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It Turns Out that One In Five Brits Don’t Know Europe is a Continent

In news that could shock many, a new survey has discovered that more than one in five Brits are unaware that Europe is a continent. So that’s reassuring…

The survey, commissioned by British Airways Holidays, polled 9,000 adults from 13 countries, including the US, France, Germany, Russia, Brazil and Australia to find out about their geographical knowledge and it sounds like the results don’t fare too well.



Researchers found two thirds have no idea the world is made up of seven land masses, with one in four wrongly believing there are only five. Better yet, three per cent thought that Great Britain is its own continent.

Despite 63 per cent of adults describing themselves as ‘well-travelled’, visiting an average of nine countries each, just one third reckon they would pass GCSE geography if they were to take the exam now.

The study found that more than half of us are more than aware of our poor geography skills, as 54 per cent of Brits admitted their knowledge of world locations, capital cities or landmarks was ‘ok’ or ‘poor’.

Other stats found via the survey include:

  • Almost one quarter think the most commonly spoken language in Brazil is Spanish, rather than the correct answer of Portuguese.
  • One in four are unable to name the Sahara Desert as the largest hot desert in the world.
  • Sixty-three per cent have no idea there are 50 stars on the US flag.
  • More than one in 10 struggle to name India as the home of the Taj Mahal.
  • One tenth think the Canadian city of Toronto is a US state.


In a bit of positive news, 78 per cent of Brits who took part in the survey were able to identify Copenhagen as the capital of Denmark. 85 per cent also correctly named Washington D.C as the US capital.

Only 54 per cent of Australians correctly said Budapest was the capital of Hungary, whereas UK based respondents fared better with 66 per cent selecting the correct answer.

Claire Bentley, Managing Director of British Airways Holidays, said: “We all know most love to travel and our holidays are often one of the highlights of the year.

“New destinations are opening up all the time, the web has made the world more accessible, and with our extensive route network there’s always more to explore and more ways to broaden your geography knowledge.”

Have a go at the quiz below and see how you fare yourself.

Written by QWEERIST editor

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