countries.

To learn more, click the CNN story.

To see the actual survey questions and results, such as these:

  • Only 37% of young Americans can find Iraq on a map—though U.S. troops have been there since 2003.
  • 6 in 10 young Americans don’t speak a foreign language fluently.
  • 20% of young Americans think Sudan is in Asia. (It’s the largest country in Africa.)
  • 48% of young Americans believe the majority population in India is Muslim. (It’s Hindu—by a landslide.)
  • Half of young Americans can’t find New York on a map.

Click on the National Geographic-Roper Public Affairs 2006 Geographic Literacy Study to take the survey yourself.

It is our hope that our Trekking The Planet trip will help others learn more about the world we live in and improve geographic literacy and awareness.