The Ignorance of Nations, Ranked

by Rachel Baker on October 30, 2014

Here are some of the results from a public perception study in 14 countries – the link for the study is in the article. Its pretty interesting when you look at the guess vs actual.

The US is second to last on list of 14 countries. So much for our American exceptionalism, huh? Frankly, its sad, but…one can completely see why its so easy for politicians to bank on the bs of their talking points.

In America, if we actually knew that only
* 1% of the country is Muslim,
* 3% of girls 15-19 give birth each year,
* in a nation of immigrants only 13% of the people in the US are immigrants, and
* only 6% of people are unemployed and looking for work – not the 32% people think

– maybe, just maybe we could make laws that actually helped and not hurt because they’d be based on actualities not overblown guesses of an uninformed populous watching nothing more than media noise.

Read more: The Ignorance of Nations, Ranked

Around the world, people have a pretty good sense of the life expectancy of their country’s inhabitants. When it comes to most other social statistics, they have no idea.

That’s the conclusion to be drawn from a study of public perception in 14 countries by Ipsos MORI, a U.K.-based market research firm. Ipsos polled over 11,000 residents in total about a range of social factors—from immigration to teen pregnancy to religious demographics. Here is the overall “Index of Ignorance,” from least to most informed:

1. Italy
2. U.S.
3. South Korea
4. Poland
5. Hungary
6. France
7. Canada
8. Belgium
9. Australia
10. Great Britain
11. Spain
12. Japan
13. Germany
14. Sweden

And here’s how each country stacked up on the individual issues. In the charts below, the “Guess” column represents the average of answers given by those polled. The “Difference” column represents the number of percentage points by which people missed the mark, on average. The “Actual Value” column is the actual statistic for each country.

This article was written by: Rachel Baker – Click to Become a Patron or to follow on Twitter.

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