Minnesota Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
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2006 Minnesota RPCV Geography Quiz

Questions for this year's quiz are courtesy of Andy Caranicas of St. Paul. Thanks for a great quiz, Andy!

Welcome to the 2006 MNRPCV Geography Quiz. The quiz is divided into the following sections:

Quiz Sections
Capitals 21 points
Independence 15 points
Borders 12 points
Rivers and Mountains 24 points
Population 35 points
Islands 29 points
Miscellaneous 22 points
Tie-break N/A
Total 158 points


Capitals (21 points)

What’s a geography quiz without a few questions on world capitals. The first section is a bit of a puzzle, and the second section considers World history.

Current Capitals (9 points)

For each of the following letters, there is only one capital city that begins with that letter.  Name the city (2 pts) and the country (1 pt).


Former Capitals (12 pts)

This city was the capital of Norway 997-1380 (3 pts).


This city was the capital of Morocco 1269-1549 (3 pts).


This city was the capital of Cambodia from 9th to 14th century (3 pts).


This city was the first capital of the US (3 pts).


Independence (15 points)

The world map as we see it today is very different from what it looked like even 30 years ago. Chances are, it will be very different in another 30 years. Countries are gaining independence in a variety of ways, including wars, treaties, and even expulsion. See how well you know what the world map looked like at various points in history.

Match each country below with the year in which it obtained independence (1 pt each).

Austria   660 BC
Belize   301
Botswana   1156
Chile   1810
Croatia   1825
Eritrea   1829
Finland   1917
Greece   1949
Kenya   1960
Laos   1963
Qatar   1966
San Marino   1971
Spain   1981
Togo   1991
Uruguay   1993


Border lengths (12 points)

The border between the US and Canada is 8893 km long, including Alaska. This is the longest international border in the world. Most countries share borders with more than one country. For each country listed below, give the country with which it shares the longest border (2 pts each).







Rivers and Mountains (24 pts)

Natural borders (12 points)

Borders are often created by natural geographical features, such as rivers or mountain ranges. For each border listed, name the natural geographic feature that comprises most or all of that border (2 pts each).

Minnesota-North Dakota                                   
France – Spain                                                           
South Africa-Namibia                                               

Name the only US state whose western and eastern borders are comprised entirely of rivers ( 2 pts).


Which river delta is the largest inland delta in the world (3 pts) and in what country is it located (2 pts)?


Outside of Asia, what is the highest mountain in the world and in which country is it located  (3 pts mountain + 2 pts country)?


Population (35 points)

It is common knowledge that China is the most populous country in the world.  Give the second most populous country of each continent or country group listed below (5 pts each).

North America:               
Central America:             
South America:               

Frigid living:  
What is the most populous city north of the Arctic Circle (3 pts) and what country is it in (2 pts)?


Islands (29 points)

Island living is normally thought of as tropical paradise.  But there are many islands at all latitudes. 

Approximately what percent of the world’s population lives on an island (4 pts)?

A 3-6
B 6-9
C 9-12
D 12-15
E More than 15

What is the world’s most populous island and to which country does it belong ( 3 pts island + 2 pts country)?

What is the most populous island in the United States (4 pts)?


What is the most densely populated UNBRIDGED island nation (i.e. Singapore is out) (4 pts)?


Which is the only island in the world that is shared by three countries, and what are the countries (3 pts island + 1 pt each country = 6 total pts)?


The smallest island shared by two countries is NOT Saint Martin, as is commonly asserted. Which two countries share the actual smallest island that is shared by two countries (1 pt each country)?


Tristan da Cunha is a small island of volcanic origin, mid-way between South America and South Africa. It is considered the most remote inhabited island in the world. It has approximately 300 inhabitants. What country does Tristan da Cunha belong to (2 pts)?


The least densely populated inhabited island in the world is the Canadian island of Ellesmere, with 153 people on an island of 75,767 sq miles.
Each inhabitant thus has 495 sq miles / 1,283 sq km apiece. In which Canadian province or territory can Ellesmere be found (2 pts)?


Miscellaneous (22 points)


National Parks (9 pts)

I recently went on a trip to one of the great national parks of the United States, and I learned a few interesting facts. It seems that not enough is known about our national park system, so here are a few questions:

Name the largest National Park in the US (3 pts).

Name the largest National Park in the contiguous 48 states (3 pts).

Name the oldest National Park in the United States.

Name the only national park that is at least partially located in Minnesota (3 pts).


Exclaves (6 pts):

In political geography, an enclave is a country or part of a country lying wholly within the boundaries of another, and an exclave is one which is politically attached to a larger piece but not actually contiguous with it. In order to be an enclave or an exclave, the region must border at least one other country. Thus, Alaska is an exclave of the United States but Hawaii is not.

For each of the exclaves listed below, state which country it belongs to (2 pts each).

Kaliningrad Oblast                 

Big countries (7 pts)

Name the only two countries that border three oceans (2 pts each) and name the three oceans (1 pt each)


This question will be scored only in the case of a tie between two or more teams. Therefore, no point value is assigned, but it should be answered in case it is needed.

Which country has the highest number of reported tornadoes for its land area (i.e., number of reported tornadoes divided by sq miles or sq km of land area)?

And now, after you give the quiz your best shot, here is the quiz with answers.


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