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Survey: College-Aged Students Are Ill-Informed About Global Issues

Survey: College-Aged Students Are Ill-Informed About Global Issues

A recent geopolitical literacy survey by National Geographic and the Council on Foreign Relations found that most young Americans don’t have a strong grasp on global concepts like the United Nations.

The foreword to the survey said, “The survey, whose complete findings appear in this report, revealed significant gaps between what young people understand about today’s world and what they need to know to successfully navigate and compete in it.”

Of the 1,203 people surveyed, only 29 percent passed with a 66 percent on the 75 questions asked and only 17 people—1 percent—scored a A with a 91 percent or higher.

Even among 18-to-26-year-olds, the average was just 55 percent correct, a failing grade in most grading scales.

“Even people who’ve been through college are still not gaining this sort of basic level of understanding about the world and how things are connected to each other,” said Kathleen Schwille, vice president of education at the National Geographic Society.

One of the worst-performing areas was economics and trade. The best-performing was in environmental issues: identifying the main causes of climate change and naming renewable resources.

Fortunately, the survey also found that the responders wanted to know more and said it was important to be informed on these topics.

Samples of the quiz are below:

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