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Americans' knowledge (?) of geography

The National Geographic Society made a survey of young Americans' knowledge of geography. Here are the SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS
Among 18- to 24-year-old Americans

  • 87% couldn't find Iraq on a map
  • 70% couldn't find New Jersey
  • 11% couldn't find the U.S.

(See more survey results--and test yourself.)

The abolition or downgrading of geography departments at elite universities like Stanford is a national disgrace and a tragedy. The Stanford administration killed the Geography Department, and then academic cultures ate its carrion. Earth Sciences took physical geography, anthropology took human geography. The synthesis of physical and human geography was destroyed. It was like splitting water into H2 and O. How can "the world's only super-power" claim to lead the world when it knows so little about the world?

Ronald Hilton - 11/22/02