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Despite the wall-to-wall coverage of the damage from Hurricane Katrina, nearly one-third of young Americans recently polled couldn't locate Louisiana on a map and nearly half were unable to identify Mississippi.

Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 fared even worse with foreign locations: six in 10 couldn't find IRAQ, according to a Roper poll conducted for National Geographic.

Among the findings:
  • While Israeli-Palestinian strife has been in the news for the entire lives of the respondents, 75 percent were unable to locate Israel on a map of the Middle East.
  • Fewer than three in 10 think it important to know the locations of countries in the news and just 14 percent believe speaking another language is a necessary skill.
  • Two-thirds didn't know that the earthquake that killed 70,000 people in October 2005 occurred in Pakistan.
  • While the outsourcing of jobs to India has been a major U.S. business story, 47 percent could not find the Indian subcontinent on a map of Asia.
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