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Is America a More Ignorant Country Than Israel?

A week ago, Ipsos MORI, a market research company based in London, released their 2016 Index of Ignorance, which purportedly measures the level of ignorance in 40 countries from around the world. Ipsos MORI gathered their data from a survey taken by 27,250 people – between 500 and 1000 in each of the countries tested.

The survey, titled “Perils of Perception,” measures respondents’ accuracy when estimating figures like the relative size of the Muslim population in their country, or the number of people in their country who believe that homosexuality is unacceptable. The answers to the various questions and their accuracy relative to Ipsos MORI’s official data were combined to create the Index.

The United States placed in the top-5 most ignorant countries, with India being the most ignorant. Israel place 18th, right in the middle of the pack. The Netherlands placed lowest on the Index earning them the title of least ignorant country.

To what extent a population’s relative guessing skills actually measure anything like ignorance is open for debate (consider me a skeptic), but, in any event here are the full results from most ignorant to least:

  1. India
  2. China
  3. Taiwan
  4. South Africa
  5. USA
  6. Brazil
  7. Thailand
  8. Singapore
  9. Turkey
  10. Indonesia
  11. Mexico
  12. Canada
  13. Montenegro
  14. Russia
  15. Serbia
  16. Philippines
  17. Hong Kong
  18. Israel
  19. Denmark
  20. Argentina
  21. France
  22. Vietnam
  23. Peru
  24. Spain
  25. Chile
  26. Hungary
  27. Japan
  28. Belgium
  29. Poland
  30. Colombia
  31. Sweden
  32. Norway
  33. Italy
  34. Germany
  35. Australia
  36. Malaysia
  37. Czech Republic
  38. South Korea
  39. United Kingdom
  40. Netherlands

Jake Romm is the Forward’s culture intern. Contact him at [email protected] or on Twitter, @JakeRomm

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