I dont if you guys heard about it, but National Geographic did quite a interesting survey with people between the ages of 18-24 to know how good is their geographic skills. The results are amazing. Here are two press articles about it and the link to the National Geographic site where you can answer 20 of the 53 questions and see the official results from the survey, or download the full survey. http://nationalgeographic.ibs.aol.com/geosurvey/ ------------- By PAUL RECER, AP Science Writer Ask young people to pick out Iraq on a map of the Middle East, and only 13 percent can locate it — despite a barrage of headlines and broadcast reports about a possible war against Saddam Hussein (news - web sites). Same goes for Israel or Iran, according to a National Geographic (news - web sites) study that finds there has been little to no improvement in students' knowledge of geography since 1988. The society survey released Wednesday found that only about one in seven of Americans between the age of 18 and 24, the prime age for military warriors, could find Iraq. The score was the same for Iran, an Iraqi neighbor. Although the majority, 58 percent, of the young Americans surveyed knew that the Taliban and al-Qaida were based in Afghanistan (news - web sites), only 17 percent could find that country on a world map. A U.S.-led force attacked the Taliban and al-Qaida in Afghanistan in October 2001, and President Bush (news - web sites) has said he is prepared to use force to rid Iraq of any chemical, nuclear or biological weapons programs. The survey asked 56 geographic and current events questions of young people in nine countries and scored the results with traditional grades. The surveyed Americans got a "D," with an average of 23 correct answers. Mexico ranked last with an average score of 21, just three points from a failing grade. Topping the scoring was Sweden, with an average of 40, followed by Germany and Italy, each with 38. None of the countries got an "A," which required average scores of 42 correct answers or better on the 56 questions. "If our young people can't find places on a map and lack awareness of current events, how can they understand the world's cultural, economic and natural resource issues that confront us?" John Fahey, president of the National Geographic Society, said in a statement. National Geographic is convening an international panel of policy makers and business and media leaders to find ways to improve geographic education and to encourage interest in world affairs, the society said. Other findings from the survey: _Thirty-four percent of the young Americans knew that the island used on last season's "Survivor" show was located in the South Pacific, but only 30 percent could locate the state of New Jersey on a map. The "Survivor" show's location was the Marquesas Islands in the eastern South Pacific. _When asked to find 10 specific states on a map of the United States, only California and Texas could be located by a large majority of those surveyed. Both states were correctly located by 89 percent of the participants. Only 51 percent could find New York, the nation's third most populous state. _On a world map, Americans could find on average only seven of 16 countries in the quiz. Only 89 percent of the Americans surveyed could find their own country on the map. _In the world map test, Swedes could find an average of 13 of the 16 countries. Germans and Italians were next, with an average of 12 each. _Only 71 percent of the surveyed Americans could locate on the map the Pacific Ocean, the world's largest body of water. Worldwide, three in 10 of those surveyed could not correctly locate the Pacific Ocean. _Although 81 percent of the surveyed Americans knew that the Middle East is the Earth's largest oil exporter, only 24 percent could find Saudi Arabia on the map. The international survey was conducted for the National Geographic by RoperASW. The results are based on face-to-face interviews with at least 300 men and women aged 18 to 24 in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Sweden, Britain and the United States. The questionnaires were in the local language, but the content was universally the same. -------------------- WASHINGTON, Nov 20 (Reuters) - More young Americans are familiar with the island on TV's "Survivor" than with Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq or Israel, a National Geographic survey reported on Wednesday. Americans' dismal performance was not that different from from responses by young people in eight other nations, especially Canada and Great Britain, and was slightly better than last-ranked Mexico, the survey found. Only 17 percent of U.S. young people could find Afghanistan on a world map, though it has been in the news almost constantly since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Just one in every seven young Americans could locate Iraq or Iran on a map of the Middle East and Asia. Israel was tough for Americans to find -- only 14 percent could locate it on a regional map -- though the worldwide response was not much better: in no country among the nine could more than half of young adults locate it. The average was less than 25 percent. Worldwide, only three in 10 young people could find the Pacific Ocean, which covers 33 percent of the Earth. Seven in 10 Americans could correctly locate it. By contrast, 34 percent of young Americans knew that the island used for the last season of the television show "Survivor" was in the South Pacific. Many young Americans had an exaggerated image of America's population, with 30 percent estimating the U.S. population to be 1 billion to 2 billion, or roughly one-third of the world's population. The correct response in the survey was 150 million to 350 million. Respondents in all other countries did better on that question, and did much better on estimating the population of their own country. WHERE ARE NUCLEAR WEAPONS? But no country's young people did very well in naming four countries that possess nuclear weapons. Overall, 23 percent answered correctly. In France, a sizable minority -- 24 percent -- did not name their own country among the four. National Geographic was concerned enough about the results to form a coalition -- including such media and entertainment heavyweights as AOL AOL.N , the American Society of Newspaper Editors, News Corp NCP.AX , Sea World/Busch Gardens Adventure Parks, Nickelodeon and Sesame Workshop -- to try to reverse the trend. "Those results are stunning and in many ways discouraging," said John Fahey, president of the National Geographic Society. "We don't think we can lay these results off as side effects of youth and their presumed unconcern about much in life in general," Fahey said at a news conference, adding that the survey showed "the apparent retreat by young people from a global society in an era that doesn't allow such a luxury." The survey was conducted by RoperASW earlier this year in interviews with 3,250 young adults aged 18 to 24 in the United States, Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Great Britain and Japan. Young adults in Sweden, Germany and Italy ranked highest, answering about 70 percent of questions correctly, followed in descending order by France, Japan and Britain. Young Canadians, Americans and Mexicans gave the right answer on fewer than half the questions, the survey found. But none of the countries got an excellent mark, according to Nick Boyon of RoperASW. Boyon said young people worldwide could identify an average of about 10 countries on a world map, out of 16 they were asked to name. He said nine out of 10 young Americans could recognize the United States on a world map, "which is reassuring, but it does make you wonder about the other 10 percent." The only country in Europe that most young Americans could identify was Italy, possibly because of its shape, Boyon said.