U.S. Adults’ Knowledge About the World

A new survey commissioned from Gallup by the Council on Foreign Relations and the National Geographic Society explores American adults’ knowledge about geography and world affairs.

Report

A new survey commissioned from Gallup by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the National Geographic Society (NGS) finds that adult Americans exhibit gaps in their knowledge about geography and world affairs. While the report shows that U.S. adults have limited knowledge about these topics, seven in ten respondents consider international issues to be relevant to their daily lives and express a desire to promote education in these areas.

More than two thousand U.S. adults participated in the survey, which tested knowledge about geography, foreign policy, and world demographics. Respondents were asked about their interest in those topics and how much they learned about each in school. The survey also inquired about policy preferences toward several international issues, including the role of the United States in the world, climate change, trade, and government spending.

More on:

United States

Education

Global

Overall, respondents answered just over half of the knowledge questions correctly, and only 6 percent got at least 80 percent of the questions right. 

Learn More About the World

 

Quiz: How Much Do You Know About the World?

Read the full report and test your knowledge about the world in the quiz below, which highlights a sample of questions from the survey.

 

 

Brush Up on the Issues

Based on survey results, Americans were less knowledgeable about trade and foreign aid. Increase your knowledge by reading more about these issues:

More on:

United States

Education

Global

The survey also revealed Americans felt climate change and immigration were major issues facing the United States. Learn more about these topics:

Top Stories on CFR

State and Local Governments

The coronavirus pandemic is placing enormous budget pressure on state and local governments, threatening deep and potentially lasting cuts to education, infrastructure, and other important investments.  

Transition 2021

In the wake of the assault on the U.S. Capitol, corporate leaders have taken a strong stand for democratic institutions. How does this fit into trends of corporate activism, and what comes next?

United States

The Trump presidency has demonstrated the appeal of populist authoritarianism to many Americans. The way the country responds to the attack on the U.S. Capitol will indicate how long this movement lasts.