Test Your Knowledge of World Geography Facts!


By: Lenore Brown

6 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

How well did you fare in geography class? Take this quiz to find out just how much you remember.

Geography ranks right up there with science and math as one of the least favorite academic subjects. In fact, most surveys indicate that people from the United States are less informed about world geography than the citizens of most other western nations. 

Most sources also agree that people who live in the United States travel far less than citizens of most other developed countries. Although some argue that this is because people in the United States have no interest in other countries, we choose to believe that it's because most other countries are... well... connected. People in Europe travel quite a bit because travel to and through Europe is relatively easy for Europeans. It's quite expensive and time-consuming for people who live in the U.S. to travel to Europe, much less Asia or other continents. We here in the U.S. have few  inexpensive options to visit foreign countries, except for a driving trip to Canada or Mexico. 

So, the reasons for the lack of travel aside, it is important for people in the United States to have at least a basic understanding of world geography. If you think you can navigate the geography of the world, take this quiz.

Let's get started.

How many continents are in the world?

There are 7 continents in the world: Asia, Africa, North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Antarctica. Some geographers combine Europe and Asia into one giant continent known as Eurasia.


What is the largest country in square kilometers?

Russia is the largest country in square kilometers, followed by Canada and the United States.


What is the smallest country in square kilometers?

Vatican City is a country, but it is the smallest by far. Monaco and Nauru follow as the next smallest countries.


Which country takes up the most geographical area in South America?

Brazil takes up around half the continent of South America, and its culture is felt throughout the region. From Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo, there is a lot to explore.


Which mountain is often known as the tallest on Earth?

Mount Everest is considered the tallest mountain in the world at 29,029 feet, but scientists say that Mount Chimborazo is the tallest due to its distance from the Earth's center. However, climbing Everest is no easy feat!


Which country is often ranked the best country for moms?

Norway is often ranked at the top of the list of the best countries for moms to live in. With generous support and childcare benefits, the country outranks other well-known countries such as the United States.


Which country is the biggest exporter of goods?

China is the top exporter of goods, followed by the United States and Germany. China accounts​ for about 13.8 percent of the world's exported goods.


As of 2017, what is the approximate world population?

The world population as of 2017 is over 7 billion people and counting. Births outweigh deaths by over 60 million.


Which country is often listed as having the best health overall?

Qatar is often listed as having the best overall health with a high life expectancy and and a fairly low infant mortality rate. The future is bright for this country as health continues to improve.


Which country was originally called New Holland?

The name New Holland was originally given to Australia in the 1600s. However, another explorer in the 1800s chose the name Australia and the name stuck.


Slavery still exists in the world. Approximately how many people are enslaved?

There are 30 million people in the world who are enslaved in a variety of ways. The continent of Africa has the highest number of slaves, but slavery is actually found in more than 160 countries.


Which country has more pyramids than Egypt?

Peru actually has more pyramids than Egypt and is also home to part of the Amazon rainforest and the ancient city of Machu Picchu. Its official flag contains red and white with an emblem in the center.


Which country has the largest sheep population?

Australia is home to the largest sheep population in the world. There are actually more sheep in Australia than people!


Which country has the most lakes?

Canada has the most lakes of any country, which might explain the country's affinity for so many lake-oriented activities. Parts of Canada even border Michigan and the Great Lakes.


Which country is one of the safest in the world?

Finland is one of the safest countries in the world with the least organized crime and one of the best governing systems. With sound police and internal security, Finland is a country in which both residents and tourists alike can feel comfortable.


Which country has historically had the highest number of voter turnout?

Belgium has a high number of registered voters and voter turnout. Sweden, South Korea, Denmark, and Australia also show high numbers.


Which country is the largest performer in terms of research and development?

The United States is the largest research and development performer, with China following in second place. Overall, global research and development is more highly concentrated in North America, Asia, and Europe.


Which country has the highest tourism rate?

France generally has the highest number of tourists visiting the country, followed by the United States and Spain. France's national landmarks, like the Eiffel Tower and beautiful cities like Paris and Strasbourg, make it a go-to for vacationers.


How many countries are in the world as of 2017?

As of 2017, there are 196 countries in the world. However, some would say that number should be 195 as Taiwan is not considered a country by some nations.


Which country generally leads the world in life expectancy?

Japan has one of the highest life expectancy rates in the world. Switzerland, Australia, and Spain are next on the list. Japan's average life expectancy is 84 years.


Approximately how many Internet users are in the world as of 2017?

There are over 3 billion Internet users in the world as of 2017, and the number may only continue to grow as dependence on the Internet and access to it increases. From shopping to information gathering to connecting with friends, the Internet serves many purposes to many people.


How many oceans are in the world?

There are technically 5 oceans in the world: Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, and Southern or Antarctic. Some don't consider the last one to be an actual ocean, but most countries today do teach it as such.


About how many different time zones are there in the world?

There are about 38 different time zones in use in the world. They can vary anywhere from minutes to hours.


Approximately how many languages are spoken in the world?

There are more than 7,000 languages spoken in the world, and they are constantly changing and adapting based on the community and surroundings. About 1/3 of these languages are on the verge of becoming extinct.


How many potentially active volcanoes are there worldwide (not including those in the ocean)?

There are about 1,500 potentially active volcanoes worldwide, with many located along the Pacific Rim near Hawaii. Approximately 500 of these volcanoes have erupted throughout history.


How many children in the world are living in poverty?

There are 1 billion children worldwide living in poverty, with many of their families making less than $1.25 per day. Organizations like UNICEF try to help these children and families.


Approximately how many homeless people are there worldwide?

There are approximately 100 million homeless people worldwide, and 1.6 billion who lack sufficient housing, though they may not technically qualify as homeless. That number also doesn't include those who might be living with friends, squatting, or settling in places that aren't fit to be inhabited.


The world's population is growing at an annual rate of _____ per year?

On average, the world's population is growing at an annual rate of 1.2 percent, which equals about 77 million people per year. Urbanization of this population has also increased as the years have gone by.


In 1950, there was only one city with a population of over 10 million people. What was it?

In 1950, New York City was the only city to have over 10 million residents. That list has now grown to over 20 cities.


What is the fifth leading risk for global deaths each year?

Being overweight or suffering from obesity is one of the top leading risks for death around the world. Countries with less access to nutritional food or educational resources suffer more than others.


Which continent has one of the highest literacy rates among its population?

Europe and South America have the highest literacy rate among their populations, at 90-100 percent literacy. Africa is the lowest among children under 18.


What is the largest source of fresh water in the world?

The polar ice caps are the largest source of fresh water on Earth, followed by the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes are most commonly associated with the state of Michigan in the United States in North America.


How many main earthquake zones are there in the world?

There are three main earthquake zones in the world: the circum-Pacific seismic belt, the Alpide, and the mid-Atlantic Ridge. While activity and shocks occur in other parts of the world, these areas experience the most activity.


What percentage of the world's population lives in the Northern Hemisphere?

Ninety percent of the world's population lives in the Northern Hemisphere. This is most likely due to temperatures and natural resources.


Which of these countries is not on the list of the Top 10 fattest countries?

Australia is not in the list of the Top 10 fattest countries, which could be due to all the surfing and outdoor exercise that takes place there. Those Hemsworth brothers sure do look pretty good!


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