Do You Know Where Afghanistan Is?

U.S. Youth Fare Poorly in National Geographic Study

Jacki Lyden photo of bushkazi players in Kabul

Playing bushkazi in Kabul, Afghanistan. Jacki Lyden, NPR News/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Jacki Lyden, NPR News/NPR

With a cross-border, international economy and the ever-expanding reach of the Internet, the Earth's residents are increasingly compelled to "think globally." Even so, a new study indicates young people remain woefully ignorant about geography and world affairs.

A new National Geographic-Roper study tested young men and women aged 18 to 24 from nine nations — Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Sweden and the United States. Sweden's youth scored the highest. Young Americans, however, didn't do as well. In fact, America came in second to last, with 83 percent of those quizzed unable to locate Afghanistan.

That particular fact was the most shocking, National Geographic Society President John Fahey tells NPR's Lynn Neary for All Things Considered. It's been less than a year since U.S. troops entered Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 attacks to root out al Qaeda terrorists and expel the ruling Taliban militia.

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