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jjohn (22)

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Journal of jjohn (22)

Friday November 22, 2002
01:06 PM

Geography Quiz

[ #9095 ]

By now, most of you will have heard about the appalling resultsof a National Geographic geography quiz for young adults. (Thanks to HappyFunBall for pointing this out.) Take the test for yourself. Feel smart.

Note: Mexicans could locate both the US and Mexico more often than Americans could.

I took the sample quiz and got 19/20 right. A few years ago, my score would have been lower by a couple of points.

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  • I got 19 too. I wasn't sure about the religion one. I picked Islam, which is #2 (1.2 billion to Christianity's 1.9 billion, according to one stat I found). Oh well.

    Interesting that Americans, Italians, Canadians did well on this question, and Mexicans did very well. Sweden, Japan, France, UK did less well. It seems a lot of people just picked what they thought SHOULD be the most popular religion. :-)
    • Wow! That's the question I punted on too. I knew that Islam has over a billion followers and I assume Hinduism and Buddhism are around the billion mark too. For some reason, I didn't think Christianity was over a billion at all. Weird.

      Those numbers are interesting. Does it give some context to the War on Terrorism? I don't know, but it is an interesting side note.

      • Well, #1 is really apathetic atheists I think but that wasn't on the list :)
      • Got 16/20 and failed this question too -- also the first question about demography of USA, and the one about El Niño. That's strange, only 15% of French people got this question right. Apparently we're less directly concerned by this than Japan...

        The fourth question I failed, was, to my shame, the tenth of the survey. I really need to learn to distinguish my left hand from my right hand now.

      • I failed that same question. I guess it depends how you count. I am probably counted as Christian, even though I am really an agnostic and so must be a good chunk of the European population.

        Major Religions of the World Ranked by Number of Adherents [] seems to agree with the survey as well as several other sources I found (even though the figures vary widely).
        • Interesting link, thanks. It says also :

          Many Muslims (and some non-Muslim) observers claim that there are more practicing Muslims than practicing Christians in the world. has no reason to dispute this. It seems likely, but we would point out that there are different opinions on the matter, and a Muslim may define "practicing" differently than a Christian. In any case, the primary criterion for the rankings on this page is self-identification, which has nothing to do with practice.

          Which is c

  • Hey there! I got 20/20, although the religion question was a tough one. Two observations: 1. I'm sad that only 89% of Americans could pick out the US on the map. Most other countries could pick out their home country at a rate in the high 90's. 2. I think this test should be given to President Bush.
  • I got 17/20. Besides missing the religion-size question as Pudge did, I also mis-placed Sweden and Argentina.

    Not that I've ever needed to know the location of either...



    • I hope you didn't mistake Sweden for Argentina. :-)

      The test choices for Sweden made the question easier for me. If those choices had included Norway and Denmark, I would have been S.O.L. The many Spanish class I took in High School and College acquainted me with Argentina's position in South America. The Falkland War also helped.

      How does anyone who has seen a world map not know where the Pacific ocean is? There are only five oceans on Earth and most of the world's population lives on the coasts of three