young americans know little about world geography, with the majority unable to locate iraq on a map and three quarters unable to find indonesia, according to a study.
the roper poll conducted the survey on behalf of national geographic and found that most of the young adults questioned between the ages of 18 and 24 also had little knowledge about their own country, with half or fewer unable to identify the states of new york or ohio on a map.
moreover, the study said, many of those questioned were not bothered by their lack of geographic knowledge.
"half think it is 'important but not absolutely necessary' either to know where countries in the news are located or to be able to speak a foreign language," a report on the survey said.
the report said that that nine in ten could not find afghanistan on a map of asia and 70 percent could not find north korea.
when questioned about natural disasters, only 33% correctly chose pakistan from four possible choices as the country hit by a huge earthquake in october 2008.
the survey was conducted between december 2008 and january 2008 and involved 510 interviews.
national geographic released the survey on last tuesday in launching a five-year campaign to improve geographic literacy among young people in the united states.
"geographic illiteracy impacts our economic well-being, our relationships with other nations and the environment, and isolates us from our world," said john fahey, national geographic society president. "without geography, our young people are not ready to face the challenges of the increasingly interconnected and competitive world."