Samuel Dorsi - May 28, 2008
Listen to this article 00:01:44
Your browser doesn’t support HTML5 audio

Let’s face it: not all of us would be able to point out many countries in, for example, Africa when presented with a map. However, recent surveys have revealed the horrifying fact that many British citizens are unable to point out countries in their own continent. This is somewhat understandable considering that more than half of the UK (62%) admitted in a recent survey by to not remembering the last time it had a map in front of it. 19% of Britons did not even know that Britain is a member of the European Union.


These are, of course, no excuses. Even some of Europe’s most popular destinations such as Switzerland and Spain were not identified by some on maps of Europe. An astonishing 45% of British citizens failed to identify Switzerland. Even more amazingly and worryingly, some Britons were unable to find places they had visited such as the Costa del Sol and Brittany. They never bothered to find out where they took their holidays. Only 19% knew where Lithuania is and Slovakia was identified by a mere 20%. Comically, over two thirds thought Moldova is somewhere in Asia. However, the British can be considered to be geographical geniuses when we take a look across the Atlantic to the United States.


The Americans are generally rated 117th of 193 countries for geographical knowledge, a very poor rating considering the economic state of the country compared to the rest. Two thirds of Americans aged between 18 and 24 that participated in the survey could not find Iraq on a map of Asia, despite the country having massive involvement in Iraq. 30% think that the most fortified border in the world is between Mexico and the USA.

Related articles


  1. my opinion is that in general Americans are ignorant of geography and world politics, two examples from talk shows both tv and radio from US; CRN talk Radio and CNBC sqawk box when it became apparent that both hosts hadn't a clue of geo-politics re Ireland & Britain. Was it a case of taking the mick or actual ignorance? Why make satire and take the piss out of a country that's friendly to you?? That wouldn't make sense. So I'm presuming the questions asked are down to total ignorance about Ireland's geography and history. Which reminds me about the joke about Noah and the Ark and all the animals making so much shit on the Ark, that he wondered what to do with it. And then he had this

    Steve (Ireland)
  2. Funny

    Ha ha, that's awefully funny. But if you were the most powerful nation in the world, would you really care where Ireland is, or any other smaller nation?

    Milada (Czech Republic)

Add Comment