Can You Get More Than 11 Right on the Basic North American Geography Quiz?

By: Kale Havervold

Can You Get More Than 11 Right on the Basic North American Geography Quiz?
Image: Samxmeg/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

While many of you reading this likely live in North America, how much do you actually know about the continent? Sure, you may know a little about your home town or which state is where, but there is so much more to know. North America is made up of Canada, the USA, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. 

It is also among the largest continents on the planet, behind only Asia and Africa. It has a wide range of different climates, from frozen tundras in northern Canada, to tropical weather near the equator. There are also many different cultures, landscapes, and languages. 

As you can see, there is a lot to know and learn about North America. Do you feel you're an expert on North American geography? In an effort to test your knowledge (and maybe help you learn a thing or two), we have put together a quiz all about North American geography. This quiz will look at a variety of facts that will test your knowledge on everything from landscapes to statistics and everything in between. 

Without any further delay, get ready to prove you're an expert and test your knowledge on North American geography!

Which mountain is the highest in North America?
Denali
North America is home to many different mountains and mountain ranges. There are some very large ones as well, but none higher than Denali. Located in Alaska, Denali is over 20,156 feet (6,100 meters) tall.
Mount Logan
Pico de Orizaba
Mount Saint Elias

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How many people live in North America?
About 100 million
More than 2 billion
Nearly 600 million
North America is home to nearly 600 million people, according to experts. More than half of these individuals (about 325 million of them) live in the USA, with Mexico and Canada having 130 million and 35 million residents respectively.
Just shy of 375 million

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Of all the National Parks in the USA, which is the largest?
Yellowstone National Park
Wrangell-St. Elias
While it is not the most visited national park in the USA, there is no doubt that Wrangell-St. Elias is the largest. The park is located in Alaska and has an area of 13.2 million acres.
Yosemite
Grand Canyon

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How many countries are in North America?
80
17
35
23
North America is home to a total of 23 different countries. While there are many countries, most of the land area of North America is occupied by the USA, Canada and Mexico.

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The deadliest volcano eruption in U.S history took place in which state?
Washington
The deadliest volcanic eruption in the USA's history took place in Washington state in 1980. It was the eruption of Mount St. Helens and it killed 57 people. In addition to the death toll, the eruption led to more than $1 billion in damage.
California
Maryland
Arizona

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Which American state capital has the smallest population?
Trenton
Denver
Montpelier
While many capitals are the largest cities in a given state, this isn't always the case. For example, the capital of Vermont is Montpelier, which has a population of fewer than 8,000 people.
Boston

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How many islands are in the Caribbean?
300,000
7,000
While there is no official number, experts believe there are about 7,000 different islands throughout the Caribbean. At least 28 of those are island nations, while many are just small islands.
30
800

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Which one of these massive cities has the highest population?
Toronto
New York City
Los Angeles
Mexico City
While there are many large cities in North America, none are bigger than Mexico City. Mexico City has a population of nearly 9 million, but once you add in the metropolitan area, that population goes up to more than 21 million.

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What is the capital of California?
Sacramento
While it might not be the largest or the most famous/popular city in the state, Sacramento is the capital of California and has been for some time. It was named the permanent state capital in 1879.
San Diego
San Francisco
Los Angeles

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What lake is the largest in North America?
Lake Michigan
Lake Superior
Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes on the border of Canada and the USA. It is the largest freshwater lake by surface area on the planet, as is more than 31,000 square miles in terms of its surface area.
Lake Huron
Lake Ontario

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Do you know the name of the capital city of Mexico, which was once known as Tenochtitlan?
Puebla
Puerto Vallarta
Cancun
Mexico City
Not only is it the largest city in the country, Mexico City is also the capital of Mexico. It is one of the largest and most populous cities on the planet and also one of the most productive, according to GDP.

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Which Caribbean country has the largest population?
Dominican Republic
Bahamas
Cuba
While the Dominican Republic and Haiti and are a close second and third, Cuba is the most populous country in the Caribbean. The country has a population of about 11 million people.
Haiti

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What is the federal capital city of Canada?
Toronto
Vancouver
Calgary
Ottawa
While there are larger and more popular cities in the country, Ottawa is the capital of Canada. It has been the capital of the country since 1867, when the country of Canada was officially founded.

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Which of these tropical locations is the least populous country in North America?
Saint Kitts and Nevis
While there are some smaller places in North America, they are all non-independent. The smallest sovereign state in North America is Saint Kitts and Nevis, which has a population of just over 55,000.
Jamaica
Panama
Costa Rica

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What is the Canadian Shield?
The Canadian coat of arms
A large area of exposed rock in Canada
The Canadian Shield is a large area of exposed bedrock, soil and more. It stretches north from above the Great Lakes and all the way up to the Arctic. It covers more than half of Canada as a whole.
The name for the Canadian military
The name for the southern border

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How many oceans border North America?
One
Two
Three
There are four oceans in the world and three of them border North America. The oceans that border the continent are the Pacific Ocean, the ​Atlantic Ocean and the Arctic Ocean. The Indian Ocean is the only one that does not. Fun fact: Most countries, the USA included, now recognize the Southern (Antarctic) as the fifth ocean.
Four

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Before Washington, D.C, what was the federal capital city of the USA?
Phoenix
Boston
Philadelphia
The U.S has had a number of capital cities over the years, but for the last few hundred years, it has been Washington, D.C, which became the capital in 1800. From 1790 to 1800, Philadelphia was the capital.
There wasn't a capital before Washington, D.C.

