September 17, 2008
For another thing, statistics show that Europeans are not nearly as well traveled in America as Americans are in Europe. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, some 11.4 million Europeans visited the United States in 2007, which is roughly 2.5 percent of the European population. (By contrast, a record 13.3 million Americans visited Europe in 2007, or roughly 5 percent of the U.S. population.) The lack of firsthand knowledge of the United States is arguably the biggest reason why ordinary Europeans cannot discern fact from fiction when it comes to America.
From the comments section: "Some of my most heated conversations were with people who claimed to know everything about the U.S. even though they never came here. For example, did you know the U.S. has 52 states?" Ha, I had the exact same discussion in Sweden. A guy insisted that Puerto Rico was a state and refused to listen to me when I said it is not.
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