YOUNG AMERICANS STILL IN DARK ON GEOGRAPHY, SURVEY SHOWS

    A new survey of students worldwide indicates a need for a greater emphasis on geographical literacy. Americans, who came in next to last, expressed an exaggerated image of America's population -- fully 30 percent estimated a billion citizens or more. The correct response in the survey was 150-350 million. Worldwide, three in 10 couldn't find the Pacific Ocean, which covers 33 percent of the earth. In no nation could even half of young adults surveyed locate Israel on a map of the Middle East and Asia. More young Americans in the study knew that the island featured in last seasonís TV show "Survivor" is in the South Pacific than could find Israel. The study was sponsored by the National Geographic Societyís Geography Education Foundation, with the goal of determining if, in the post-September 11 world, young people were knowledgeable about current events and where places are located. "The results are disappointing, but they highlight the urgency of the problem of geographic ignorance and the need to broaden our efforts beyond the classroom," said Society president, John Fahey. "This is a cultural crisis, and it will take all our efforts to reverse the alarming trend of geographic apathy." An online version of the survey allows adults to compare their own geographic knowledge with that of young adults worldwide.

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/geosurvey/