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Which province or territory in Canada is the newest?
Yukon
Saskatchewan
British Columbia
Nunavut
While Canada as a country was formed in 1867, it wasn't until well over 100 years later that Nunavut entered confederation. It became an official territory of Canada in 1999 and is the largest in the country by land area.

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Of all the cities in North America, which is the largest by area?
Mexico City
Houston
Toronto
New York
While there are cities that are more populous than New York City, there is no larger city in North America than New York. It reaches over 4,500 square miles in size, beating out any other city in the continent by a wide margin.

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What is the tallest structure in North America?
Empire State Building
CN Tower
The CN Tower was the largest free-standing structure on the planet up until 2007. It is still the largest in North America and the Western Hemisphere as a whole, as it stands over 1800 feet tall.
One World Trade Center
Sears Tower

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Which American state is the newest?
Delaware
Georgia
Rhode Island
Hawaii
Hawaii officially became the 50th state in the USA in 1959. Alaska also became a state in 1959, but that was January. It wasn't until August of the same year that Hawaii officially became a state.

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Where did the first inhabitants of North America come from?
Siberia
While there is a lot of ongoing research in the area and the debate continues, it is believed that the first-ever people to inhabit North America came from Siberia. They came on the Bering Land Bridge into Alaska.
Africa
Europe
China

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Which location has the lowest elevation in all of North America?
New Orleans
Death Valley
Death Valley is home to the lowest point in the United States. The valley's Badwater Basin sits almost 300 feet below sea level. In addition to the low elevation, the area is also one of the hottest places on the planet during the summer.
Bombay Beach
The Grand Canyon

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Where is the geographical center of North America located?
Rugby, ND
Regina, SK
Las Vegas, NV
Center, ND
That's right, the geographical​ center of North America is located in a city called Center in North Dakota, according to a computer program. Of course, there is no official method for determining this, but many believe this to be the center. It was recently changed from Rugby, ND, which held the title for decades.

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What is the longest river in North America?
Yukon
Mississipi
The longest river in North America is the Mississippi River. It passes through a number of different states in the USA and is more than 2,300 miles long. Its embayment is one of the most fertile spots in all of the country.
Rio Grande
Columbia

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Which city is the oldest in the USA?
St. Augustine, FL
Founded in 1565, St. Augustine is the oldest city in the USA. It was founded a mere 11 days after Spanish explorer Pedro Menendez came ashore. It was the capital of Spanish Florida for more than 200 years.
Boston, MA
Richmond, VA
Santa Fe, NM

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How many major deserts are there in North America?
None
One
25
Four
North America is home to four major deserts. These are the Great Basin, Mojave, Chihuahuan, and Sonoran. While deserts are often seen as hot all year round, all of these deserts (except for Sonoran) have cold winters.

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What was the name of the first European to step foot on continental North America?
Christopher Columbus
Pedro Menendez
Erik the Red
Leif Erickson
While many believe Columbus was the very first person to step foot on the continental USA, this isn't the case. Leif Erickson set foot in Vinland (believed to be Newfoundland), in 1000.

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The Great Lakes hold what percentage of the world's fresh water by volume?
45 percent
5 percent
21 percent
The Great Lakes is the largest group of freshwater lakes on the planet. In fact, they contain a whopping 21 percent of the volume of freshwater on the planet. The total surface of the lakes is more than 94,000 square miles.
18 percent

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After who​ is North America (and South America) believed to be named?
Not named after anyone
Amerigo Vespucci
Amerigo Vespucci is widely considered to be the man after which North and South America are named. He was an Italian explorer. Cartographers were the individuals who named the continents. Cartographer Martin Waldseemüller named the continent America.
Christopher Columbus
Matthias Ringman

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Canada is the ____ largest country on the planet by area.
Ninth
Second
While its population is only about 25 million or so, Canada is actually the second-largest country on the planet by area. It is nearly 10 million square kilometers (almost 4 million miles), counting both water and land area.
First
14th

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How many states are in the USA?
50
There are 50 different states in the United States of America. The first state to become a part of the USA was Delaware (December 7, 1787) and the most recent was Hawaii (August 21, 1959).
51
25
49

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Which large North American country is actually the largest island in the world?
New Guinea
Baffin
Sumatra
Greenland
Greenland is by far the largest island on the planet. It is more than 830,000 square miles in size and is largely covered by ice. While it is part of North America, it is politically and culturally associated with Europe.

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What is the largest mountain range in North America?
The Rocky Mountains
The Rocky Mountains are not only the largest mountain range in North America, but they are among the largest on the planet. They stretch from Canada, all the way into New Mexico. The range runs 3,000 miles.
The Appalachian Mountains
The Sierra Nevada Mountains
The Cascade Range

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Hartford is the capital of which U.S. state?
South Dakota
Delaware
Connecticut
Hartford is the capital city of Connecticut. It is one of the oldest cities in the USA and is home to the oldest museum in the entire country, as well as the oldest publicly-funded park, Bushnell Park.
Maryland

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