Revealed: The 10 Most Ignorant Countries in the World

U.K.-based polling firm Ipsos MORI has conducted a worldwide poll to collect the “facts” of what citizens believed about their countries. Some were pretty accurate — others were just straight up ignorant.

The “Perils of Perception 2015” poll, which took place between October 1 and 16, covered 33 countries with over 1,000 people surveyed in most major countries.

The results revealed some startling insights about what we think of our countries when it comes to top 1% wealth, immigration, obesity, and the average age of a country’s population. Citizens in countries answered a series of questions on statistics which were then compared to the actual facts — countries whose opinions were farther from the truth were deemed more ignorant.

In Argentina, a country deemed one of the most ignorant, for example, people polled believe that 30% of the population was made of immigrants when the percentage is, in fact, around 5%.

In Saudi Arabia, those polled believed that a little over 25% of the country was overweight, when in reality it is more like 70%.

Bobby Duffy, the Managing Director of Ipsos MORI Social Research Institute explained:

“Across all 33 countries in the study, each population gets a lot wrong. We over-estimate what we worry about,” said

Of the 33 countries surveyed, complete data for 28 countries was gathered and compiled into what the firm calls the “Index of Ignorance.” These are the top 10 most ignorant countries in the world for 2015:

1. Mexico

2. India

3. Brazil

4. Peru

5. New Zealand

6. Colombia

7. Belgium

8. South Africa

9. Argentina

10. Italy

Fortunately for the United States, the country just barely made the top five least ignorant countries right behind China. South Korea takes the crown as the least ignorant country, being the one that knows itself and its people the best.

  1. Russia
  2. Chile
  3. Great Britain
  4. Israel
  5. Australia
  6. Japan
  7. Canada
  8. Germany
  9. Netherlands
  10. Spain
  11. Norway
  12. France
  13. Sweden
  14. United States
  15. China
  16. Poland
  17. Ireland
  18. South Korea


h/t: Quartz
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