Vermont is the only state where a majority of residents could pass a citizenship test that questioned Americans on basic facts about U.S. government, according to a new nationwide survey.

A study commissioned by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation found that 53 percent of the Vermonters they tested could pass a multiple-choice citizenship test that asked questions such as identifying the year the Constitution was written and the number of amendments to the document.


Majorities in 49 other states and the District of Columbia failed the test. Nationally, just about 40 percent of respondents overall could pass the test, including just 27 percent of those under 45. In Louisiana, just 28 percent of respondents passed.

“Unfortunately, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation has validated what studies have shown for a century: Americans don’t possess the history knowledge they need to be informed and engaged citizens,” said the foundation's president, Arthur Levine.

The foundation went on in the press release accompanying the study to call for "a fundamental change in how American history is taught and learned to make it relevant to our students lives, captivating and inclusive to all Americans.”

The survey, conducted by Lincoln Park Strategies, surveyed 41,000 Americans nationwide in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The margin of error is 1 percentage point.