Adult Americans lack knowledge about geography and global affairs but consider them relevant to their daily lives, according to a new survey.
The survey was conducted by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a think tank, and the National Geographic Society (NGS), at the instance of Gallup, an American analytics and advisory company.
CFR said in a statement that no fewer than 2,000 American adults participated in the survey, which tested their knowledge about geography, foreign policy and world demographics.
It stated that respondents answered “just over half of the knowledge questions correctly”, with only six per cent of them getting at least 80 per cent of the questions correctly.
Although adult Americans show little knowledge about geography and world affairs, seven in ten respondents consider them important to their daily lives, the organisation said.
It added that the respondents expressed a desire to promote education in those areas.
“Given our increasingly interconnected world, geographic literacy and geopolitical understanding are more important than ever to U.S. education.
“The good news is that Americans want to know more about the world.
“That’s why organisations like CFR and NGS are stepping up their efforts to reach broader groups of Americans,” the statement quoted the CFR President, Mr Richard Haass, as saying.
The organisation said respondents were asked about their interest in geography, foreign policy and world demographics, and how much they learned about each in school.
The survey also inquired about their choices in U.S. policy and the country’s role in international issues like climate change, trade, and government spending.
“Less than half of the respondents were able to identify Afghanistan as the country that provided al-Qaeda with safe haven prior to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11,2001.
“This is despite America having waged a war in Afghanistan due to this fact for nearly two decades.
“Just over half could identify Iraq on a map, even though one hundred thousand American soldiers were in the country just a decade ago,” the report said, according to CFR.
It added that Americans get most of their information on international issues from the internet and television.
But those who say they rely on books, magazines or radio, and those who get their information from a wide range of sources scored better than their peers, it said.
According to the survey, majority of Americans consider climate change as a serious threat to U.S. prosperity and national security.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this view is in sharp contrast to the belief and policy direction of the administration of President Donald Trump.
Trump does not believe in climate change, and once described it as a “hoax”, before pulling the U.S. out of the 2015 Paris Agreement that seeks to limit the use of fossil fuels.
CFR said most Americans also believe their country is spending “too little on domestic programmes like health care and education, and too much on the military and foreign aid.”(NAN)
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