The Pew Research Center conducted a national current events survey of about 1,000 adults who are representative of the US population.
The results are discouraging.
(If you want to take the multiple-choice quiz yourself before seeing how other Americans answered, click over to Pew.)
Most adult Americans who took the quiz couldn’t name the chair of the US Federal Reserve Board or correctly identify the current unemployment rate. Only 20% of respondents could pick out the percentage of Americans living at or below the federal poverty line or identify what the US government spends the most money on.
Respondents had an easier time answering questions about the issues that are getting some of the most frequent play in the news today, including ISIS and the crisis in Ukraine.
Check it out:
Knowledge predictably varied by age and education level:
Young people, many of whom hold minimum-wage jobs, had no problem answering that question, but they got tripped up on questions about economics and foreign politics.
College graduates were far more informed than those who didn’t attend college at all, but they still struggled to answer basic questions on the Fed, Sunnis and Shiites, the unemployment rate, the poverty line, and government spending.
Here are the full questions:
- The Islamic militant group known as ISIS currently controls territory in which of these countries?
- What does the term “Common Core” refer to?
- Which one of these African countries has recently experienced a major outbreak of the Ebola virus?
- What is the national unemployment rate as reported by the government currently closer to?
- In which of the following predominately Muslim countries are there more Shia Muslims than Sunni Muslims?
- What is the federal minimum wage today?
- What is the industry that has primarily contributed to the recent economic boom in the state of North Dakota?
- On which of these activities does the US government currently spend the most money?
- Who is the current Prime Minister of Israel?
- Approximately what share of Americans currently live at or below the federal poverty line?
- Ukraine was once part of …
- Who is the current chair of the US Federal Reserve Board?
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