United States Map With Only Four States Will Make You Think

Kyle Koster
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

There are 50 states, but should there be? One's first reaction is to probably say yes. And think it's a really dumb question. But in the map below, pulled off a Sri Lankan television report, makes a decent case that the United States would be better off—or at least easier for kids to learn about—if there were only four states.

A four-piece puzzle is much easier than a 50-piece puzzle. Checkmate. Logic'd.

California, Texas, New York, Florida. Easy breezy. Tough luck for the other 46 absorbed areas.

This map is assuredly inaccurate. It does raise a few interesting points, though, about the state of news coverage in this country. One, it's entirely understandable how a person watching cable television could walk away thinking these are the only four places that matter. Take note of the huge slice of coverage these states get. It'll shock you.

Secondly, consider how either incomplete or non-existent most Americans' knowledge of international prefectures, provinces, and territories is. I'm guessing 97 percent of people watching cable news couldn't identify Kandahar or Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Sri Lanka has nine provinces and 25 districts and I couldn't tell you a single one.

Map will make you think.