When it comes to international travel, it is a long standing, and perhaps unfair, stereotype that American tourists are geographically illiterate. Other reports ponder whether we should feel embarrassed about our general geographical knowledge (or lack thereof, apparently) …
This perception may be changing in post-covid times, as international destinations long for American tourists, but how do we quantify our geographical knowledge within our own borders?
Aqua Expeditions, a recognized global leader in luxury small-ship expeditions, quizzed 3,013 people to determine if the country’s proficiency in well-known world landmarks is up to scratch. The quiz revealed that overall, Americans scored 47% when tested on their knowledge of global geographical landmarks.
Taken in isolation, it is hard to interpret this result, however, when broken down by state, Aqua Expeditions were able to identify where the most ‘worldly wise’ Americans reside in the country.
The results show that Georgians are among the least knowledgeable in the nation when it comes to international travel – they scored 43% – below the national average and in 34th place overall.
Rhode Islanders emerged in 1st position with a brilliant score of 89%, which was the highest in the nation. Comparatively, however, Louisianans and North Dakotans both emerged in last position with a dismal 23% score.
Results, revealed in detail…
When asked the following questions, respondents picked some interesting answer options:
In which country is the island of Bali located?
47% of people answered this correctly: Indonesia.
But 32% incorrectly thought the island is off India.
5% thought it was off Iran (which is, in fact, a largely landlocked country!)
Lastly, 16% incorrectly answered Italy.
Through which continent does the Amazon River flow through?
59% of people answered correctly with: South America.
5% incorrectly thought it was in Europe.
And 25% even believed it runs through Africa (wrong!)
Finally, 11% incorrectly assumed the Amazon flows through Asia.
Which city is home to a landmark designed by Gustave Eiffel?
59% got this question right. The answer is of course, Paris.
While 10% incorrectly thought the answer was Rome.
8% wrongly answered: Berlin.
Perhaps concerningly, almost 1 in 4 (23%) thought the correct answer was New York.
Which one of the following countries does the Mekong River flow through?
A tougher question – 41% knew that the correct answer was Cambodia.
However, 13% thought it flowed through Hungary.
28% wrongly answered: South Korea.
Finally, 18% identified the Mekong River as flowing through Brazil.
Where are the Pyramids of Giza?
Fortunately, 79% of respondents answered this correctly: Egypt.
But 10% hilariously thought the pyramids were located at the Luxor in Las Vegas!
5% thought the answer was Mexico, which wasn’t a bad guess, given the country is home to numerous Mayan pyramids.
And 6% incorrectly answered: Morocco.
On a more local scale: Which River formed the Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA?
57% of people answered correctly: the Colorado River.
However, 8% incorrectly thought it was the Mississippi River.
And 4% wrongly answered: the Arkansas River.
31% were wrong in thinking it was the Rio Grande River.
Aqua Expeditions has created an interactive quiz so that readers can test their own geographical knowledge, and compare to others.
You can take the quiz below.
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