Only a third of Americans can pass a multiple-choice U.S. citizenship test, and that dismal figure is even smaller (19 percent) among those younger than 45, according to a new survey released by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.
Passing the test requires only 60 percent of questions be answered correctly, Paul Bedard noted for The Washington Examiner.
“Americans need to understand the past in order to make sense of a chaotic present and an inchoate future,” Woodrow Wilson Foundation President Arthur Levine said in a statement. “History is both an anchor in a time when change assails us and a laboratory for studying the changes that are occurring. It offers the promise of providing a common bond among Americans in an era in which our divisions are profound and our differences threaten to overshadow our commonalities.”
Lincoln Park Strategies conducted the poll, surveying 1,000 American citizens. Among its findings:
- 60 percent didn’t know which countries the United States fought in World War II
- 57 percent didn’t know how many justices serve on the U.S. Supreme Court
- 72 percent of respondents didn’t know or misidentified which states were part of the 13 original states
- 24 percent knew why the colonists fought the British
- 2 percent said climate change was the cause of the Cold War
American aged 65 and older faired the best on the test, with 74 percent answering at least six out of 10 questions right.
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