Can You Find Ukraine?

Ukraine_Full-1024x535The Washington Post recently found that only 1 in 6 Americans can locate Ukraine on a map.

When we saw the above map from Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog, we were totally blown away. Apparently there are a bunch of people in the world that think Ukraine is in Greenland. Or somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. Wow.

When we come across something like this, our first instinct is “Can we make it into a quiz?” (Or at the very least…a humorous tweet?)

In this case, the quiz had already been created! We have fascinating data that compares the people who were polled by the Washington Post and Sporcle. It turns out that since we’re well-past one billion plays, we can shed some light on areas of the world or history that people have forgotten. (Sorry President Hayes...)

In the original article, pollsters asked a two-part question: 1) Would you support US Intervention in Ukraine and 2) where is Ukraine located on the map. Only 1 in 6 respondents could find the country, and those that couldn’t were much more in favor of military action.

We decided to look into our own data,  going first to one of our most popular location quizzes, On a Map: Europe.  On this quiz, Ukraine is guessed correctly over 76% of the time. That means that out of the 140,000 game plays, over 105,000 correctly located Ukraine.

Next we went to one of our most played quizzes: Countries of the World. On this quiz, Ukraine has been answered correctly 73.9% of the time. Even in a much larger pool of countries, most Sporclers have a firm grasp that it’s actually a country. (Nauru on the other hand…)

So what can we glean from all this? While we have a much larger sample size–Sporcle users hail from many countries around the world, not just the United States–people who play Sporcle quizzes are actually gaining useful knowledge about our world and the places where significant events are happening.

Here at Sporcle HQ, we’re proud of our users. And we’re glad we could share some of this cool info with all of you.

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  1. Appreciate the sentiment, but apples and oranges, Sporcle. Your sample size may be larger but it’s also heavily biased; your statistics count multiple plays and people who have spent years memorizing all the capitals in alphabetical order to Sporcle standard — not to mention how to spell Kyrgyzstan. The quizzes in question also aren’t minefields (i.e. wrong answers don’t register) and ask the question in a completely different way than WaPo did. It’s like the difference between aided and unaided awareness studies. It’s nice that Sporclers are so geo-aware, but if you want to claim that your data contradicts theirs, you need to create a quiz that more closely replicates the methodology used by their study, and then randomly quiz people sight unseen from outside your member pool.

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