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News quiz shows what Americans know about current events

A majority of Americans know what the federal minimum wage is, that Syria is one of the countries where Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants have taken land and that Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union.

Those questions were put to those who answered the Pew Research Center News IQ Quiz, the results for which were released this week. The quiz was sent out as a national poll conducted between Sept. 25-28. It was given to a national sample of 1,002 adults aged 18 or older.

The results of the 12-question quiz showed 73 percent correctly answered the minimum wage question, 67 percent knew about ISIS' territorial control and 60 percent got the question on the Ukraine right. But fewer fared as high on other questions.

Forty-nine percent knew that Common Core refers to educational standards, and 46 percent knew that oil is what is driving the economic boom in North Dakota.

The same number could identify Liberia as one of the African nations struggling with the Ebola crisis. Only 38 percent knew that Benjamin Netanyahu is the prime minister of Israel, and only 33 percent knew that the unemployment rate is closer to 6 percent. In fact, 45 percent of quiztakers thought it was either 9 percent or 12 percent.

The data shows that older Americans are more likely to know about the news, but on questions that were more pertinent to them, like on the minimum wage, young people scored higher -- 82 percent of those between 18 and 29.

Also, those with a college education scored better than those without. They got an average of 6.8 questions correct while those with a high school education or less got 3.7 questions right.

But among voters, there was little difference. Those who identified as Democrats averaged an overall 5 correct questions while Republicans got 5.7 questions right.

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