LONDON — If a new survey is truly representative of an entire country, than millions of British citizens may struggle with basic geography. That’s because the survey found about 20 percent of Brits didn’t realize Europe was actually a continent.
The quiz, commissioned by British Airways Holidays, also showed that two-thirds of British respondents can’t name all seven continents, while a quarter believed there were only five. Around 3% of participants — which would translate to about 1.5 million Brits — thought Great Britain is its own continent.
But those weren’t the only geography gaffes for the group: 25% didn’t know Antarctica is where the South Pole is found; another 25% thought the most commonly spoken language spoken in Brazil is Spanish (it’s Portuguese). One in 10 claimed Toronto was a state in the United States.
The research encompassed 9,000 adults from countries around the world, showing that poor geography skills don’t only exist in the United Kingdom. A quarter of Australians, for example, couldn’t say where the great Colosseum is located (Rome), and 40% of Germans who participated survey didn’t know that the Taj Mahal is in India. One in five French respondents and one in 10 Italians weren’t aware that their native countries were also home to part of the Alps.
Despite 63% of adults describing themselves as “well-traveled,” 54% admitted that their overall knowledge of world locations, capitals, and landmarks is either “OK” or “poor.” Capitals, in fact, proved to be the strong point for respondents. Eighty-five percent of Brits knew that Washington, D.C. was the capital of the U.S., while slightly fewer (78%) correctly named Copenhagen as the capital of Denmark.
Curious how you’d fare on the quiz? You can test your own knowledge and take the same exam by clicking here.