Look mom, Brits don't know their geography either!

Posted on November 20, 2008 by peacefulyorkshire

yahooavatar15Okay, so they’re not Katie Couric and Matt Lauer from the Today show, but sometimes GMTV can be just as fakely uplifting in my dark British mornings of November. I still miss Matt Laurer’s hair plugs.

Yesterday morning 8:16am, over my Aldi knock-off “Special J Breakfast” cereal,  I crunched away aimlessly and GASP! WHAT??

map-of-britain_lMost people in the UK do not know how many countries make up Britain or which is the world’s most spoken language, a national survey has found.

American always get so much slack for not knowing where things are blah blah… but it looks like Brits are having some trouble even on their own tiny whiny island, too! Thank goodness there are people that don’t know where things are in Britain–it makes me feel better somehow—

The poll of 2,000 adults was commissioned by geographic technology company ESRI UK to mark Geography Awareness Week. Yes, Geography awareness week! What a momentous occasion , I thought, as I toasted myself some Wharburton’s Toastie.

It found that a quarter of people (23%) would like to be an explorer (–like Christopher Columbus?)- although many have trouble identifying where cities such as Leeds and Sheffield are in England.

When asked to rank a list of UK cities, Newcastle, Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham and Luton, in the order they are located, from north to south, eight in 10 correctly placed Newcastle and Luton (81% and 80% respectively).

But only half (53%) correctly identified Leeds as the second most northerly, while a similar proportion (54%) put Sheffield correctly in third place.

Ummm, I still get confused about that one tooand I even live up North. Wait, but I am American… so its expected, right? Got to get more of that Aldi .99p Special J Cereal…

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What Others Are Saying

  1. peacefulyorkshire November 20, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Hi PC
    I agree that travel and exploring planet earth makes you learn your geography! At age 8 my mom went to London on holiday and brought me back this tiny little thatched cotswald cottage. Then I thought Britain was the setting for some fairy land with odd housing! And it seemed a really far off place…

    And my view hasn’t changed. (just kidding.)

    But now living in the North of England I laugh when Londoners say they are going “up north” and the mean Hertfordshire hehe. The funny thing is when I lived in London I thought the same thing too…
    Geography is only learned when it seems relevant, I think.

  2. prince charming November 20, 2008 at 11:31 am

    I think your geography grows the more you travel. I know where all of those cities are, I ‘think’ I could have a good go at locating all of the major cities in the UK. All of that however, I’ve learnt from work and play travel – not from school! Thought provoking post peaceful.

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