Do you know more about India than an Indian does?

An ignorant lot?
An ignorant lot?
Image: Reuters/Adnan Abidi
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How old is the average person in India? What percentage of the country’s female population is employed?

If you relied on someone from India to give you the answers, you’d likely say the average age is 49 and that 41 out of 100 women in India work.

And you would be way, way off. The average Indian resident is in fact 27 years old, and only 25% of working-age women in the country are employed.

India has emerged as the second most ignorant country on domestic issues, among populations surveyed by market research company, Ipsos MORI, as part of its “Perils of Perception 2015” study. The annual survey highlights how wrong people are about some of the key issues and features of their home countries.

“We are often incorrect on factors that are widely discussed in the media or highlighted as challenges facing societies,” said Ipsos MORI spokesman Bobby Duffy. “We know from previous studies that this is partly because we overestimate what we worry about.”

Low internet penetration also tends to be a factor in countries where the citizenry fares poorly on the survey, he said.

Only Mexicans ranked higher (i.e. worse) than Indians on Ipsos MORI’s bluntly named “Index of Ignorance.” South Korea emerged as the least ignorant country in the survey.

Here’s a list of all the questions that were asked in the survey, along with the replies that Indian respondents gave and their actual answers:

The survey included 500 to 1,000 respondents from each country in the ranking. The results are below, with the least accurate (or the most ignorant) at the top: